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Rainier Trail - Issaquah

Issaquah Alps
47.5314, -122.0358 Map & Directions
Length
2.5 miles, one-way
Elevation Gain
100 feet
Highest Point
250 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Easy
Train Depot along the Rainier Trail. Photo by Erik Morgenstern. Full-size image
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Good for kids

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

A conveniently accessed, easy walk through historical and picturesque downtown Issaquah and surrounding forests. Continue reading

Rating
2.00 out of 5

Hiking Rainier Trail - Issaquah

While this trail doesn't feature spectacular views or virgin forests, it is rich with history. This history includes the town of Issaquah and its regional railroading and timber harvesting and milling. However, there's more recent history here, too. Along the way, you'll pass places fought for and preserved thanks to local trails advocacy with the Issaquah Trails Club headquarters, and Harvey Manning who coined the term "Issaquah Alps".  It's a conveniently accessed, easy walk through historical and picturesque downtown Issaquah and surrounding forests. 

The trail runs approximately 2.5 miles one way along the historic Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railway grade as it snakes a large "U" shaped route through the town of Issaquah. The trail surface is paved on the western half, and is gravel or earth for most of the eastern portion. An easy start point is the Issaquah Depot Museum, but also can be accessed in many other locations along the route including the Issaquah Community Center, and Confluence Park.

The trail starts on the western end of town at the corner of NW Gilman Boulevard and NW Juniper Street and heads southwest on a wide separated sidewalk past Confluence Park, the Darigold milk plant and the Village Theatre. 

After crossing Front Street, continue southwest past the Issaquah Depot Museum, the statue of trail advocate Harvey Manning, and the Issaquah Community Center.  The trail continues on the paved railroad grade, but once you cross 2nd Avenue, it reverts to gravel and starts the big bend east and then back north behind Issaquah High School. 

Pass the intersection with the High School Trail, which runs back south to Poo Poo Point. There is a minor deviation from the railroad grade along the back side of the high school past the Issaquah Sportsmen's Club but is well signed.  Pass several access points up to the Tradition Lake Plateau. Continue north until the railroad grade ends and drop down a steep gravel/stairs trail to East Sunset Way.

Take a minute to imagine the long since removed, huge railroad trestle that spanned the valley at this point.  The trail ends after crossing I-90 and runs uphill to meet the continuation of the railroad grade, now the Issaquah-Preston Trail.

WTA Pro Tip: An easy loop option is available, stitching the two ends together with the Issaquah-Preston Trail which runs east-west just north of I-90 for a total loop mileage of about 4.5 miles. Find more walking routes in the town of Issaquah here

Hike Description Written by
Erik Morgenstern, WTA Correspondent

Rainier Trail - Issaquah

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.5314, -122.0358 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

Driving directions

Take the Front Street exit (exit 17) from either east or westbound I-90. Follow Front Street south approximately one quarter mile then turn left (east) on Alder Street and park near the Issaquah Depot Museum. The trail runs just east of the museum.

Take Transit

This trailhead is accessible by bus! Plan your visit by bus using TOTAGO, or consult the schedules for King County Metro route numbers 200, 208, 214, and 271. Sound Transit route number 554 also services this trail.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Issaquah Alps

City of Issaquah

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Rainier Trail - Issaquah

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