The Snoqualmie Tunnel is a unique part of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail in Iron Horse State Park. This old, abandoned railroad tunnel underneath Snoqualmie Pass now serves as a dark, 2.3-mile hiking and biking path that looks like it came straight out of a horror movie.
The tunnel was originally built in 1912-14, as part of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. But eventually, the railroad abandoned the western lines, and it was later converted as a "rail-to-trail" along the John Wayne Pioneer Trail (which continues all the way to the Idaho border).
The final train passed through this tunnel on March 15, 1980. It was then acquired by the state, and re-opened to the public for recreational hiking and biking.
You can find the east entrance to the tunnel about 1/3 of a mile walk in along the trail. Before heading inside, be sure to check out all of the information boards and signs near the entrance that explain more about the area's railroad history.
Other than a small curve near the beginning, the walk through the tunnel is pretty much straight for the whole trip - with the light at the end barely visible for most of the way. And like a cave, the tunnel is cold, dark, and there's dripping water - so you'll want to bring multiple sources of light, reflective gear, as well as an extra jacket.
The western portal has a double-arched entrance - one for the tunnel, and the other where a phone and other equipment used to be stored. After reaching the exit, you'll find picnic tables, a small toilet, garbage can, wonderful views of the Cascades, and a lovely small waterfall on the right.
Recently renovated in 2011, the tunnel now features a much improved walking surface, ceiling, walls, and reinforced structure. Luckily, it's open for the season right now, but the tunnel is closed from November through May because of ice formations inside.
Check out this short, 42-second clip traveling though this old, dark tunnel - from Youtube user
Pacific North Wanderers
You'll also want to bring a Discover Pass for parking (which are available online
, and at the automated stations in the parking lot).
While you’re in the Snoqualmie area, be sure to also head over and see the gorgeous
Have you been through this unique tunnel before? Or would you like to check it out this summer?