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deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines." - L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park

Parent Category: Hiking
Created: 24 August 2015
Location: King County, Issaquah
Address: 18201, Southeast Cougar Mountain Drive, Issaquah, WA 98027
phone: +1 206-296-8687
Hours: 8.00 a.m. - dusk
GPS Coordinates: N 47 31 42.2 W 122 05 59.7
Visitor’s Information:

Discover Pass Not Required

Pictures below will take you on a virtual tour through this wonderful park. Enjoy the views!

Photo from Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, King County

General Information:

Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park is one of the best recreation places in King County, full of history and various natural wonders.


One may call it an “urban oasis” as it’s a huge park (3,115 acres of protected area) full of wildlife, located just several minutes drive from such Eastside cities as Bellevue, Newcastle and Issaquah.
Despite the fact that it is so close to civilization, this incredible park takes you deep into nature and away from the bustle of the city just in a minutes’ walk.

Photo from Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, King County

The Cougar Mountain Park has a diverse landscape. Its western part is rather mountainous, and its central and eastern parts are basically wetlands and marshes. Hiking there you will find second growth forests, cliffs and caves, streams and waterfalls (4 waterfalls could be found there). Besides the hiking trails the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park has several lookouts providing you with really breathtaking views of Lake Sammamish, the Cascades and Bellevue.

Photo from Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, King County

The park is a perfect representative of history, nature and culture of the King County.
It used to be a home for Native Americans who came there for hunting and gathering berries and plants. Then later, when the area started to be settled, a lot of miners and loggers had been working there. As a result, there are a lot of mining caves and coal mine shafts left at the territory of the park, which you can explore during the hike.

During the Cold War there were two Nike missile installations were positioned on the current territory of Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park (near the Sky Country Trailhead). They were intended to protect the Puget Sound area from the possible air attacks. Later these missile sites were discarded. There are some information signs making the history of the place available for those who are interested in it.

Photo from Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, King County

As Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park is a county park, it doesn’t need any entrance fee or a Discovery Pass. The parking is also free.

It’s a great place not only for the hikers but also for family outings as there is a huge amount of trails of different complexity.
The park comprises 38 miles of hiking trails and 12 miles of equestrian trails. Its dog friendly, but no bikes are permitted on any of the trails.

Photo from Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, King County

There are four main trailheads in the park: Jim Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trailhead (previously called the Wilderness Creek Trailhead), Anti-Aircraft Peak Trailhead, Sky country Trailhead and Red Town Trailhead.

At each trailhead there is a stand with a big map of the park posted on it and some small printed trail maps which you can take along not to get lost. All the trails are good marked, with a lot of signs showing where you are and distance to your destination.
All the trails are also clean and really well maintained.

 

These pictures were taken in April, 2015

Directions:

Jim Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trailhead: you should take Exit 15 from I-90 and then drive south on HWY 900 (17th Ave NW, then Renton-Issaquah Road SE) for about 3.3 miles.

Red Town Trailhead: you should take Exit 13 from I-90, then go south on Lakemont Blvd SE for 3.1 miles. The entrance to the Red Town Trailhead should be on the left side of the road.

Sky Country Trailhead: you should take Exit 13 from I-90, then go south on Lakemont Blvd SE for 2.5 miles. Then turn left on SE Cougar Mountain Way and then turn right on 166th Way SE. Drive along 166th up to its end (about 0.7 miles). On the right will be the Sky Country Trailhead.

Anti-Aircraft Peak Trailhead: you should take Exit 13 from I-90, then go south on Lakemont Blvd SE for 2.5 miles. Then turn left on SE Cougar Mountain Way. Then you should follow the double yellow line (the road will turn left and will be named 168th Pl SE, then it will turn right and will become SE 60th St.). Turn off 60th to the dead end road, which is SE Cougar Mountain Dr.

GPS Coordinates: N 47 31 42.2 W 122 05 59.7

In order to get directions click on the map below:

Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska

Information: Svetlana Baranova

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