Cooper River Trail

MODERATE 46 reviews

Cooper River Trail is a 5.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ronald, Washington 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.

Distance: 5.9 miles Elevation Gain: 954 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

blowdown

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.

hiking
1 month ago

In truth, this is a pretty easy stroll as there aren’t any major inclines. It was a beautiful walk, particularly after mile 2 when you come back to Cooper River, and I strongly recommend crossing the road at the end of the trail to see Cooper Lake. If you take a left, you’ll come to a bridge in 300 ft or so, which affords a gorgeous view of the lake in one direction & the river in the other. If you go back to the right, you can follow a trail to a campground that has access down to the lakeshore. Make sure you have an Adventure Pass or $5 for a day fee!

hiking
3 months ago

We set out for this hike at about 5:45pm and finished up just after 8pm. Only reason for the 3 star review is due to there really being no views. Trail is well maintained. We had a great hike!

snowshoeing
snow
7 months ago

Don’t be a doe-doe bird like us and stop short of the correct parking area for this Snowshoe. Go all the way to the end of Salmon La Sac Rd. It will be super obvious, as the plowing service ends abruptly. (Be sure to only park where there are posted signs so you don’t get a ticket. Rangers were in the immediate area.) We stopped about a mile or two short and parked near NFD Rd 46 because others were stopped there and we saw a porta potty. We ended up following a groomed trail for skiers and tons of snowmobile riders! Although it was fun to watch them zoom along the trail, and everyone was respectful and slowed down as they passed, it certainly felt like a race track at times. Our bad as this is a true snowmobile trail. We were parallel to the actual Cooper River trail, but on the opposite side of the river the entire time. We still had some great views of the river and surrounding forest, so we made the most of it. We were able to hike 5 miles and then cross a small bridge over the river. We found the TRUE Trail on the other side, but it was clear no one had crossed that path in some time. So we opted to play it safe, and turn back in the direction that we came from. This trail/road would be great for cross-country skiers.

hiking
Saturday, September 29, 2018

Nice hike for autumn. Went on a weekday and saw 1 other person. A little cooler made for perfect temps. No bugs. Leafy trees were showing off their colors and Cooper Lake is a beautiful payoff at the end. Only reason I give it a 4 instead of 5 is the trail actually ends at a road (FS road 4616 I think). You’re only 100 yards or so from the lake but I had to walk up the road a bit to find a way down to the water. Not ideal. Also, I have a pet peeve about hiking to places that I could’ve actually driven to, but maybe that’s just me. Anyway, nice 7ish mile round trip, beautiful day, can’t complain. Now that I’ve been there though, next time I plan to start at Cooper Lake and hike up to Pete Lake. No roads up there. Perfect.

hiking
Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Beautiful! We went on a Sunday afternoon. Parking was incredibly busy due to the swimming hole at the beginning of this hike. But we didn’t run into many people on the hike. Stopped to swim along the way at the lake. Loved it!

hiking
Saturday, June 02, 2018

Beautiful hike. Relatively easy but got in 8 miles by hiking to the end of the lake and back. Nice day.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Beautiful hike.! The entire hike is along the river. Pretty easy with little elevation gain. Once you get to the road, continue to the right on the road and cut down to the trail to the lake. Wildflowers were out. Even met a horse on the trail!

hiking
Monday, August 14, 2017

It was an easy trail. Hiked up to the lake and back. The dog swam in the lake and we enjoyed the views.

hiking
Saturday, August 05, 2017

Easy drive to parking lot, only half mile on dirt road at end. Recommend continuing hike 5 minutes down trail across road at turn-around point, for view of Cooper Lake.

hiking
Sunday, July 16, 2017

Pretty, easy hike. Dry, shaded, saw deer. Quite close to the river the entire way. Able to easily trail run about half of it without worrying about tripping! Did extend along the Cooper Lake for about .6 miles, not very exciting.

snowshoeing
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Great snowshoe trail and overall awesome day!

hiking
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Great easy/moderate hike. Had the trail to myself. No bugs. No mud. Trail is in good condition few trees down but nothing major. I recommend going to the end of cooper lake to check out the view.

hiking
Monday, June 12, 2017

A few trees were down that took a bit of effort to climb over and one group on horses had to turn around due to the tree but overall a pretty easy hike with some beautiful views.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Great trail with awesome views, even in the rain. Beautiful hike!

hiking
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

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.

hiking
Monday, July 11, 2016

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.

hiking
Monday, August 11, 2014

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.

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1 month ago

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2 months ago

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2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

recorded Cooper River Trail

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

recorded Cooper River Trail

snowshoeing
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

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