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The Historic Yellowstone Trail
in Washington

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The Ghost Highway

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Deep in the forest northwest of Lake Easton lies a part of the Yellowstone trail that has been abandoned for 90 years. I call it the Ghost Highway because a road is built to get you from one place to another. This part of the road goes nowhere, serves no purpose anymore and nobody lives on it.

Built in 1915 this 4 mile stretch of road was part of the original Sunset Highway and the YT. But in a mere 12 years this part of the road was abandoned because of the 1927 realignment that bypassed this area. 

The new alignment starts from about mile post 66 on I-90 and is under the eastbound lanes to where W. Sparks Rd. crosses under the freeway and takes the old bridge at Lake Easton.

Today most of this road is in it's original state. The only difference being the over growth that has choked parts of the road and made it impassable by auto. Today you can drive on about 1.5 miles of the road. The rest of the route you will have to hike on foot.

To get there take I-90 to exit 70 at Lake Easton State Park. Take W. Sparks Rd. and go NE and then back under the freeway. This is where the pavement ends. Follow the road as it turns to the right onto the old highway. In about 1000 feet veer to the right.

As you veer to the right you begin on the Ghost Highway. This part of the road is not used much anymore but a car can drive it without any problems for about a mile. As you continue you will begin to climb up the hill on a switchback

When you reach the top you can see the freeway in the distance. This being one of the 2 places that you get a view of the area. The road continues over the hill and soon you will come to a small clearing where you can park or turn around.

From here you will need to walk the rest of the way as the road begins to fade into the brush. The brush is so thick and tall that you cannot see anything but the brush. There is one spot that you do get a nice view of the valley and surrounding hills. Along the way we found quite a few side mirrors that had been torn off by the brush on those vehicles that tried to make it through.

After about a half mile the road opens up for about another half mile. This part is now used as an access road though it looks like nobody uses it much as it took a 4 wheel drive to reach this area. This part looks unchanged after all these years as it is still 20 feet wide and very little debris covering the road.

The remaining mile has been abandoned since 1927 and is over grown with downed trees. No path from here so exploring it would be difficult climbing over the trees and fighting the brush. I didn't go any further as time was running out.

If you want to see a part of the old road in it's original state this is the place to visit.

 


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