Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail In Washington

Here is everything you need to know about the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Washington
  • Length: 1.3 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: gravel
  • Managed By: National Park Service
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail, located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, holds a significant historical background. The trail is named after Fred Cleator, a renowned naturalist and conservationist who dedicated his life to preserving the natural beauty of the area. The trail was established in the early 1970s as a means to educate visitors about the rich history and ecological importance of the surrounding landscape.

The history of the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail dates back centuries, as it was once inhabited by indigenous tribes who relied on the land for sustenance and spiritual connection. These tribes, such as the Salish and Lummi people, had a deep understanding of the local flora and fauna, and their knowledge was passed down through generations. The trail showcases the remnants of their ancient settlements, including archaeological sites and artifacts, providing visitors with a glimpse into the lives of these early inhabitants.

During the 19th century, European settlers arrived in the region, drawn by the abundance of natural resources. The trail highlights the impact of logging and mining activities that shaped the landscape during this period. Interpretive signs along the trail detail the challenges faced by early settlers and the subsequent changes to the ecosystem. The historical information presented on the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail serves as a reminder of the complex relationship between humans and the environment throughout history.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Cleator Bend Trailhead: This is the main access point for the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail. It is located at the Cleator Bend Campground and provides parking facilities for visitors.

2. Cleator Bar Trailhead: Another access point along the trail is the Cleator Bar Trailhead. It is situated near the Cleator Bar Campground and offers parking facilities for hikers.

3. Cleator Landing Trailhead: This access point is located near Cleator Landing, providing a starting point for hikers who wish to explore the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail.

4. Cleator Horse Camp Trailhead: For equestrian enthusiasts, the Cleator Horse Camp Trailhead serves as a starting point for horseback riding along the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail.

5. Cleator Bend Day Use Area: This area serves as a trailhead for day hikers who want to explore the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail. It offers parking facilities and amenities for visitors.

6. Cleator Bar Day Use Area: Similar to the Cleator Bend Day Use Area, this location provides a trailhead for day hikers and offers parking facilities and amenities.

7. Cleator Bend Campground: While not a designated trailhead, the Cleator Bend Campground serves as a starting point for campers who wish to access the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail.

8. Cleator Bar Campground: Similarly, the Cleator Bar Campground is not a designated trailhead but provides camping facilities for visitors who want to explore the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail.

Transportation Available

1. Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail Parking Lot – Convenient parking area for visitors to the trail.
2. Metro Bus Stop – Public bus stop located near the trail for easy access.
3. Taxi Service – Local taxi company providing transportation services in the area.
4. Ride-Sharing Service – On-demand ride-sharing service available for transportation needs.
5. Bicycle Rental Shop – Rental shop offering bicycles for exploring the trail and surrounding areas.
6. Car Rental Agency – Rental agency providing cars for those in need of transportation.
7. Shuttle Service – Shuttle service offering transportation to and from the trail.
8. Train Station – Nearby train station for those traveling by rail.
9. Airport – Local airport for visitors arriving or departing from the area.
10. Private Transportation Services – Various private transportation companies offering personalized transportation options.


The amenities available at the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail may include:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available for visitors to use during their visit.

2. Parking: There might be designated parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles while exploring the trail.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the trail’s location and regulations, there could be camping sites available for overnight stays.

4. Picnic Areas: There may be designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can enjoy a meal or snack.

5. Interpretive Signs: The trail might have interpretive signs or panels providing information about the surrounding nature, wildlife, or historical significance.

6. Benches or Seating: There could be benches or seating areas along the trail for visitors to rest or enjoy the scenery.

7. Trail Maps or Brochures: Visitors may have access to trail maps or brochures that provide information about the trail’s route, points of interest, or safety guidelines.

8. Trash Receptacles: There might be trash receptacles available along the trail for visitors to dispose of their waste properly.

9. Information Center: There could be an information center or visitor center where visitors can obtain additional information about the trail, local attractions, or any upcoming events.

It is important to note that the availability of these amenities may vary, and it is recommended to check with the trail management or local authorities for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Lodging:
– Cle Elum River Campground – A nearby campground offering tent and RV sites along the scenic Cle Elum River.
– Suncadia Resort – A luxury resort with various accommodation options, including hotel rooms, vacation rentals, and a spa.

2. Food Services:
– The Last Resort – A rustic restaurant and bar serving American cuisine with a riverside view.
– Swiftwater Cellars – A winery and restaurant offering fine dining and wine tasting in a beautiful setting.

3. Emergency Services:
– Kittitas Valley Healthcare – A local hospital providing emergency medical services.
– Cle Elum Police Department – The local police department offering emergency assistance and law enforcement.

Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail Difficulty Notes

The Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail offers a moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels. The trail spans approximately 1.5 miles and features a well-maintained path with gentle inclines and occasional rocky sections. While some parts may require a bit of effort, the trail is generally accessible and manageable for most individuals. Along the way, hikers can enjoy interpretive signs that provide information about the local flora, fauna, and history, enhancing the overall experience. Whether you are a beginner looking for a scenic stroll or a more experienced hiker seeking a leisurely adventure, the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail offers a satisfying balance of challenge and enjoyment.

Features And Attractions

The Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail is located in the Olympic National Park in Washington state. While I cannot provide an exhaustive list, here are some scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that you may encounter along the trail:

1. Lake Crescent: The trail starts near the shores of Lake Crescent, a stunning glacially-carved lake known for its crystal-clear waters and beautiful surroundings.

2. Marymere Falls: A short side trail leads to Marymere Falls, a picturesque waterfall cascading down moss-covered rocks.

