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    Cougar Mountain Indian Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    Very Easy
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    4.8 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    72 m
    User Ratings
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Cougar Mountain Indian Trail is one of the most-used trails on Cougar Mountain. This hike is 4.8 km long but only involves 72 m of elevation gain, making it an ideal trip for those wanting classic hiking scenery without the work that’s usually required to earn them. Very close to Renton and Issaquah and easily reachable from Seattle, this trail is an easy quick trip for adventurers of all skill levels. Expect the Far Country Falls and the serene mossy forest to be the focal point of your adventure. Horses also use this trail, so remember to give horses the right of way whenever possible.

    The falls can dry out significantly when there hasn’t been much rain, so we recommend visiting during a wetter week or earlier in the hiking season if you can.

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    Route Description for Cougar Mountain Indian Trail

    The Indian Trail is the most-used trail on Cougar Mountain. It’s quite easy while still being very scenic, with a lush forest leading you to the Far Country Falls. It’s a good short trip for beginners and families. We recommend visiting after it’s rained recently to get the best version of the falls possible, but even if you can’t, the forest will provide a great setting to get out for a while.

    There are several trails that intersect with this one, offering you the chance to extend your trip if you’d like.

    You can either start from the Licorice Fern trailhead or from the end of 171st Ave. We prefer 171st as there is better parking at the end of the street than at the other trailhead. At the parking area, try to leave enough room for horse trailers to turn around for their sake and the sake of your car.

    Starting from the cul-de-sac at the end of the street, you’ll walk only a few hundred feet before the Licorice Fern Trail joins you. If you started on the Licorice Fern Trail, you’ll have a bit of a longer hike to the point where the trails meet.

    Hike straight on for about a 0.8 km. Here, you’ll reach the junction with the Far Country Trail. You can take a quick detour to the Far Country Lookout by going right here. Otherwise, keep going straight. Not far after this junction, the side trail to the falls will be on your left. It’s not signed, so watch for the path that leads to the stone steps.

    Pop down to see the falls, which can either be very impressive or fairly weak depending on the recent rainfall. Sometimes it pays to hike when it’s wet! Return to the main trail when you’re done.

    After 0.3 km, you reach the next junction. Go straight here. It’s another 0.8 km to the end of the trail.

    The Indian Trail terminates in a restored meadow across the creek. From here, retrace your steps to the trailhead or check your map for extensions if you want to keep exploring.

    Trail Highlights

    Far Country Falls

    Far Country Falls are splendid when they’re flowing after heavy rains. The unique cascade splits into many different streams as it cascades over moss-covered rocks. There are more tiers than you can count and each is incredibly charming. If you’re hiking in the wintertime, make sure to dip down to the falls to see them at their most powerful.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Where do you park at Cougar Mountain?

    The easiest place to park is the turnaround at the end of 171st Ave SE. There is more parking here than there is at the alternate trailhead.

    Are dogs allowed in Cougar Mountain?

    Yes, dogs are allowed on leash. Please ensure they stay on leash on the Indian Trail as horse traffic can be expected.

    Insider Hints for Cougar Mountain Indian Trail

    • Come visit in the winter to see the falls at their most impressive.
    • Try exploring some of the intersecting trails if you want a longer journey.

    Getting to the Cougar Mountain Indian Trail Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Cougar Mountain Indian Trail is at the end of 171st Ave. There is also another possible starting point at the Licorice Fern trailhead on SE Licorice Way.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Cougar Mountain Indian Trail Elevation Graph

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