Cowiche Canyon Trail

Yakima County, Washington

Elevation Gain349ft
Trailhead Elevation1,491ft
Elevation Min/Max1325/1491ft
Elevation Start/End1491/1491ft

Cowiche Canyon Trail

Cowiche Canyon Trail is a hiking trail in Yakima County, Washington. It is 1.8 miles long and begins at 1,491 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 349 feet. This trail connects with the following: Winery Trail.

Cowiche Canyon Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"A group of dedicated volunteers with the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy worked for years to develop this trail—or, rather, to un-develop this trail—because this old railroad right-of-way is now a path through a wild wonderland. In short, this trail could be the crown jewel in Washington’s collection of rails-to-trails.

The old train line path weaves through an astounding set of deep road cuts and over a double handful of trestle bridges spanning Cowiche Creek as it climbs through this stunning canyon. The path in the canyon bottom follows a portion of the old 1880s railroad route that stretched from Yakima to the Tieton area in the Cascade foothills."

"One of the best rail trails in the state, Cowiche Canyon is an interesting pocket of wilderness surrounded by orchards, vineyards and other forms of civilization.

Go in spring for the show of colorful wildflowers. Nearly anytime you go, a radiant blue sky will hang over the canyon’s steep, rocky walls."

"Cowiche Canyon Trail takes you through both geological and railroading history. Slicing through a canyon and crossing the creek repeatedly, this rail trail makes for a tour that’s both dramatic and peaceful. You’ll have many opportunities to observe plant and animal life."

Cowiche Canyon Trail Reviews

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This was a little gem of a hike. Went with a group of people of all fitness levels. The main trail is 2.9 miles each way. There are two smaller trails that shoot off of it at about the first mile mark. We did not take either of those. The river snakes in and out of this trail, and its sound accompanies you for pretty much the entire trip. The trail is flat and very well maintained, changing from packed dirt to loose gravel that is almost sand like in its movement. There is no elevation gain to speak of, but there are several opportunities to hike up to higher points. There are beautiful views of rock faces and great examples of a landscape formed by volcanic activity. Watch the trail rock formations carefully for the face in the stone. We didn't see it until the way back. Pretty neat.

Cowiche Canyon Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Yakima County
Nearby City
Skill Level
Mountain Biking
Additional Use
Cowiche Canyon Conservatory, 302 N. Third St., Yakima 98901; (509) 2485065;
Local Contacts
Cowiche Canyon maps, available online at; maps also sometimes available at a trailhead kiosk
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Aug 2018