John Wayne Pioneer Trail (winter)

An easy cross-country ski or snowshoe trip of up to 6 miles and 500 feet of gain, along an old railroad grade that has been converted to a multi-use trail. Paralleling Interstate 90 along its south side, enjoy views of Granite Mountain and Bandera Mountain to the north.

on the trail

The John Wayne Pioneer Trail is part of the Iron Horse State Park, and runs from Rattlesnake Lake to the Columbia River in Eastern Washington.  This route pertains to the portion of the trail on the west side of Snoqualmie Pass.

During the winter months the Snoqualmie Tunnel is closed, so you will not be able to use the trailhead at Hyak.  Westside access points for the John Wayne Pioneer Trail along I-90 include:

      • Rattlesnake Lake - Exit 32, Discover Pass
      • Twin Falls Natural Area/Olallie State Park - Exit 38, Discover Pass
      • McClellan Butte trailhead - Exit 42, Northwest Forest Pass
      • Annette Lake trailhead - Exit 47, Northwest Forest Pass
        Note that the appropriate parking pass depends on the trailhead being used!


      • This trail is shared with other users, including cross-country skiers.  Please be considerate and avoid snowshoeing on the ski tracks!

notes to leaders

Please choose a trailhead and trip route based on the current snow level, limiting trip distance and elevation gain to comply with the limitations for an Easy trip. If you do wish to do a longer trip, please make that clear with the your activity's Leader Rating and Leader's Notes fields.


The Mountaineers has a commercial use permit with Washington State Parks for all free and fee-based outings at state parks. Leaders should carry a print or digital copy of our  commercial use permit to show rangers they may encounter. 

  • Difficulty: Easy, N1 Nordic Basic Ski
  • Length: 6.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 500 ft
  • 2,400 ft
  • Green Trails Rattlesnake Mtn No. 205S
  • Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass Gateway No. 207S
  • Green Trails Mount Si NRCA No. 206S

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