kendall_edpVia Signpost, a terrific new development from Washington State Parks: a hiker shuttle up Snoqualmie Pass. I’m feeling lazy, so I’ll just quote liberally from Andrew Engelson:

The new “Bus-Up 90 Shuttle” will run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and starts at Cedar Falls, which is near Rattlesnake Lake outside North Bend. The shuttle runs to Hyak, east of Snoqualmie Pass. The ride will be air-conditioned and the shuttle has room for backpacking gear, plus a trailer to provide transport for bikes. The shuttle is primarily intended for folks intending to hike or bike down the John Wayne Trail, a 20.5-mile gravel path that follows the old Milwaukee Railroad.

The shuttle will also provide return service and apparently can make stops at trailheads along the western I-90 corridor if you pre-arrange it. There will be three departures daily from Cedar Falls and Hyak.

Schedule and directions are here.

  • Rock on. This type of shuttle is long overdue. There are a huge number of hikers traveling up I-90 every weekend (one of the greatest things about living in Seattle is the extreme proximity to wilderness trails). I’d love to see this shuttle expanded and extended. In a perfect world it would run from Seattle to Bellevue and to the major trailheads; and it should run year-round for skiers and snowshoers too.

    So, great news for hikers in the central Puget Sound region. But what about other places in the Northwest? In past discussions of guilt-free hiking, readers have had a bunch of good tips for low-carbon trailhead access in British Columbia, Oregon, New York state, and beyond. Does Bellingham have transit access along Chuckanut Drive? Can Portland hikers bus it out the Columbia Gorge? Let us know what you know!

    In the meantime, your moment of zen comes from commenter Michael Newton; it’s hoisted from a previous post:

    Vancouver’s north shore has loads of hiking that’s accessible by transit. We’ve got the advantage of having nothing but wilderness north of the city; if you skirt by Whistler, you could probably head north all the way to the Arctic Ocean without hitting another town! Cypress and Seymour Provincial parks, Lynn Canyon and Lynn Headwaters regional parks, not to mention numerous smaller parks and of course, the Grouse Grind.

    Wow.

    Photo is the Pacific Crest Trail’s Kendall Katwalk, one of the dayhiking destinations served by the new shuttle.

    Update 7/17: I hope I didn’t over-sell the virtues of this shuttle. As several commenters have pointed out, it’s kind of expensive, and it has a fairly limited route and schedule. It’s great for using the Iron Horse Trail (which is awesome, by the way), but maybe not yet perfected for hiking uses. Still, it strikes me as a big step in the right direction. I’d love to see more like this.