Cougar Mountain Indian Trail
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.
Join our newsletter
Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers
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.
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.
Cougar Mountain Indian Trail Elevation Graph
Weather ForecastCheck Area Weather
Cougar Mountain Indian Trail Reviews
Add a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.
- Sky Country to Harvey Manning Loop
- Far Country Falls via Licorice Fern Trail
- Licorice Fern Trail
- Sky Country Trail
- Shy Bear Trail
- Talus Bridge Trail
- Klondike Swamp Trail
- Longview Peak and Far Country Lookout Loop
- Sky Country and Military Road Trail
- Indian, Shy Bear, and Quarry Loop
- Coal Creek Falls via Cave Hole Trail
- Coal Creek Falls via Nike Horse Trail