Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cougar Mtn - Wilderness Peak Loop

Date of Hike: April 19, 2009

Hike Route: Wilderness Creek Trail => Wilderness Cliff Peak Trail => Wilderness Cliffs Trail => Wilderness Creek Trail

This is the reverse route of this hike.

This is a great time of the year to take this hike. The trail is mostly dry and firm and there is plenty of water running down the Wilderness Creek. Plus this is a great early season hike to get you in shape for the summer. This route takes about 2 hours from start to finish.

The hike starts at the Wilderness Creek Trailhead along SR 900 between Renton and Issaquah. There is space for about 10-12 cars in the paved parking lot off SR 900. Some folks park along SR900 if the parking lot is full.

There are some very soft spots along the upper parts of the Wilderness Cliffs Trail - so if you can, pack some filler rock from the parking lot to fill-in the wet spots on the trail.

From Wilderness Peak Hike - April 2009

The Wilderness Creek trail is in the best shape of the three trails on this hike. The trail climbs up quickly, but along the way you are treated to be the best creek views.

From Wilderness Peak Hike - April 2009

From Wilderness Peak Hike - April 2009

The upper area marsh area is a bit wet...but its a great time to see the area before it becomes a blanket of green. (see how this same area looks in Summer)

From Wilderness Peak Hike - April 2009

Watch out for some mud after the raised walkway.

From Wilderness Peak Hike - April 2009

After about 1.5 miles of uphill hiking you connect to the Wilderness Peak trail (there is no view at Wilderness Peak).

After another .4 miles the trail connects to the Wilderness Cliffs Trail. This is where the trail becomes a bit muddy still -- but is not too bad.

On the way back down the mountain, there is a peek-a-boo view of Mount Rainier. I got lucky this morning with clear skies and a nice couple cap clouds over the Mountain.

From Wilderness Peak Hike - April 2009

The Wilderness Cliffs trail connects back to the Wilderness Creek trail and then continues back to the trailhead and the parking lot.

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Area - Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park (Near Issaquah,Washington)
Trails - Trail Map (very good), also trails located on Green Trails Map 203S
Length - 3.6 miles out and back - Easy Hike (moderate uphill on first 1.5 miles)
Trail - Lollipop route, dirt trail, some small muddy spots along the way at the top. Well marked and maintained. Elevation gain is about 1200 feet.
Bikes - Not allowed on this hike
View - One great peek-a-boo view on Wilderness Cliffs Trail
Getting There - Google Map
Fee- None, free parking
Weather - Cool in the mornings
Other Trails - tons!