Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cougar Mountain Trails

A nice sunny weekend of 18th April '09 (a weekend before the last) started with a long list of frenzied activities to do, with plans to trek ON and OFF. After some deliberation, we said lets make it a best effort thing, if we finish off other stuff sooner, we can hit the trails. And indeed we finished our work and headed for the trails. By 1431 hrs we were at the parking lot.

The trail itself was very very boring, because even though it had surprisingly wild feel to it, the whole forest was dry, leafless and brown. As if everything around has been rendered lifeless. I wonder how beautiful the trails would look when trees are lush and more lively.
Beautiful Flower from Cougar Mountain Trail

Halfway through the trails, and we met an elderly chirpy couple. We hit a conversation with them and inquired what's worth seeing here, because so far it has been too boring. They gladly pointed us in waterfall's direction. Once we hit the waterfalls, everything looked lively, serene and green.
Standing on a rustic bridge from Cougar Mountain Trail

I love waterfalls. I had taken my tripod and was itching badly to take some slow-shutter (long exposure) shots of the beautiful falls. You can see some of the in my album.
Forceful yet Peaceful from Cougar Mountain Trail

The two things worth seeing here are the Coal Creek Falls and the Meadow Restoration Project, which we didn't see properly due to lack of time. In all, at the end of the day, the 4 hour trek was totally worth it just because of the beautiful falls.
Beautiful waterfall from Cougar Mountain Trail

Link to complete album: Cougar Mountain Trail.

Photo : Self
Directions and Marked trail maps: Ami

Now, for the enthusiastic ones, and as a reference to future trekkers, here's all the technical details that might be helpful.

Level of Trek: Beginner to Medium. But I can only speak of path we took.
This is the map marked with various trails, and the second one is marked in purple the trail we trod along.
Our path:
  1. Started walking on Red Town
  2. Left and onto Cave Hole Trail
  3. Right on Coal Creek Falls Trail (this is where we met that elderly couple)
  4. Right on Quarry Trail
  5. Right on Red Town Trail and back to parking lot
Directions to Town Trailhead:
  1. Drive on I-405 South (towards Renton), take exit 10 for Coal Creek Pkwy
  2. Continue toward 118th Ave SE/SE Coal Creek Pkwy, and continue on SE Coal Creek Pkwy
  3. Turn left at Forest Dr SE
  4. Turn right at Lakemont Blvd SE/Newcastle Coal Creek Rd
  5. Turn left at Lakemont Blvd SE, look for signs of Red Town Trailhead
Here's the Google Maps link to final destination, Red Town Trailhead.
And a very detailed map of the trails.


Indrani said...

awesome shots :)

Shishir M K said...

Superb photos..