Access Special Backpacker.com Features, Register Now!

Vancouver, WA: Klickitat Trail (Warwick to Swale Canyon)

This 10.2-mile out-and-back explores a section of the Klickitat Trail, a scenic rail-trail that winds through rolling rangeland and colorful river canyons.

Rating

Connecting the small towns of Lyle and Warwick, the 31-mile Klickitat Trail traces an abandoned railroad corridor through scenic river canyons just north of the Columbia River Gorge. Sample a section of the picturesque trail on this 10.2-mile out-and-back that starts just west of Warwick and leads to a creekside lunch spot overlooking slickrock chutes and pools. From the trailhead on Centerville Road, hike west past the rolling hills and rangeland of Klickitat Valley; the glacier-covered slopes of Mount Adams rise in the distant northwest.
Near mile 2, the route starts its descent into Swale Canyon, a remote gorge punctuated with volcanic rock outcroppings and vibrant Columbia desert parsley. Cross three railroad trestles in the next one and a half miles and continue heading west. After 4.5 miles, the route swings to the north for the final 0.6 mile to a waterfront lunch spot along Swale Creek. Savor views of the creek’s chutes, waterfalls, and small pools before turning around and heading back to the trailhead.
Note: The Swale Canyon portion of the trail is closed when the Department of Natural Resource rates the fire danger in Klickitat County as “High”.
Info: Klickitat Trail Conservancy
-Mapped by Eli Boschetto, Bosco Mountain Photo

To Trailhead

I-205 S to I-84 E to exit 64. Turn left onto the Hood River Bridge. In 1.1 miles, turn right onto WA 14 (toward Lyle). In 11.1 miles, turn left onto 6th St. (becomes Lyle Goldendale Rd. and Centerville Hwy.). Go roughly 16 miles to trailhead parking area on the right.

Leave a Reply