Snoqualmie Tunnel

Apparently August had a train theme. First there was Iron Goat Trail. Then rail riders in Shelton. And then this sucker, the Snoqualmie Tunnel. Trains galore. Maybe we should watch Unstoppable again. Whenever the kids played with train tracks and the train derailed, we’d always say, “Call Denzel.” Actually, now thinking about it, I should take Maive to downtown Snoqualmie to see all the old train cars. I’ve taken all the other kiddos. Anyway. The Snoqualmie Tunnel.

The tunnel is just over two miles long on the Iron Horse Trail. Except it’s also the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. And the Palouse to Cascade Trail. I think the Palouse one is the current name. Whatever the name, we started with eight kiddos at the Hyak trailhead, heading west through the tunnel on whatever the name of the trail is now. Armed with headlamps, we were ready for the dark adventure. Brian sent me with his super bright LED bike light I attached to the stroller. I didn’t realize how bright the sucker is until we were in the tunnel, and I had to shield it from people walking toward us. I even heard a passing, “That’s a fucking bright light,” from someone. Haha.

Mostly pictures do the talking here. It’s a dark two miles, with some graffiti here and there, and some wet spots from water dripping in the tunnel. The old electrical boxes are kind of cool, from what we could see in the dark. And it was chilly in the tunnel. For an August day, we all had hoodies on. The walk through the tunnel is fairly uneventful although super cool, because how often does anyone walk through dark tunnels?! The one thing to note that is fun, is that the west exit is visible from almost the start of the tunnel. And it’s hard to decipher how far away it is from any point in the tunnel. Eventually it gets bigger near the end but it felt like we were quite close to the exit the entire time. Hard to explain I suppose.

Snoqualmie Tunnel!

At the west exit (or entrance?!) are picnic tables and some views of the mountains across the 90. I packed lunches for the kiddos. All the tables were taken when we exited; the kiddos parked it on the ground and started to eat until I found a few tables a bit further from the tunnel. We moved to a table to finish lunch. The kiddos explored a bit around the trail, hiking up the side of the trail. We noticed some folks above the tunnel entrance (or exit?!). Apparently there is a geocache up there. But with eight kiddos, we decided to skip that hunt. Maybe next time.

Hanging out at the west entrance of the Snoqualmie Tunnel. The bottom middle picture makes me think of a bad album cover, haha. The Headlampers or maybe the Tunnelers?!

We probably spent about an hour out of the tunnel before heading back to the Hyak trailhead. The walk back through the tunnel was about the same, dark. It started to get busier, with more and more walkers and bikers. Some of whom need to slow a bit in the dark tunnel, bikers. We did see one couple trekking through without any light. They seemed to be staying close to others who had lights. And a few were using cell phone lights, which didn’t seem to light up too much. But it’s not like it’s hard to walk through even without light. Not ideal but totally doable.

Back at the Hyak trailhead.

Back at the Hyak trailhead, we parked on another picnic table. Some of the kiddos wanted to finish their lunches. And a few had to hit the restrooms. Actual restrooms, not pit toilets. But still not clean. People can be gross. Eventually we were all ready to call it a day and head our separate ways. It was a hike I recently heard about and checked it off the list fairly quickly. Keeping up with August the trail theme.

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