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Renton, Washington, United States

Squak Mountain Connector Trail

Part of the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.

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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 0.7 miles / 1.1 km
Duration: 1 hour or less
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
 
Overview: Often when hiking on this trail I find myself alone. Not because the trail is not worth hiking but because it is not well known. If you are hiking on the Southside of Cougar Mountain many hikers opt to start out from the paved parking area located a few hundred feet west, to make their trek to the mountain peak via the Wilderness Creek Trail. You can access this trail from the main parking area; however, there is a small dirt pull out conveniently located at the trailhead that will provide direct access.

Hiking up from this trail provides the shortest route up the mountain to reach the summit. It also allows you to choose the Wilderness Creek Trail on your return trip allowing you to make a loop without having to hike the same trail on your decent.

The dirt pullout is also a great parking area if you are looking to hike both Cougar Mountain and Squak Mountain. The West Access Trail on Squak Mountain can be accessed by a small trail entrance across the road. It can be difficult to spot as the entrance does not appear to be maintained. Standing in the dirt pullout area you should see a large dirt clearing directly across the street, the trail entrance is located to the left of the business property.


Tips: How to get here:

From I-90, take exit 15 and head south on Highway 900 for 3.3 miles. The trailhead marker will be on your right, see guide photo, there will be an asphalt driveway leading uphill and to the right. The parking area will hold about 15 cars but rarely is full. There is an additional parking area 100 meters east, it is a small dirt pullout that can fit 2-3 cars and gives you direct access to the trail.

Connecting Trails:

Wilderness Creek Trail
Wilderness Cliffs Trail
West Access Trail (Squak Mountain)

Park Hours:

8:00AM - Dusk open year around

Amenities:
-A single portable restroom is located at the paved parking area.
-No water sources are available.
-Supplies can be picked up in Issaquah off of I-90.

Points of Interest

Junction
map

Crossroads

Here is an intersection for 3 different trails. North of this point will lead you up the mountain on the Wilderness Cliffs Trail. To the west you can travel on the Wilderness Creek Trail which can take you down to the parking area or on an alternate route to the top of the mountain. South will take you down the mountain on the Squak Mountain Connector Trail.
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Large Ferns

The second half of the trail is covered with dense ferns. There will be a few open pockets in the forest where light can come in but the majority of the trail is shady. Bring an extra layer of clothing on cooler days as the temperature may be cooler as you walk through the forest along this trail.
Water
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Small Creek

This is a small creek, more of a puddle really, that you will come across. On rainy days it will swell and you may have to carefully cross the water as there is no bridge over the water area, the water will never be deeper than 2-3 inches.
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Rocky Beginning

The first half of the trail begins off with a steady climb up a rocky trail. The trail is wide and appears to have been an access road at one point. Most of the trail is covered in loose rocks so use caution as you make your way up.

A sturdy pair of hiking boots with ankle support will help on this section of the trail.
Junction
map

Trailhead Marker

This is the first trailhead marker on the trail. You will see the sign shortly after crossing over the metal gate that blocks the trail from motor vehicles.

Wilderness Cliff Trail 0.7 miles
Wilderness Creek Trail 0.8 miles
Wilderness Peak Trail 2.0 miles
Parking
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Park Entrance

This is the start to the Squak Mountain Connector Trail. At the entrance is a small dirt pullout where 2-3 cars can be parked to access the park. There are no restrooms at this parking are but it is a short drive up the road to reach the main parking area. This is the best parking if you are planning to reach the summit.

If you wish to continue onto Squak Mountain, this is a great parking area as the West Access Trail on Squak Mountain does not have a parking area.
Pictures in this guide taken by: gbhoskins

Squak Mountain Connector Trail Trail Map


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About the Author

gbhoskins
gbhoskins
25 guides
view gbhoskins's profile
Just moved back to the Pacific Northwest and love exploring new trails.

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