3. Barnes Creek: The trail follows Barnes Creek, offering peaceful views of the rushing water and lush vegetation.

4. Old-Growth Forest: The trail winds through an old-growth forest, where you can marvel at towering trees, including Douglas firs and Western hemlocks.

5. Historic Log Cabin: Along the trail, you may come across a historic log cabin, providing a glimpse into the area’s past.

6. Interpretive Signs: The trail features interpretive signs that provide information about the local flora, fauna, and history of the area.

7. Wildlife: Keep an eye out for wildlife such as deer, elk, birds, and possibly even black bears or cougars.

8. Mossy Trees: The trail is known for its moss-covered trees, creating a magical and enchanting atmosphere.

9. Sol Duc River: Towards the end of the trail, you’ll reach the Sol Duc River, where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the flowing water.

10. Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort: While not directly on the trail, the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort is nearby and offers a relaxing soak in natural hot springs.

Remember to check with the Olympic National Park visitor center or website for any updates or additional attractions along the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets are allowed on the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Please clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
3. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail.
4. The trail is open year-round, but certain sections may be closed during winter months due to hazardous conditions.
5. Camping or overnight stays are not allowed on the trail.
6. Fires and smoking are strictly prohibited on the trail.
7. Please stay on designated trails and do not venture off into restricted areas.
8. Respect wildlife and do not disturb or feed any animals encountered on the trail.
9. Littering is not allowed. Please carry out any trash and dispose of it in designated bins.
10. Visitors are encouraged to leave the trail as they found it, preserving its natural beauty for others to enjoy.

Seasonal Information

The Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail is a beautiful hiking trail located in the Olympic National Park in Washington state. This trail offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the diverse ecosystems of the park and learn about its rich natural and cultural history. When planning a visit to the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail, it is important to consider the best times of the year to visit and any seasonal closures that may affect your trip.

One of the best times to visit the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail is during the summer months, from June to September. During this time, the weather is generally mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from the 60s to 70s Fahrenheit (15-25 degrees Celsius). The trail is usually accessible and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, forests, and rivers. Summer also brings an abundance of wildflowers, adding vibrant colors to the landscape and enhancing the overall hiking experience.

However, it is important to note that the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail may have seasonal closures during the winter months. The trail is located in a mountainous region, and heavy snowfall can make it unsafe and inaccessible. Typically, the trail is closed from October to May due to snow and icy conditions. It is advisable to check with the Olympic National Park website or visitor center for the most up-to-date information on trail closures before planning your visit.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail are during the summer months when the weather is pleasant and the trail is accessible. However, it is crucial to be aware of any seasonal closures, particularly during the winter months when heavy snowfall can make the trail unsafe. By planning your visit accordingly and staying informed about trail conditions, you can ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience on the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Trail: The Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail is fully wheelchair accessible, allowing individuals with mobility challenges to explore the trail with ease.
2. Paved Surface: The trail features a smooth, paved surface, ensuring a comfortable and safe experience for wheelchair users.
3. Wide Pathways: The pathways on the trail are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, providing ample space for maneuvering.
4. Accessible Restrooms: ADA-compliant restrooms are available near the trail, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
5. Handicap Parking: Designated handicap parking spaces are provided near the trail entrance, allowing easy access for individuals with mobility limitations.
6. Braille Signage: The trail features Braille signage at various points, providing visually impaired individuals with information about the surroundings.
7. Audio Guides: Audio guides are available for visitors with visual impairments, offering a narrated description of the trail’s features and points of interest.
8. Benches and Rest Areas: The trail includes benches and rest areas at regular intervals, providing opportunities for individuals with mobility challenges to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
9. Assistance Animals: Service animals are welcome on the trail, ensuring individuals with disabilities have the necessary support during their visit.
10. Accessible Interpretive Displays: Interpretive displays along the trail are designed to be accessible to individuals with disabilities, featuring large print and tactile elements for enhanced understanding.

Safety Information

1. Stay on the designated trail: To ensure your safety and protect the delicate ecosystem, please stick to the marked path.
2. Wear appropriate footwear: Sturdy shoes or hiking boots are recommended to navigate the uneven terrain.
3. Carry water and stay hydrated: It is essential to bring an adequate supply of water, especially during hot weather.
4. Use sunscreen and insect repellent: Protect yourself from sunburn and insect bites by applying these products before starting the trail.
5. Watch out for wildlife: Be aware of your surroundings and maintain a safe distance from any wildlife you encounter.
6. Be cautious of slippery surfaces: Some sections of the trail may be wet or slippery, so proceed with caution to avoid accidents.
7. Check weather conditions: Before embarking on the trail, check the weather forecast to ensure safe hiking conditions.
8. Inform someone of your plans: Let a friend or family member know about your hiking plans, including your expected return time.
9. Stay alert for trail markers: Pay attention to the trail markers to avoid getting lost or straying off the designated path.
10. Respect the environment: Help preserve the natural beauty of the area by not littering and leaving no trace of your visit.

Conservation Notes

The Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail is a conservation area that is currently in a stable and well-maintained condition. The trail is carefully managed to ensure the preservation of its natural resources and the protection of its unique ecosystem. Conservation efforts have been put in place to safeguard the trail’s flora and fauna, as well as its geological features.

The conservation status of the Fred Cleator Interpretive Trail is considered to be of high importance. The trail is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species, some of which are rare and endangered. Efforts have been made to identify and protect these species, ensuring their survival and promoting biodiversity within the area.

Conservation measures include regular monitoring of the trail’s ecosystem, as well as the implementation of sustainable practices. This includes the removal of invasive species, the restoration of damaged habitats, and the promotion of responsible visitor behavior. The trail’s conservation status is regularly assessed to ensure that it remains in a healthy and sustainable condition for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.

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