The last time we hiked through the Snoqualmie Train Tunnel it didn’t go so well. Wesley was not quite 8 months old and he was pretty freaked out. Amber ended up going back with Wesley and I jogged the rest of the tunnel by myself. This time went much, much better.
The tunnel is 2.3 miles and almost perfectly straight. It is also nearly pitch black and 55 degrees inside compared to the bright sun and 75 degrees at the entrance. Armed with sweatshirts and nearly all of the flashlights we owned we had a ton of fun walking in the dark. The kids managed to walk all the way in one direction and a portion of the way back.
Not ones to let nearly total darkness stop us from taking pictures we did manage a few inside the tunnel (thanks to a very bright flashlight).
Without the flashlights it looks like this:
At the west end of the tunnel are some picnic tables and probably the nicest compost toilet I have ever had the privilege of using. The view isn’t bad either.
At the ends of the tunnel you do get a bit of light and you don’t need your flashlights right away. It does get dark pretty quick, though.
The trail, especially after the recent work, is so wide (you could drive a train on it!) and flat that we played games on the way back. Running and chasing, hiding and general goofiness ensued. The only major concern is bicyclists. There are lots of them. Bikers outnumber walkers at least ten to one. Most have lights and most probably wish they had brighter ones. We didn’t have any problems, but we were sure to move over and give them plenty of room.
And how do you celebrate a successful hike on the I-90 corridor? In our family that means root beer floats from XXX in Issaquah. Well the kids had root beer floats. I had a root beer shake and we all shared some fries and onion rings.
If you want to hike the tunnel it is now open. It had been closed for the last several years for repairs. And don’t forget that for safety reasons it isn’t open in the winter. They gate the tunnel closed November 1st through the end of April.
Just for fun I tracked the hike using the gps on my cell phone. Just curious what it would do. You can see that we started at Hyak, magically popped out at the other end. The big empty section between the blue lines is the tunnel. It is so apparent on the map because they keep the trees cleared for the power lines that run over the top.
From the GPS we know it took us exactly 3 hours and 4 seconds to make the 5.6 mile round trip journey. You can take a look at the interactive map and view the data here. Heck, download it into google earth if you want.
Hike information: Snoqualmie Tunnel – wta.org