Iron Horse Trailstop in Hyak, WA
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Hyak was established around 1915 at the eastern portal of the Snoqualmie Pass Milwaukee Road Railroad tunnel. Originally a train station, the community began to grow in the 1930s when the railroad built a world class ski area. Today there are approximately 200 full-time residences in Hyak and another 100 part-time.
Hyak is located two miles (3 km) east of the summit of Snoqulamie Pass at an elevation of 2,600 feet (790 m). It is 16 miles (26 km) northwest of Easton and is part of the Easton school district.
In 1915, Hyak replaced Laconia as the main train station on Snoqualmie Pass. Hyak had a small school house, and a post office. The Milwaukee road built a ski area at Hyak (from 1937–1950) originally known as The Snoqualmie Ski Bowl until World War II. After the war, it reopened as the Milwaukee Ski Bowl so it was not to be confused by The Snoqualmie Summit ski area located 2 miles north. A Class-A ski jump was built in 1941 and was said to be the largest ski jump in North America and held national championship events from 1941 until 1949 when the lodge was lost to fire. The train station saw its last train roll across its tracks in 1981 when the Milwaukee Road Railroad sold off the line and it was decommissioned. The old line is now part of the parks system called the Iron Horse State Park. The Hyak community still exists in the same area from which it started even though there is no train service. There is no longer a school and post office, but there are many more people living in the area today.
Most of the residents of Hyak work in the Seattle-Bellevue area and commute 25–50 miles. Hyak is also home to the Snoqualmie Pass Cable TV company as well as Summit East, which is 25% of The Summit at Snoqualmie ski area.
Points of interest
- Keechelus Lake
- Iron Horse State Park: This former right-of-way for the Milwaukee Road today serves as a path for bikers, hikers, cross-country skiers and horseback riders. From I-90 at exit #54, turn south at exit, turn east (left) on Hwy-906, 1/2 mile turn right on Lake Keechelus boat launch road, turn right on next road approx. 200 ft. In winter, you will need a Sno-Park permit to park in this lot.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Phillips, James W. (1971). Washington State Place Names. University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-95158-3.
- Lost Ski Areas of Washington, retrieved on July 22, 2009