The start of the Klickitat Trail on the high plateau. There are many trestles to ride over.

Washington Alpine Club

Klickitat Trail 1,566'to the Columbia River bike ride!


April 02, 2005

 The Klickitat Trail is a nearly level 31-mile rail corridor extending from Warwick, WA on the high prairie of the Goldendale Plateau to the Columbia River at Lyle, Washington.  It winds its way down through Swale Canyon for 10 miles, then follows a secondary road and then trail alone the nationally designated Wild & Scenic Klickitat River to Lyle.
It is a former railroad line that once ran all the way to Goldendale, and as of 2003 it is now state park property. More info is at the Klickitat Trail Conservancy website at



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Our leader, John Sargent billed this ride as “Simply put, a double your money back, guaranteed, incredible ride.”
Our group at the start of the ride.

Left to Right.

Mike, Doerte, John, Audrey, Jeff, Susie, Cloie, Chris, Laura, Tim, Rachel, and behind the sign is Lee and Sean

We had a leisurely start on the high prairie west of Warwick. Besides our WAC group of 14, there were 10 scouts with longtime WAC members Gino and Kathy Amodei. There was also a bike group from the Friends of the Columbia River Gorge,  and a hiking group from the Klickitat Trail Conservancy. It was fun to talk to the fine people in these two Clubs that share many of the same interests of the WAC.
We were serenaded by birds and frogs, and saw many trout pools, and waterfalls. The trail was lined with oak trees and later Ponderosa Pines. Simply put, it was very beautiful!  It is a wonderful area for birding. On clear days Mount Adams and Mount Hood can be seen.

Jeff Sargent, Susie Sargent and Les Sargent.

Les was key to the ride. He was key to moving the vehicles around and manning the Sag Wagon.

Like the 7-mile stretch of the East Lake Sammamish Trail, which passes or crosses property owned by lakefront residents, some folks along the Klickitat Trail assume false ownership of the trail. We heard of one guy who would threaten riders with his gun, but we never saw him. I hate to see folks try to take over public property!

Les Sargent met us with the Sag Wagon at the next access point, 10 miles down the trail, for some lunch. It was fun to ride up to Les and see what he had been up to. It is always great to have Les around, and we could not do these rides without his help!

After lunch we rode pavement through the small town of Klickitat, and then rejoined the trail for the last 8 miles to Lyle. Here the Trail follows the wild and scenic Klickitat River.

On the lower part of the Trail Lee Parsons takes on the mud bog.

Audrey had a flat, but John was able to change it without taking the wheel off in 11 minutes! He got lots of encouragement from Mike, Audrey, and Lee! The high running river eventually squeezed into a gorge of rushing rapids only 15 feet wide!

Audrey got a flat, but John was able to repair the tube in 11 minutes flat. And that is without even taking the wheel off!

That is Lee manning the pump.

The lower eight miles of trail is extra scenic as it follows the Klickitat River. We saw two other riders.

Lee, John, Audrey, and Doerte in the pines on the lower part of the Trail.

Again Saturday night, many of us stayed at the Wishbone Campground. Others stayed in the fancy Lyle Hotel, a historic railroad hotel, and we all met at the Lyle Café again in the morning.  This are is very popular for windsurfers in the summer.
 Thanks to Les for running the shuttles, and the Sag Wagon for us! Thanks to John Sargent for organizing the ride and making sure we all had a great time!

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