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    Cougar Rock Loop Hike

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    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.
    6.6 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.
    289 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Cougar Rock Loop Hike is unparalleled in its beauty, leading adventurers through lush woodlands before culminating at the Cougar Rock, which boasts expansive panoramas. Offering a unique experience, this route is a must add to your Stanislaus National Forest itinerary.

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    Route Description for Cougar Rock Loop Hike

    This hike is an incredibly scenic experience. The beauty of a loop hike is that the trail boasts new scenery every step of the way. Wander through dense woodlands adorned with granite outcrops and mossy terrain before opening to panoramic views of the High Sierra from Cougar Rock. Single-track in sections, this shared path can be tricky to navigate when busy. We encourage you to head out early to beat the crowds! Though not necessary, the trail GPS may prove useful as there are numerous route intersections and changes.

    Setting out from the trailhead, your trek along the Cougar Rock Loop Hike follows the Arnold Rim/Sunset Loop Trail. Tracking west, you will shortly be diverted north along Cowell Creek. Continue hiking along Cowell Creek, and at the next intersection, veer left. Now trekking northwest, you will ultimately be led to the summit of Cougar Rock. The views of the High Sierra will astound you. Revel in the beauty of the verdant foothills and the craggy granite outcrops that surround you. When you are ready to continue, merge onto the Sunset Loop, heading south.

    At the following junction, you will reconnect with the Arnold Rim/Sunset Loop Trail. Wandering east, the route will eventually deliver you back to the trailhead—marking the end of your adventure.

    Getting to the Cougar Rock Loop Hike Trailhead

    The trailhead is located off Valley View Drive.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


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    Cougar Rock Loop Hike Elevation Graph

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    Cougar Rock Loop Hike Reviews

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