Explore the most popular birding trails near Cougar with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Wonderful hike and an easy trail to navigate once you've found the trailhead. If you're hiking upstream the actual trailhead can be tricky to find if you don't have service or good directions. If you're unfamiliar with the area I strongly recommend getting familiar with directions because GPS commonly fails here.

hiking
1 day ago

didn’t expect to do this underground cave today because we didn’t have proper lights. we were just going to hang out by the entrance to take pictures, but got so excited and amused by the scenes that we decided to carry on the upper (more difficult) trail using our iphones as lights. highly suggest using head lamps as you want your hands free. it’s flat rock at time, but there are a lot of boulders you need to climb.

i liked entering through the main cave entrance and taking the ground trail back to the parking lot. if i did it vice versa i would’ve probably been more uneasy taking the cave back.

it was my first cave experience / hike, but overall, i highly recommend.

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike with beautiful forest scenery, moderate elevation gain, and rewarding views from the top. It took us about 3 1/2 hours total which included a short walk on the Loowit trail at the top and a lunch break. You start off in a rock field, then most of the trail is through forest, and towards the end the trees thin as you walk through loose gravel. The uphill section wasn’t too steep but still tired us out. Bring lots of water. We veered off the trail at one point and used the All Trails app to get back on track. Really helpful.

Such an incredible hike! It starts off fairly easy to get you warmed up before the climb really takes off! It’s definitely a tough hike, especially the last trek through the ash and sand up near the summit. But the view is so amazing, all the hard work pays off! The group I hiked with started out in the early morning on October 19th and the weather was perfect: sunny with a gentle breeze! Highly recommended hike! (Always be ready for whatever weather conditions come along though!)

Completed this hike last Friday (October 12th) and weather was perfect, sunny with a little chill in the air. The last mile was the hardest by far but well worth the effort!

Completely loved this hike. Perfect weather yesterday, sunshine and no wind. I won’t lie, this was a hard hike for me. Loved the bouldering but the ridge line of ash kicked my ash. Fantastic visibility granted us a glorious view of the crater, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt.Hood and what we think was Mt.Washington. It was incredible. The hike down was hard on tired legs but we found the rocky trail below Monitor Ridge was easier than the boulders. Wonderful. Best hike of my life!

more steps than trail,but what views definitely do again

hiking
5 days ago

Perfect hiking conditions—70 degrees, no wind and almost no one on the mountain on a Monday morning. Leaves are changing colors and amazing views the whole way. Easy drive from PDX, took about an hour after crossing in to Washington. I’d rate the trail moderate only for length—it was never steep or difficult terrain. My only negative on this trail is it is a dry trail, so be sure to bring enough water for you and the dogs. You’re in the woods for all but the last mile, so you don’t have to worry too much about being overexposed to the sun.

I loved everything about this hike. Great views at the start and at the finish of the hike. We went to the Loowit trail and headed right for a quarter mile or so. Beautiful views of Hood.

I e only ever done the very short part of this hike where we loop back after the suspension bridge but this time we decided to go right and continue on. I looked at the map and I saw where we could stay in the Lava Canyon trail by keeping left at the bridge. Once we hit SCOTT trail we took a little break over looking the river. We decided to go down SCOTT trail u til it met up with the upper part of Lava Canyon trail. It is t marked but you can see the trail to the left. Also I knew it was only .3 of a mile. They really should put signage there. The upper trail is all up! Looks like an old Forrest access road overgrown. But we had to take a couple short breaks to rest. It’s over 3 miles up. I believe we climbed about 1204 feet. I could definitely say no dogs past the suspension bridge and this is definitely rated HARD in my book. Scary at times. I am glad I did it.

This was by far my favorite hike of 2018. Challenging, beautiful, fun and plenty to see. Went of trail to get behind and underneath some waterfalls, but nothing too crazy!

Awesome experience! I’ve never done a subterranean hike and this was absolutely amazing. It wasn’t too crowded today. I went al the way back on the lower trail until I belly crawled to a point where my brain said enough! I did a small portion of the upper trail as I soon realized my knee injury didn’t approve. I will return and finish that tho. Again. Amazing! But please please please bring a headlamp or flashlight. Saw a few iPhone users and it just didn’t cut it.

