Swauk Discovery Trail #1335

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

The Swauk Discovery Trail is a loop trail that begins and ends at Forest Road 9716 at the Swauk Discovery Trailhead Interpretive Site.

At the trailhead, a large kiosk displays a map and information about this educational trail, including free brochures for a self-guided tour. The brochures correlate tonumbered stops along the trail describing forest management techniques and forest ecology visible to the hiker. Also along the trail, hikers will encounter additional signing that identifies tree and plant species. The trail consists of two loops, providing an opportunity for a short hike of almost two miles, while the longer loop is over 2.5 miles. The trail winds uphill through different forest types and runs along a ridge before crossing Forest Road 9716 at 1.5 miles. From the road crossing, the trail continues uphill to the highpoint, which provides good views of the surrounding mountains. From there, the trail heads downhill again for 0.75 mile to the trailhead.

SETTING: Forested mountain side, open ridgetop, logging units.

At a Glance

Open Season: Summer
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions: Hiker only. Equestrian, mountain bike and motorized use prohibited.
Closest Towns: Cle Elum, WA
Passes: A valid Recreation Pass is required at the trailhead.  Washington State Discover Pass is not valid.

General Information


A large parking lot with restrooms.


The trailhead is located just south of Blewett Pass, between Leavenworth and Ellensburg. From Highway 97 at the top of Blewett Pass, turn south into a large parking area and take Forest Road 9716 (at the upper end of the parking area) approximately 0.5 mile to the signed Swauk Discovery Trailhead.

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Day Hiking

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Difficulty Level: Easy

Outdoor Learning

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