Cougar Mountain in Issaquah Alps / 伊瑟闊阿爾卑斯裏的美洲獅山

I had planned to go up Cougar Mountain recently. But then we found better weather up in Lord Hill Regional Park. So after yesterday’s trip, we gave the mountain another try. It was only 1.8 miles up to the main summit. So we extended the distance to get in more exercise.

Cougar Mountain memorial bench
Cougar Mountain memorial bench

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Cougar Mountain at a Glance

Access: Wilderness Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 7.7 miles
Elevation Range: 360′-1602′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Wilderness Creek Trail

There were two other cars in the lot. But I expected to see more people being that it’s MLK Day. We started hiking as soon as the recruit was ready to move. I still couldn’t tell whether he enjoyed walking. But I do know that he doesn’t care much for walking on a leash!

The .5 mile hike up to the trail junction felt like forever. But it was quiet. We were both going by the puppy’s speed. But I knew he would want to get inside my pack at some point. We met one hiker as they made their way down. Soon, we arrived at the Wilderness Cliffs Trail.

Junction break
Junction break

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Wilderness Cliffs Trail

The three of us took a short break by the junction. Long enough for a snack and to get the recruit inside my pack. He managed to hike .5 mile so far. Hooray! I bet Mr. Cody was glad that we finally picked up the pace. Soon, in .1 mile, we passed the Squak Mountain Connector Trail.

The 1.1 miles up to the next junction wasn’t too exciting. But we enjoyed a quiet walk through the lush forest. “Where is everybody?” I wondered. I had been avoiding the mountain in all my 12 years of hiking because of its popularity. But it was odd only to have seen one person so far.

Below Cougar Mountain summit
Below Cougar Mountain summit

See more trip photos here.

Cougar Mountain Summit

Right below the summit was another junction. From there, it’s only another .1 mile to get up to the forested summit. The area with the memorial bench was super muddy. So instead of stopping there, we left the trail and went to sit among the brush.

Not sure what we did to pass the time. But we somehow managed to hang out for almost an hour. Right as we were going to leave the summit, someone showed up by the bench. Though, the hiker didn’t stop long before moving away. We then proceeded to hike to our next destination.

Life is a winding road
Life is a winding road

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Long View Peak Plus Clay Pit Peak

Long View Peak was only .75 miles from the main summit. On the way down, we met two guys with their pups. Glad the junctions up here all had clear signs. Otherwise, one could surely lose their way. Soon, we arrived on top of Long View Peak. But we only stopped for a few seconds before continuing.

Clay Pit Peak was the farthest of the three. We hiked 1.6 miles on the main path to the northwest of the peak. Then from there, we went onto Clay Pit Road and walked to the end. But going up to the summit required scrambling a short distance.

Old roadbed to Clay Pit Peak
Old roadbed to Clay Pit Peak

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Outro

Eventually, we went clockwise through the top of Clay Pit Peak. Although there wasn’t much to see, it felt more open than the other two. There were many small down trees underneath the thicket. So it made walking a tad tricky. After a quick break, we scrambled down the west slopes to go back on the main trail.

Then from there, it was just three miles of hiking to get back to the car. We began to see small groups coming up the mountain on our way down. Later I let the pup out to get some fresh air back at the first junction. Then he walked the rest .5 mile back to the parking lot.

Finding our way out of Cougar Mountain
Finding our way out of Cougar Mountain

See more trip photos here.

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