This is one of the most scenic trails on the south side of Cougar Mountain. It is also one of the steeper sections of the park, which f... more »rom the parking area quickly gains 1000 ft. in elevation. There are a few breaks in the elevation gain towards the middle of the trail where you will pass through Shy Bear Marsh. Along the way there are a few creek crossings and some wooden bridges to aid in your crossings. At times there will be a few breaks in the forest where you can glimpse out over the top of the lower elevation trees and see the surrounding mountains.
If you are not in a hurry I would suggest taking this trail in route to the Wilderness Peak. It will only take you an extra 20-30 minutes but the views on this trail surpass the other routes up the mountain. Once you reach the end of the trail you will join up with the Wilderness Peak Trail, which takes you up a 1/2 mile trail to the peak. On your way back down you can either return the way you came up or take the Wilderness Cliffs Trail. This forms a nice loop that will connect back with the Wilderness Creek Trail midway down the mountain. Overall I think that this is one of my favorite trails to hike on for the views and a great trail run if you are looking for a challenging uphill run. less «