A friend of mine recently pointed me to a book:

Mountain Bike America: Washington by Amy Poffenbarger

The book is a fabulous, detailing over 60 rides across the states. One of them is the John Wayne Pioneer Trail! (Pages 298-327)

Amy separated the ride into 7 days riding from North Bend to the Idaho border (west to east) covering 312 miles.

Here are some important items I gleaned from the reading-

  • Riding from North Bend to the Columbia River (in Central WA) is part of Iron Horse State Park and pretty well maintained.
  • No real places to stay east of Lind. Need to contact DNR about possible camping sites
  • You must register for a free permit as you enter the US Army Yakima Training Center .
  • Riding from the Columbia River to Idaho on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail requires a permit obtained through the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, which takes several weeks and must be done ahead of time.
  • Some sections of the trail are not passable either due to tunnel closures (not mentioned in the book), private land access issues (Smyrna to Warden), or damaged/derelict bridges (Just before Lind and Marengo to Ralston).
  • Day 5 of our trip will be the toughest as we climb up 2000' from the Columbia River to skirt the Boylston Mountains.