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Palouse to Cascades Trail - Cedar Falls to Change Creek

Snoqualmie Region


Snoqualmie Region -- North Bend Area
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11.0 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 480 ft.


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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

The hike from the Cedar Falls trailhead to the junction with the Change Creek route is one through history. You will walk along a decommissioned railroad passing by the remnants of the line. Starting at the Cedar Falls trailhead, begin your hike just past the outhouse, crossing a paved road, and picking up the gravel path.

A short climb brings you to a wider gravel trail. After less than a quarter mile, you will reach the Palouse to Cascades trail sign with distances to various locations where you will turn left. This former railroad grade is a trail that stretches over the Cascade mountains to the east side of Washington, so there is plenty to explore!

Shortly after turning down the trail, you will pass a large sign for Cedar Falls, an homage to the train depot that was active up until the 1980s. 0.75 miles from the TH you will cross the pleasant Boxley Creek and the first of many bridges to come and a short way later you will pass by the turn off for Cedar Butte. This is a wonderful side trip if one has the energy.

As you walk down the trail keep your eyes peeled for old telephone poles that used to run power along the rail line. Some still have the glass and ceramic insulators on top!

2 miles down the trail, you come to another trail junction, this one with the Olallie Trail. Your hike continues straight, and you are only a mile from the first major bridge. At 3 miles you will cross the roaring Botzke Creek on one of the old trestles that span the deep valleys of the mountains you are traversing. Here you will be delighted with views of a beautiful waterfall to the right and a view out across the valley to Little Si and Mount Si.

A quarter mile further down the trail brings you to the old train depot of Ragnar. Wandering around the large laydown area, you will discover stacks of old railroad ties and signal posts left behind by the Milwaukee Railroad Company when the line was removed. As you walk this section you are treated to views of Mailbox Peak ahead and lush green forest around you.

4 miles from the trailhead brings you to the turn off for Twin Falls and a half mile further to the turn off for the Homestead Valley Trailhead. At 5.5 miles, you have arrived at the impressive Change Creek Trestle, a popular destination for rock climbers and hikers alike. From the trestle you can enjoy views across the valley to Mailbox and Dirty Harry with the raging Change Creek far below. 

For those wanting to extend the day, the Cedar Butte trails adds about 2 miles round trip and offers great views across the valley or one can continue on down the trail, enjoying the small streams, lush forest, and tall bridges.


Palouse to Cascades Trail - Cedar Falls to Change Creek

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.4325, -121.7663 Open map in new window


Snoqualmie Region -- North Bend Area

Washington State Parks

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Getting There

This hike starts from the Cedar Falls Trailhead near Rattlesnake Lake.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

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Palouse to Cascades Trail - Cedar Falls to Change Creek

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