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Klickitat Rail Trail - Swale Canyon

Southwest Washington


Southwest Washington -- Columbia River Gorge - WA
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13.0 miles, one-way


Gain: 450 ft.
Highest Point: 1550 ft.


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Parking Pass/Entry Fee


The Klickitat Rail Trail is a 31-mile rails-to-trails conversion managed by Columbia Hills State Park. This linear park goes from Lyle to Warwick (on the Lyle-Centerville Highway) with several access points along the way. Swale Canyon lies on the eastern end of the trail and offers a quiet canyon, a burbly creek, wildflowers and solitude.

Swale Canyon can be hiked end-to-end (13 miles) or as an out-and-back as far as you'd like. Start the hike at Harms Road and follow Swale Creek downstream as it approaches the Klickitat River. The old railbed is wide, making it fun to walk side-by-side and easy to share the trail with the occasional mountain biker.

This is lonely country, with broad, windswept vistas that narrow as you enter the canyon. Wildlife is abundant, particularly birds and springtime brings flowers sometimes as early as late February or early March. Look for black desert parsley, balsamroot, phlox, lupine and much more along the trail.

This is easy walking, gently treading downhill along the creek. Take the time to appreciate the trestles and the decking that volunteers have undertaken to make them safe for hikers and other users.

Dogs are required to be on leash on this trail. Also, please stick to the path, as much of the adjoining property is private. And note that Swale Canyon is generally closed from July 1 - October 1 each year because of fire danger.


Klickitat Rail Trail - Swale Canyon

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 45.7240, -121.0308 Open map in new window


Southwest Washington -- Columbia River Gorge - WA

Washington State Parks

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Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking Columbia River Gorge (Craig Romano - Mountaineers Books)

Getting There

From Lyle, take the Lyle-Centerville Hwy. Go north, then east for about 15 miles. Turn left on Harms Road. Drive north one-half mile and park just north of the bridge. There is a portable toilet at the trailhead.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee


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Klickitat Rail Trail - Swale Canyon

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