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Trail Guidelines

COVID-19 Update:
In accordance with the governor’s extension of the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, all state lands will continue to be closed to the public through May 4.

The temporary closure is in response to Gov. Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. For the Klickitat Trail, that means the trail is CLOSED. Parking and sanitation are the two big issues. If people are using the toilets, they are touching surfaces that others have touched. If no toilets, then folks may be leaving unsanitary conditions for others, or trespassing onto private adjacent lands to do their business. And if the trailheads are closed, folks will tend to park along the side of roads or in front of the houses or driveways of others, which the Forest Service and State Parks do not want. We know it can be physically painful not to hike our usual favorite spots in the Gorge. But for now, we need to stick to the public roads including USFS roads and county roads and the few trails that are not closed. Thank you for your understanding. Keep your distance…safety for all

Trail Guidelines

Following these guidelines will help take care of the  Klickitat Trail, help reduce hassles that you might have, and will greatly increase the respect afforded to those of us who use the Klickitat Trail, as well as adjacent property owners.

  • KTC does not allow smoking or pets on KTC-sponsored outings.
  • Handicapped access: In general motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail but certain exceptions are made for some kinds of mobility assistance devices for people with registered disability permits.  Since none of the trail is paved yet, these may be difficult to use on the trail surface.  The best places to try would be where the trail is packed gravel, from Lyle to the Fisher hill Rd. (about 2 miles), and in the town of Klickitat.
  • There is a lot of poison oak along the edges of the trail, and there are plenty of ticks and some rattlesnakes.  Ticks are common all over the Gorge.  Even parts of the Hood River area have ticks. Hikers need to be aware and vigilant about checking themselves.
  • Protect your dog! Use that leash!  Washington State Parks rules clearly state pets must be on a leash at all times.
  • No littering, removing, or disturbing plant life or other natural or historic resources.
  • No camping, hunting or building of fires allowed.
  • If you encounter harassing property owners, remain calm. Note carefully where and when the incident is occurring and try to get any identification of the person. State clearly that Washington State Parks owns the property, and has given permission for the public to use it. Avoid arguments and proceed on your way, unless it does not feel safe to do so. As soon as you can, report the incident to the Klickitat County Sheriff’s office at (509) 773-4545 or (509) 773-4547.
  • Stay on the rail bed. That is your only assurance that you are not trespassing. The Trail gives no one any right to go onto adjacent property whatsoever. There are portable toilets at Lyle, Pitt, Wahkiakus, and Harms Rd.
  • Help us protect wildlife inhabitants, flora, and fauna within the right of way by remembering the Trail is not a pet exercise area. For instance, there are ground nesting birds, and certainly, there is going to be a new born fawn “hiding” somewhere out there in the high grass.
  • Be careful of any free-ranging cattle especially between Pitt and Fisher Hill Bridge.
  • Leave any gates open or closed, just as you find them.
  • Pack for safety.  Be prepared for your trail adventures!  Bring your own first aid kit and individualize it for personal health concerns such as allergies or prescriptions.
  • Please pick up any litter that you see.
  • Pass KTC’s name on to others you meet on the Trail so our direct support base can grow.
  • Due to its remoteness and lack of communication services, it is not recommended to travel the beautiful Swale Canyon section of the trail alone.  Cell phones do not work in this area.
  • Note: You use the Klickitat Trail at your own risk
  • We always welcome feedback about the trail.