Day Hike - Cougar Mountain Loop

Explore a waterfall, "cave hole", historic clay pit, spectacular viewpoint and a former missile launch site, with lunch at a picnic table at either the viewpoint or a shelter, depending on the weather, on an easy loop hike through the northern, and most historic, part of the beautiful Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.

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
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 6.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 400 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 1,483 ft
  • Pace: 2.0

Meet at 9:30 AM at the Sky Country Trailhead parking lot, reached by taking either Exit 10 (Coal Creek Parkway) from I-405 or Exit 13 (Lakemont Blvd) from I-90.  From Exit 10, go east on Coal Creek Parkway, turn left at Forest Drive, left at Lakemont Blvd SE, right at SE Cougar Mountain Way, right at 166th Way SE and then right at the end of the road into the Sky Country Trailhead parking lot.  No parking pass is required.  There is a portapotty at the parking lot and near the lunch spot. 

We will hike a counter-clockwise loop by Coal Creek Falls, a deep coal mine ventilating shaft, a now-landscaped former clay pit, the best viewpoint in the park and the former Nike missile site.  We'll have our lunch at a picnic table, either at the viewpoint or a nearby picnic shelter, depending on the weather.  There is a portapotty at the trailhead parking lot and near the lunch spot.  There will also be opportunities for party separation bathroom breaks at numerous trail junctions we will pass through. 


Cougar Mountain Loop

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
Trip Reports