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Cougar Mountain Red Town Loop

Easy/Intermediate
 4.4 (33) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This well-maintained rolling loop is a treat just minutes from Seattle.


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Map Key

5.1

Miles

8.3

KM

91%

Runnable

1,278' 390 m

High

676' 206 m

Low

690' 210 m

Up

676' 206 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

33%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Cave · Waterfall · Wildlife

Overview

This is a great 5-mile loop that is easily accessible and well-maintained.

Runner Notes

You should get a map (as there are many trails that shoot off in all directions) or use the Trail Run Project mobile app. Take a wrong turn, and you could make a 5 mile run into a 10 miler (probably good for us). Maps can be downloaded here.

Description

This is a favorite run that I frequent as it is close to Seattle, has diverse terrain, a challenging hill, and great scenery. It is also the perfect trail to take dogs on as you rarely see people beyond the 1 mile mark from the trailhead.

The loop starts out with a climb on the Cave Hole Trail. This doubletrack trail leaves the Red Town Trail on a slow, steady climb up Cougar Mountain. There are old mining caves in several spots along the trail. The larger of the caves are barricaded and have warning signs around them about the risk of falling or poisonous gasses coming from the ground. Be cautious with small children in these areas. The lush forest growth gives the trail a magical quality as it traverses rocks and exposed roots.

Near the end of the Cave Hole Trail, use the short Bypass Trail to connect to Fred's Railroad Trail. From here, it is a short, gradual downhill to connect to the Shy Bear Trail, a rolling trail that trends downhill for its length to connect you with the Indian Trail. From here, the trail levels out and you have a flat to slightly uphill run back to the Red Town Trail and the Red Town Trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

This area was logged in the early days but has since grown back with classic flora and fauna. On rare occasions, it is possible to see black bears, but they tend to keep to themselves. Cougars have been sighted, but I have never seen one. Beyond these oddities, the rest is unsurprising.

Contacts

Shared By:

Mark Seidl

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 33 votes

#260

Overall
  4.4 from 33 votes
5 Star
48%
4 Star
45%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#21

in Washington

#260

Overall
352 Views Last Month
11,020 Since Mar 3, 2017
Easy/Intermediate

32%
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Photos

The start of your loop on the Cave Hole Trail is complete with plenty of tall, beautiful trees.
Jun 6, 2017 near Newcastle, WA
Bridge on Shy Bear Trail
Jun 17, 2015 near East Re…, WA
Lots of lush foliage surrounds the Shy Bear Trail.
Jun 6, 2017 near East Re…, WA
The moss is pretty impressive!
May 24, 2017 near Newcastle, WA
Red Town Loop is full of interesting little trailside things, such as this quote from Henry Ford.
Mar 12, 2018 near Newcastle, WA
Just a little trailside blossom
Aug 5, 2018 near Newcastle, WA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 54 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jul 18, 2020
Paddy Downey
I just x xx x xx./
Jul 8, 2020
Teresa Vodopest
May 24, 2020
Sam G
5.2mi
May 20, 2020
Jen Hammond
Sep 29, 2019
Shu Zhang
Sep 29, 2019
Kinga Kimbrel
5.1mi — 1h 03m
Aug 8, 2019
Jeremy Parker
Typical PNW feel. Soft pack, crazy pretty 5.1mi — 1h 01m
Jul 28, 2019
Barry Leff