Sam Hooke

Palouse to Cascades Trail - Homestead Valley to Mine Creek Trestle

We arrived about 9am on a Saturday. At first the parking lot looked full, but it’s quite long, and turned out there were actually still a lot of spaces.

The start of the trail can be hard to spot from a distance. If in doubt, keep walking towards the end of the parking lot with the restroom, and you’ll soon see the trailhead on your left. There is only a short climb up to the old railway line, after which the rest of the hike is unsurprisingly flat.

Keep an eye and two ears out for cyclists while on the trail. There were more cyclists than hikers, some travelling at quite a speed, and even more rock climbers than both combined!

We crossed three trestle bridges, each of which has a sign on the east (uphill) side with the bridge name. They were: Change Creek, Hull Creek (referred to as Hall Creek on Google Maps), and finally Mine Creek (referred to as Mill Creek in the description).

When crossing Hull Creek, pause at the east end, and you can almost picture a steam locomotive passing through. The timbers themselves appear to have retained the smell.

Mine Creek trestle was my personal favourite. The trestle itself is long and curved, allowing an unobstructed view of the bridge, and a high vantage point to watch birds and scour the valley. We saw a Turkey Vulture fly close by, and there was bear scat on the trail just beyond the east end of the bridge.

The weather was very hot, and the trail offered less shade than I had hoped, with some occasional sections of tree cover, but mostly exposed. Fortunately since the trail is so flat, the going is easy.

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