Iron Horse Trail
The Ellensburg area has an abundance of enjoyable backcountry roads for bike and (of course) horseback riding, along with more strenuous trips into the Cascades to the west. The best among them is Iron Horse Trail, alternately known as John Wayne Trail, which stretches 110 miles across the state. The trail runs parallel to the Yakima River, with several trailheads in and around Ellensburg.
Mountain High Sports (105 E. 4th Ave., 509/925-2626) rents mountain bikes, in-line skates, tents, climbing shoes, skis, backpacks, and other outdoor gear.
For horseback rides, contact Happy Trails Horse Adventures (Eaton, 509/925-9428, www.happytrailsateastonwa.com). They offer horseback rides along of almost any length, all of them at least partially on the Iron Horse. Prices range from $90 for a three-hour ride to $165 for an overnighter, and, yes, food is included. In the fall and winter, the ranch offers old-fashioned hayrides and sleigh rides, sure to put a smile on the face and some red on the cheeks.
The 0.75-mile Altapes Creek Trail leads from the red barn to the Seaton Cabin Schoolhouse, originally located farther away in a meadow. The park also offers some relaxing seasonal fishing in the Coleman Creek.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition