Outdoor Seattle

Cougar Mountain Regional Park. A great place to get in shape for Washington’s summer hiking

Cougar Mountain Regional Park

Cougar MountainCougar Mountain Regional Park is just minutes from Eastside cities such as Bellevue, Newcastle, and Issaquah; it is located in the “Issaquah Alps”.  The park covers 3,115 acres and is open to the public from 8 AM to dusk.  Cougar Mountain Park is connected to Squak Mountain State Park by the Cougar-Squak Corridor, which then creates a protected area of public land of approximately 5,000 acres.  The park lies between 1,000 and 1,595 feet above sea level and features many diverse habitats such as mature second growth forests, streams and wetlands, cliffs, talus, and caves.  There are some sweeping views of the region, including Lakes Sammamish, the Cascades, the Cascades, Bellevue, and Seattle and beyond.  Hosts of birds are regularly seen along with wildlife such as black bears and bobcats.

There are 36 miles of hiking trails within the park of which 12 are mixed use and horses are allowed.  The park is a unique opportunity for wildlife observation within an urban area.  Click park trail map for a guide to navigate the trail system.  You can also click Mapquest for an area map.  It is a 21 minute drive from Bellevue to the park.

Directions to the Trail heads for the park

Red Town Trail head
From I-90: Take Exit 13 and drive south on Lakemont Blvd SE for 3.1 miles. Look for the entrance to the Red Town Trailhead on the left side of the road.
From I-405: Take Exit 10 and follow Coal Creek Pkwy SE for 2.4 miles to the shopping center. Turn left at the light onto SE 72nd Pl and then left again at Newcastle Gold Club Road. Follow that for 1.9 miles. The entrance to Red Town Trail head is on the right side of the road just after the big bend.

Sky Country Trail head
From I-90: Take Exit 13 and drive south on Lakemont Blvd SE for 2.5 miles. Turn left on SE Cougar Mountain Way and then right on 166th Way SE. Follow 166th to its end (0.7 mi). On the right is the Sky Country Trailhead parking lot (horse trailer space available).

Anti-Aircraft Peak Trail head
From I-90: Take Exit 13 and drive south on Lakemont Blvd SE for 2.5 miles. Turn left onto SE Cougar Mountain Way. Follow the double yellow line (the road will first swing left and become 168th Pl SE and then right to become SE 60th St). Turn off 60th St uphill onto the dead end road, SE Cougar Mountain Dr. The road will change to gravel – at the end is the trailhead.

Wilderness Creek Trail head
From I-90: Take Exit 15 and drive south on Hwy 900 (17th Ave NW and then Renton-Issaquah Road SE) for 3.3 miles. Look for the trailhead sign and an asphalt driveway that goes uphill to the right.

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