Riding the Hiawatha

You can ride or hike the trail any time between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. from its' opening date (generally Memorial Day weekend) to its' closing date (usually the first weekend in October).

The trail is operated and maintained with fees collected from all users.

A shuttle bus can transport you and your bike between Roland & Pearson trailheads.



  • If you plan on using the shuttle, an early start is recommended - especially if you are riding with children or plan on spending time at the interpretive sites. Please note the shuttle times and plan your trip accordingly.
  • Wearing sunglasses in the tunnels is like riding blindfolded. Take those glasses off before entering a tunnel to avoid sudden encounters with the tunnel walls and other obstacles!
  • Bring plenty of water for your ride. Many factors in addition to the physical effort of riding can bring on dehydration. When you stop to enjoy the scenery, take a drink of water - your body will thank you! 


  • All users are required to purchase and display their tickets at all times.
  • Some of the tunnels are very dark, so all users must have lights and helmets to ride the trail.
  • Adult supervision is required for children under the age of 14.
  • Dogs and pets are not allowed on the trail. Please leave your pet at home and don't leave it in your vehicle at the trailhead -  it can get hot at the trailhead and neither the Forest Service nor the concessionaire can be responsible for your pet's safety.
  • Your ticket to ride helps fund maintenance of the trail.


Contact Lookout Pass Ski Area for bike rentals.


"The best darn railroad in the world" is the way one old timer referred to the Milwaukee Road. The incredible history of the construction of this line was followed by the unprecedented electrification of several long stretches of the main line, forming the longest electrified mainline railroad in the world.

Italians, Serbs, Montenegrins, Austrians, Belgians, Hungarians, Japanese, French Canadians, Spaniards, Irishmen, Swedes, Norwegians, and others worked together from 1906 to 1911 to construct the Pacific extension of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad. It took thousands of workers, at a record cost of $260 million, but they managed to do it in record time. Then, generations of railroaders proudly kept the Milwaukee Road running until it finally went bankrupt in 1977.

Today, people are working together again on the railroad. The project has captured the imagination of hundreds of volunteers and organizations who have donated funding, labor, materials and equipment to make the dream a reality. The US Forest Service is transforming the railroad grade into the Route of the Hiawatha Rail-Trail.

For more information contact: