Cooper River is a 8 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Ronald, WA that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
This riverside trail offers no expansive views and doesn't explore any wildflower meadows or high alpine country. But it does track alongside a beautiful mountain river that sports a healthy population of hungry trout. It also provides ample opportunity to practice your bird-watching. The trip can be done as a one-way hike by shuttling vehicles or by hitching a ride back down the road from Cooper Lake. The trail follows the pretty Cooper River valley upstream to Cooper Lake. The trail stays on the north side of the creek, and at times the valley narrows enough for you to hear (and possibly see) traffic on the road that runs on the other side of the valley. Ignore that interruption as you explore the dense old-growth forest around you.
Great trail with awesome views, even in the rain. Beautiful hike!
We started at the salmon la sac trail head onto cooper river 1311 trail. This was a 6 mile out and back trail that had plenty of Beauty to offer especially during early fall! Wonderful colors, beautiful peeks of the river along the way where you can see salmon swimming. We even got to see two doe and a buck close to ten feet away. Beautiful hike and was a decent work out for a not too experienced hiker. Would recommend and do this hike again.
7/10/2016 (Sunday) -- This trail is definite a good one for beginner hikers, dry, gently inclined, river view, shade of woods, not rugged. Paved road stretches to campground, which is very popular on summer weekends, but the unpaved road (about half mile or less) from campground to trailhead has some big potholes. The trailhead (Salmon la Sac) provides access to three Forest Service trails (1311 Cooper River, 1310 Polallie Ridge, 1309 Waptus River). The Cooper River is gorgeous, but can been seen only near the trailhead. This trail seems to be used lightly, but in good condition, providing good solitude.
We hiked from the Salmon la Sac Trailhead to the end of the Cooper River Trail and then continued to Cooper Lake & the Owhi Campground via Forest Road and Owhi Trail. There is a vault toilet/restroom at the trailhead. Although the trailhead was packed, most people were playing at the nearby swimming holes and we had the trail almost entirely to ourselves (over the course of 8+ miles we ran into two other couples and a girl on horseback while on the trail). The trail runs high above the river and there are actually only two places where you can easily access the river. Both spots are about 2.5 miles in - but are well worth the hike in and of themselves. It is a quiet and peaceful hike through old growth forest. Lots of shade perfect for a hot August day. The lake and campground are a popular place and we had a lot of company - but we found our own spot and enjoyed a picnic, swimming and fishing. All in all a great way to escape the heat and enjoy a day outdoors! We will be back. Finally, it should be noted that this is NOT a strenuous hike. On a difficulty rating scale from 1 - 5, this is a 2. This may be due to the fact that it is late in the summer, the trail is dry and the fallen trees have been cut away from the trail.