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IP Road (former Yale Reservoir Logging Road)

South Cascades


South Cascades -- Mount St. Helens
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7.4 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 300 ft.


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Parking Pass/Entry Fee


Formerly a logging road, the Yale Reservoir Trail was acquired by PacifiCorp as part of its licensing renewal agreement for its North Fork Lewis River dams.

The organization plans to construct a 3.5 mile hiking-biking trail along the east side of Yale Reservoir. The former International Paper log haul road has been closed since 2008 when storms washed out numerous sections of the road but it is open to the public for walking.

In anticipation of creating a more formal trail, PacifiCorp has repaired all the washouts with new culverts and fill in preparation for construction of the trail and associated facilities in 2017.

The trail provides easy walking on mostly intact asphalt on the only public foot access to the east shore of Yale Reservoir. Streams plunge down from the steep ridge above the trail in cascades of waterfalls reminiscent of the many side streams in the Columbia River Gorge.

Hikers will also enjoy views across the nearly 4,000 acre lake. Empty and eerie in winter, in summer it is full and busy with boats and jet skis.

In this damp environment, keep an eye out for Rough-skinned newts that may hang out on the road. The hike is nearly flat, with only about 300 feet of elevation gain in the last half mile on the return to the starting point.

At 3.7 miles, arrive at your turnaround point; a site known as Canyon Washout, where a 2009 debris flow washed away several hundred feet of roadbed and left a 200-foot deep chasm. This point also will be the end of the developed trail.


IP Road (former Yale Reservoir Logging Road)

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.0552, -122.2530 Open map in new window


South Cascades -- Mount St. Helens


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Getting There

Drive to Cougar, Washington (30 miles east of I-5 from exit 21). From Cougar, continue east for 3.1 miles and at the Skamania County line take a sharp right turn onto an unmarked paved road. Cross a bridge over the Lewis River and continue straight at the Y-intersection to a gate and the trailhead.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee


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IP Road (former Yale Reservoir Logging Road)

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