Frontcountry Trail Run - Cougar Mountain Loop


Frontcountry Trail Run - Cougar Mountain Loop

Interested in practicing your winter running with an after work adventure? Join us (including a fabulous pup named Leo) for what will, most likely be, a wet and wintry Tuesday evening run on Cougar!

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.
  • Moderate
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 5.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,352 ft
  • Pace: 10-16 minutes/mile

Please note that the difficulty rating of this run is now CHALLENGING due to the conditions! Be prepared for snow and ice (and a very long email in regards to that... sorry)!!

Otherwise, hope to see you there!

Meeting Location: the parking area for Big Tree Ridge Trail off Newport Way. It's a widened area on the side of the road to allow for vehicle parking. If coming from exit 15, it should be on your left a few minutes down the road after turning on to Newport Way (the photo is facing the opposite direction). 

Big Tree Ridge Trailhead.PNG

Departure Objective: shoes on, talk accomplished, and feet to trail by  5:30 pm. Check out the nice map below. :) 



  1. - Build community and enjoy getting outside during the beautiful and temperate winters of the PNW.
  2. - Our aim is to complete an approximate five mile loop, keeping an eye on the time and conditions. (I'm approximating a 1-1.5 hour run.) We'll be adjusting the run, as needed to account for terrain, conditions, and how everyone is doing.
  3. - Be safe'ish-prepare for mud! Also, maybe snow. Currently, it's looking like this will be a WINTER RUN (finally!). We'll be running slow, to account for this, so the moderate ranking of the run is more based on the conditions than anything else.


I'm expecting a pace range between 11-15 minutes/mile. There will be an ascent at the beginning, but then terrain should be fairly gentle and rolling. It should be easy to adjust to accommodate all!


This area of Cougar Mountain is an lovely mix of everything from a few gravel roads to single track and heavily wooded areas to several graveled tracks. Expect elevation gains varying from ~1300 feet (according to Caltopo) elevation gain depending on the distance/pace we choose. Expect a lovely evening with at least a stop or two to check out the evening's sights, read some historic signs, and water the pooch.


Link to the King Country Trail map:


Cougar Mountain Loop

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • Sturdy running shoes
  • Layers - be prepared for the weather
  • Terrain may be varying: I'll scope out the area and provide further equipment as needed to prep for the winter conditions (i.e. micro-spikes or yak-tracks - make sure they work with your shoe choice). Feel  free to bring these anyways, if you like
  • A running light and backup
  • Any other desired running equipment
  • Additional safety gear as determined by leader
Trip Reports