Travels with the Original Easyrider®
2013 Edition

Swale Canyon Hike
Klickitat Rail Trail
Harms Road Trailhead, el. 1570'
Lyle, Washington
A 5 hour, 12 mile in and out hike with 628' of elevation gain

Miles hiked= 16.95; Total elevation gain= 1,358'
February 9, 2013

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Julie and I did this hike in 2011. Pictures of that hike are HERE.
More information about the Klickitat Rail Trail can be found HERE.

This annual hike was scheduled for October 6, 2012 but was cancelled due to
fire danger.

Undaunted.... an enterprising company could make some money offering shuttle
services since each of the two major legs of the Klickitat Rail Trail hike are
far too long to do as an in and out. The KTC web site says that a local B&B
will provide shuttle service but we called them and they most certainly do not.
The Canyon Market advertises that they will do a shuttle for "about 25 to 35"...
their pricing seemed rather vague so we decided to do the "dry half"
of this hike as an in and out.

There's more information about KRT car shuttle services HERE.

GETTING THERE: Take SR 14 to Lyle, Washington. Turn North at the Lyle Cafe onto
Centerville Highway. Go 14.72 miles and turn left onto Harms road. The trailhead is
about a half mile down the road.

It was a crappy, cold, overcast, drizzly day in the city. Clear and dry East of
the Cascades but VERY windy. Once we got into the canyon it wasn't too bad but it
was really cold at the trailhead.

This section of the Klickitat Rail Trail is not ADA accessible... but it's close.
This is a wide, flat, mostly level compacted dirt/gravel roadway. It would be pretty
much impossible to get lost out here. This is a good hike, especially in the Winter
when most Gorge trails are snowed it. This is a GREAT hike if you can find a way to
car shuttle and do the whole 13 miles.

The trail runs along a stream but I don't know that I would want to drink
the water from it. Since this is a long hike, you would want to carry lots
of water, especially in the Summer. There is no shade on this trail.

We didn't see a soul all day, which was much to our liking. We did see
some fresh cat tracks, possibly a cougar. And a deer carcass that was lunch
for a predator a few weeks ago.

This trestle is about half way between the Harms Road Trailhead and
the Horsebend Road Trailhead. It's a nice location for lunch. We're
about 6 miles in. There are a few well worn deer trails so we had hoped
to see a few critters getting a drink of water. No such luck. We did
see a few eagles but they were too high to get pictures of. This time of
year, you want to have warm gloves, a facemask and a warm hat.

Couldn't tell if this is an abandoned rail car or a piece of derelict
farm/ranch equipment.

This was a nice hike and a good conditioner since Julie and I are out
of shape after a Winter of very little hiking. Now, on to the Gorge
Panda for some yummy kung pao.

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