The Historic Yellowstone Trail
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Trip Report -
Peshastin to Fall City
After driving over Steven's Pass we met up with the Yellowstone Trail as it turns south toward Blewett Pass near the town of Peshastin. This is part of the 1925 route that follows the Sunset Highway. The weather was great with lots of blue sky and sunshine. It was just above freezing in the morning but later it got up to 55 degrees. The road was bare and dry so we were in for nice drive.
We drove along some original parts of the route as we headed for Blewett Pass. This view is along what is now called Campbell Road. After crossing over the new road, we turned onto the Old Blewett Road. This road connects back to the new road and in about a mile the old road turns right and crosses Ingalls Creek. The route follows Ingalls Creek Rd. for about a mile to the gate. We passed by Brender's Service Station and Park. The station was built in 1926 and sometime after a campsite was built. This is a link to a page about the station. We then continued on to the end of the road.
The original road continued up the hill toward the pass. As you can see from this photo of the old road, there is a lot of snow on the ground. From here, you can walk up this part of the road for about a mile and a half until you come to the place where the hillside slid down and buried the old road.
Back on the new highway we spotted one of the old bridge abutments. They used rock instead of brick to build these abutments. The ghost town of Blewett was covered with snow so we weren't able to stop. Farther down the new highway you can get back onto the old road and drive up and over the Old Blewett Pass. In 1956 the road was realigned over Swauk Pass and bypassed the old winding road. In 1992 the state changed the name of Swauk Pass to Blewett Pass. I am hoping the road over the Old Blewett pass will be open in the spring.
After crossing over Swauk Pass we started down the road toward Cle Elum. We stopped at the site of a ghost town that was called Virden. This town was at the junction of SR970 and US97. Nothing remains of this town today. This photo looking north shows a part of the old highway to Ellensburg. At this junction the route turns right and follows Swauk Prairie Rd. This view is of the old alignment heading back toward US97 and Blewett Pass. This road is still unpaved and the view was spectacular. As we continued toward town we took a few more photos and then at the bottom we stopped to see a herd of deer grazing in a pasture.
Arriving in Cle Elum we stopped for some gas and refreshments. To make some time we hopped on the interstate to Easton. At Easton State Park we tried to drive on the old road up to the switchback but the snow prevented this. Looks like we will have to wait for springtime.
Back on the interstate we headed for Snoqualmie Pass. The original road along the shoreline of Keechelus Lake was narrow and rough. The hillside was steep and the rock made grading extremely difficult. The state is in the process of widening the interstate along the lake and they have obliterated this stretch of the old road along with the hillside where the old Sunset Lodge used to be.
At the summit the snow was deep but the road was clear. We then took a drive down the Yellowstone Rd. This now and then photo shows the snow almost as deep as the then photo. These photos were taken approximately in the same place just in different directions. The old photo is looking east and the new photo looks west.
After a photo of the old route at the summit, we were going to try and drive down the old route on the west side but the snow must have been over 10 feet deep. So it was back on the interstate to North Bend. From here we took the old route down the hill and into Fall City.
It was an excellent drive with no problems. Looking forward to more exploration when the snow melts.
For more information on Blewett Pass - Click Here.
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