The Trail sign
It's been called one of the most scenic stretches of railroad in the country. Easy 15 mile all downhill packed dirt/gravel bicycle ride (or hike) over historical and beautiful mountainous rail corridor. Very exciting and breathtaking, and the air is clear and invigorating. You ride through 10 tunnels and go over 7 trestles reading history all the way. Marshals with radios are stationed at the trailheads, both to collect fees and help in case of a problem. Cost is $7 per adult for the trail ticket and $9 for the shuttle. If you need any rental equipment pick it up at exit 0 Lookout Pass ski lodge right before exit 5 Hiawatha Trail. They have good bikes, kid trailers, lights, water, some snack food. The trail season is roughly Memorial Day to the first week of Oct. Weather conditions make this extremely variable; in 2002 it opened June 15. Be sure to call Lookout Pass (208-744-1301) before heading over & also check that the shuttle is running.
Hiawatha Trail Website
From Spokane, take I-90 East over 4th of July pass to Wallace and look for exit 5. The drive takes only an hour and a half from Spokane.
At Exit 5, turn Right off the ramp, then left past a storage building. From there, follow Hiawatha Trail signs to the East Portal.
The main trail goes from the East Portal to Pearson, where the shuttle takes riders back to the Taft Tunnel. Then you must ride through the tunnel again to reach the East Portal and your car.
This trip is too long for small children, but any youngster that is good with their bicycle would do well. Reservations are recommended in the summer. Insect repellent, sunscreen and lots of water are important. The Taft Tunnel is cold, so be sure to bring a jacket for that part. Helmets and lights are mandatory. You can rent them at Lookout Pass. Be sure to have good batteries for your lights, and turn them off between tunnels.