I FOUND YOUR CAMERA!!!!
Hiked to summit today and found it on the way down. Please contact me with a description to claim it so I can get it back to you. 425-785-1140

so so pretty

Completed this hike on Tuesday, October 2. We had clear beautiful weather in the treeline, then the wind picked up. We were in and out of clouds for the rest of the ascent. The winds were around 55kph when we started and increased to 65+kph (around 40mph) as we were reaching the top. We had ice forming on us as we continued to gain elevation (my calculations said that it as about 19 degrees with the wind chill). Even with multiple layers, it was getting really cold. Made it to the top with the wind against us in about 5 hours. It was 34 degrees at the top, still heavy winds, so we didn’t stay long. Three hours down...the boulder field was a challenge with the wind on our backs. Knocked me down a few times. But we made it! Incredible experience, empowering, and worth the frozen hands, and wind burnt face. =)

hiking
20 days ago

Absolutely beautiful!

10/2/18

I made it! I started at 6:30am and it took me 7 hours up and 4 hours down. What can I say I'm slow, but I made it and that's all that mattered to me. I saw 7 people turn around because the weather got bad. The weather was about 50 degrees at the beginning, but got very cold as the day went on. The strong wind gusts knocked me over a few times and I had icicles on my hat and gloves. Take your time, stop a lot if you need to, enjoy the views, and start early especially if you're a slow hiker. And remember your head lamp!

Kids had a blast. My kids are younger so we stuck with the lower caves. But, I would love to come back at some point for the upper section. Definitely worth while for everyone to explore. Bring good lights and back ups.

Sunday, 9/30/18, was not the best day to go up the mountain! The weather came in and it was foggy, lost trail markers on the way down, app worked great didn’t need to break out gps. Then the weather changed towards the top and blowing wind and freezing rain. Even with full ski gear I was still cold. The trail was everything as advertised though! Three adventures in one, forest, bouldering, and the challenging ash section. Don’t wait to break out your trekking poles!

Hike starts off nice and easy as it goes for strenuous hikes go for the first 3 miles and then you hit the boulders and loose rocks then the grind begins . Don't forget to look around and take many breaks . We left camp at 6:30am and reached the summit around 11:30 follow the poles but don't be worried about how close you stay to them because there are many trails close by and they all lead to the top . Breathe taking views we were lucky enough to go up on a clear but windy day . Took about a dozen pics and headed back down . The trip down was a lot faster than the way up . Back to camp around 2:30 . Tough but worth it

You can just go rogue in the caves with a headlamp it was absolutely sick

hiking
26 days ago

Great Trail.. Love the waterfall at the end..

I wanted so bad to climb the Lava Tube..But thinking..will get stuck?

hiking
26 days ago

great hike

This was an awesome trail. I underestimated this trail but it was well worth it. We went up a few weeks ago it was cold and foggy the way up but the top was gorgeous. I took up a 40 lbs pack to prepare for some hiking my wife and I are going to do in Peru in a month. This was a great test. I’m on the thicker side and was definitely feeling the weight going up. The boulders are harder going back down than coming up. The ash is not fun going up but much easier in the downslope. Went with a group of 6 and I was the slowest. The entire trip up and down with lunch and observation time at the top was like eight and a half hours. This trail can be done by almost anyone as we met younger kids (12ish in age) to older like mid-late 60’s going up. Just have to be ready to suck wind for a while. We were stopped by rangers and asked for our permits, so make sure you have them. Make sure you take poles. It would have been much harder coming down the rocks without those. Anyways an amazing trail.

Had bad luck with the weather on our hike yesterday. Thick fog, driving rain, and relentless wind. Our party of 12 split into a slow group and a fast group once we arrived at the Last Chance bathroom. This was a good point to add layers, have a snack and a rest. Once you pass the tree line, the boulders were a fun challenge. A little difficult to see the trail, but easy enough to see the trail guide pole even in the fog. Unfortunately, the wind and rain made the journey too cold to continue to the summit and we turned back just before the ash field. I’d say the decent in the boulder field was by far the most challenging. Wear gloves - using my hands was far more effective than my poles. I read on a previous post that the trail hike back feels longer than it does on the ascent and it absolutely does. Can’t wait to try this hike again, hopefully in better weather next summer!

For gear, I was grateful for my poles, warm wool hat, neck cover and gloves, though by the time we returned to the car, I don’t think a single article of clothing on me was dry...

hiking
1 month ago

Easy hike went early,had Trail to ourselves. Will go again.

Did this yesterday, September 19, 2018. Great experience. The scree at the top was easy since it was wet from recent snow melt. No need for poles going up, but would have been useful for the down trip. Up in 4.5 gours, down in 2. Beautiful weather at summit...sun and no wind but clouds to the south, spent and hour up there which I hear us unusual.

on Lava Canyon Trail

1 month ago

Not for kids or dogs. Watch your footing as it gets very narrow in some spots. It was pouring rain when we went so we had to be extra cautious on the slopes and the ladder.

Super hike/climb.
The boulder field was a lot of fun.
The ash was fustrating.

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