Coal Creek Falls

Coal Creek Falls

Elev. Gain: 
200 ft.
1,150 ft.
Issaquah, WA
2.50 miles (round trip)
Nature walk. Not much to see in summer.
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Accessible year round (although best in the winter and spring), Coal Creek Falls is a quick and easy trek to a satisfying waterfall in the heart of Cougar Mountain. A favorite spot for trail runners and dog walkers alike, this isn't going to be the most secluded or glamourous hike you've ever been on, but it's a hard-working trail that delivers a much needed escape from the everyday grind just minutes away.

There are many ways to get to the falls; we decided to opt for a start at the newer Sky Country Trailhead. It should be mentioned that Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park boasts 3,000 acres and 36 miles of trails, with a large number of those trails intersecting each other at various points. Maps are posted at the Sky Country Trailhead, which is very helpful in navigating the maze of trails.

To do the route you see in the video, start at the southwest corner of Sky Country Trailhead's parking lot and take Nike Horse Trail 0.3 miles until it meets up with Cave Hole Trail (C3). Take a right and head downhill 0.5 miles to the Coal Creek Falls trail (C4). Turn left and you'll be at the falls in another half-mile. Along the way, take notice of the leftovers from years of coal mining and logging and be glad the area is now protected from any further development. 

Permits & Tips

No fees are required. Best viewed during the rainy months as the falls becomes a trickle in the summer. Paved parking lot with stalls big enough for horse trailers. No toilets or drinking water.

>>Google Directions

How to get there

Head east on I-90 and take Exit 13 and drive south (right) on Lakemont Boulevard.
Turn left on SE Cougar Mountain Way.
Turn right on 166th Way SE and drive by all the McMansions.
Go through the gate and turn right into the parking lot.