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Day Hike - Foothills Trail: Wilkeson to Carbonado

Explore the history of Wilkeson and Carbonado, hiking on the former railroad line connecting the two, now part of the Foothills Trail, passing spectacular scenery enroute and having lunch at the historic and popular Carbonado Saloon, with the option of a free breakfast at Auburn's Sunbreak Cafe for early arrivers.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Easy
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 6.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 400 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 1,191 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph

Meet at 8:30 AM at the Sunbreak Cafe, 22 A Street SW, Auburn for those eating a free breakfast before the hike.  Meet at 10:30 AM at Nomad PNW Coffee Shop, 529 Church St., Wilkeson, for those not having the free breakfast.  The Nomad PNW Coffee Shop is reached from SR 167 by exiting eastbound onto SR 410, turning right onto SR 165 in Buckley, turning left at the T junction to stay on SR 165,  and continuing to Wilkeson where the Nomad PNW Coffee Shop is on the left and parking is available across the street.  The Sunbreak Cafe is reached from SR 167 by exiting eastbound onto SR 18, taking the C Street exit, turning left at the end of the exit, then staying right to go onto the overpass over the railroad tracks, turning left at the first traffic light and left again in two blocks, to find the Sunbreak Cafe on your right. 

Anyone registered for this hike has the option to arrive at the Sunbreak Cafe at 8:30 AM to participate in a free breakfast (valued up to $20) involving a free entree of your choice and free water.  Any other beverage or side dish and the optional tip will be at your expense.  Hike participants may bring guests not on the hike who pay for their own breakfast.  Anyone eating a free breakfast must participate in the hike or will be listed as a NO SHOW.  From the Sunbreak Cafe we will caravan to the trailhead.  Cars cannot be left at the Sunbreak Cafe during the hike, so carpooling should be done elsewhere before arriving there.  Those not participating in the free breakfast can meet at 10:30 AM in Wilkeson, as indicated above.

We will begin hiking at the trailhead across the street from the fire station, a short walk north of where we meet.  The three mile forested hike to Carbonado will end at our lunch stop, the iconic Carbonado Saloon,  which has good food and historical exhibits, before we return by the same route.  Because alcohol is served at the Carbonado Saloon, participation in the hike must be limited to those age 21 and older.


Foothills Trail

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun protection
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination
  5. First aid supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair kit and tools, including knife
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter
Trip Reports