Iron Goat Trail

Skykomish, Washington

5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
1 Review
5 out of 5
A child can walk part of the old Great Northern Railroad right-of-way and peek into a dark and spooky blocked tunnel. A century ago the last spike of this railway was driven, to enable the Great Northern to cross the Cascades at Stevens Pass. Reminisce about the excitement of the old steam engines thundering uphill, belching great puffs of smoke and steam in the cold mountain air. Abandoned in 1929, after the big tunnel was built, the old grade was almost lost, but thanks to thousands of volunteer hours and donated materials, the railroad is now a trail into history. Eventually the trail will reach near the summit of Stevens Pass and the site of the tragic 1910 Wellington avalanche that swept away standing train cars and nearly 100 passengers. Look for relics. Bits of ancient cable, old tie bolts, and even a coal scuttle lie rusting along the way. James J. Hill, known as the Empire Builder, chose the Rocky Mountain goat as his railroad’s emblem, hence the name Iron Goat Trail. Mountain goats are still occasionally seen in the Stevens Pass area, so watch for them on the rocky avalanche slope across the valley.
Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades

by Joan Burton (The Mountaineers Books)

A child can walk part of the old Great Northern Railroad right-of-way and peek into a dark and spooky blocked tunnel. A century ago the last spike of this railway was driven, to enable the Great Northern to cross the Cascades at Stevens Pass. Reminisce about the excitement of the old steam engines thundering uphill, belching great puffs of smoke and steam in the cold mountain air. Abandoned in 1929, after the big tunnel was built, the old grade was almost lost, but thanks to thousands of volunteer hours and donated materials, the railroad is now a trail into history.

Eventually the trail will reach near the summit of Stevens Pass and the site of the tragic 1910 Wellington avalanche that swept away standing train cars and nearly 100 passengers. Look for relics. Bits of ancient cable, old tie bolts, and even a coal scuttle lie rusting along the way. James J. Hill, known as the Empire Builder, chose the Rocky Mountain goat as his railroad’s emblem, hence the name Iron Goat Trail. Mountain goats are still occasionally seen in the Stevens Pass area, so watch for them on the rocky avalanche slope across the valley.

©  Joan Burton/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Skykomish
Distance: 15.5
Elevation Gain: 800 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: Day hike
Season: May to November
Trailhead Elevation: 2,400 feet
Top Elevation: 3,200 feet
Local Contacts: Mt. Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest
Local Maps: Green Trails No. 176 Stevens Pass; USGS Scenic
Driving Directions: Directions to Iron Goat Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

8/19/2008
1

My son (10) and I decended from Wellington to Scenic. Backtracked to the mouth of the tunnel and read every informational sign. The Windy Point Latrine has to have the best view of any I've seen. Incredible trail, view, and information on this part of American history. Partial blockage of trail near end at Scenic from winter avalanch presented nice scramble for my son and I and we saw snow in August there. Amazing!



Trail Photos

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from Trails.com to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.

Activity Feed

Apr 2018