Trip Report    

Cougar Mountain: Jim Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trailhead

Cold, early winter morning at Cougar Mountain!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The trails we did were in excellent condition, although several short muddy spots. Graupel snow on the ground started just under 1,500'. Eventually about an inch or two of snow in the trail and on the trees made it quite pretty. But snow was mostly spotty and no spikes were needed.


Arrived at the trailhead at 7:20, no other cars. The honey pot was clean and stocked, but the door lock was broken. Temperature hovered near freezing, but no ice on the ground. We did the loop route over Wilderness Peak with the side trip to Long View Peak. The morning sun peaked at us for a short while up near the high point with a hint of blue sky above the fog. Not much in the way of views, but was a pleasant hike in the woods. Lots of moss, especially on the boulders. Had the whole place to ourselves, then saw five other hikers on our way down and ten cars in the parking lot. This was a nice, short morning workout only an hour and 20 minutes from Olympia via mostly back roads, so we avoided most local area commuters.