Day Hike - Coal Creek Falls Loop


Day Hike - Coal Creek Falls Loop

This is a Spring time hike to photograph the waterfalls of Cougar Mountain. We will photograph North Fork Falls, Coal Creek Falls and Far Country Falls. Depending upon group interest there is also an option for a west to east through hike that would also include Doughty Falls.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Easy/Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 6.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,000 ft
  • Pace: 2 MPH

Red Town Trail Head  Parking Lot 8:00 AM

Directions: From Interstate 90, take Exit 13 and drive south up the hill on Lakemont Boulevard Southeast for 3.1 miles. Look for the entrance to the Red Town Trailhead on the left side of the road. From Interstate 405, take Exit 10 and follow Coal Creek Parkway Southeast 2.4 miles to the shopping center. Turn left at the light onto Southeast 72nd Place and then left again at Newcastle-Coal Creek Road. Follow Newcastle-Coal Creek Road for 1.9 miles. Look for the Red Town Trailhead on the right side of the road just after the big bend.


This is a photography oriented hike and the pace of the hike will be oriented around maximizing the photographic experience with long stops to photograph the waterfalls and also casual stops along the way to photograph flora fauna including mosses, spring blooming flowers, and the forest.    This is a great hike for both beginner photographers to grow their skills and for experienced photographers to pursue their personal vision.  If interested or needed I can provide guidance in techniques for photographing waterfalls, including longer exposures to blur water along with wide angle and telephoto composition techniques.   This hike is timed to coincide with the arrival of spring at Cougar Mountain, with lush green foliage and still ample water runoff to make for beautiful waterfalls.  It is hard to believe that these waterfalls exist in the midst of suburbia, and a few of these are not well  known, tucked into less visited parts of the park.  Depending upon group interest there will be an option for a west to east through hike that would visit four waterfalls but require leaving a few cars at the Wilderness Peak Trail Head along SR 900.  For more on the Waterfalls of Cougar Mountain check out my blog post Waterfalls of Cougar Mountain ,  you can also check out some of my Issaquah Highlands at   When you sign up please let me know if you would be interested in the through hike experience!  


Cougar Mountain: Red Town Trailhead

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun protection
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination
  5. First aid supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair kit and tools, including knife
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter
  11. Wide Angle Zoom or Fixed Focal Length Lens (Required)
  12. Mid Range Zoom (recommended)
  13. Macro Lens (Recommended)
  14. Tripod (Required)
Trip Reports