Cascade District

Committee Chair,  Tom Pearson - CGTom@aol.com, (206) 236-0275

  • Unit leaders, please provide Tom Pearson contact information for your Camping Chair
  • Please contact Tom Pearson with your backpacking and camping questions and needs.

Backpacking Ideas

Need ideas for your next backpacking trip?  Here are two resources:

  • Order of the Arrow's maintains an interactive list of trips.  Click here.   
  • Washington Trails Association has trips ideas and user feedback.  Click here.  

 Off-Season Camp Rentals

Just starting the year and need an easy and successful camping experience?  Use our Scout camps!  They are particularly well suited for training courses and introduction to camping events.  Off-season camp rentals are in-expensive, hold large groups, great locations, and fun. Click Here


Hiking Trip of the Month

 Anti-Aircraft Peak (Cougar Mountain)

If you want views from Cougar Mountain, this is the trail to take--best in November through May, to avoid the summer clouds of mosquitoes. The route climbs to one of the highest points in the western Issaquah Alps, and along the way you'll find plenty of open viewpoints to take in the scenery of the central Puget Sound basin. The military early on recognized the value of these high peaks and built a missile launch and missile-command radar station atop Anti-Aircraft Peak.


The route starts by rounding the gate and heading up the road toward the Newcastle Brick Works clay pit. At about 0.75 mile you'll leave the road by veering left onto the Klondike Swamp Trail. This swampy basin was once a shallow impoundment behind a long dam across these headwaters of Coal Creek. The lake behind the dam filled with sediment (largely the result of runoff from area logging), creating the current boggy swamp. Birds of all varieties thrive in this accidental ecosystem--even wood ducks!


A mile into your hike through this rich environment, go left onto Lost Beagle Trail. The trail climbs slightly through the wild woods to a reminder of this area's military might--a high fence around Radar Park. Continue along the trail as it skirts the park perimeter and, shortly after crossing the access road leading into the park compound, stop and enjoy the best views of the day at a small knob locals have dubbed Million Dollar View. The panoramic splendor includes Mount Baker in the North Cascades (on especially clear days) to the Seattle skyline and the Olympic Mountains beyond.


After soaking in the scenery at the top, descend along the Shangri La Trail a short 0.1 mile before going right and then right again at the very next junction. This puts you on Anti-Aircraft Ridge Trail. Shortly, you'll encounter yet another fork in the trail. (Warning: There are myriad trails here, and if signposts get knocked down it's easy to take a wrong turn--a great reason to carry a map.) To the right is Lost Beagle Trail, leading straight back to your starting point. Go left instead to descend along Anti-Aircraft Ridge.


You'll soon find yourself at Cougar Pass (elev. 1,250 ft)--about 1.25 miles from Million Dollar View. This pass separates the drainages of Coal Creek and West Tibbetts Creek. Go right, this leads straight down to the Klondike Swamp Trail. This path skirts another swamp before merging into Tibbetts Marsh Trail. Stay right and climb a long 0.25 mile to the blue-sky views above the open cuts of the clay pits (elev. 1,375 ft). Hop on SE Cougar Mountain Drive here and follow it west and then south to 166th Way and your waiting vehicle.

 

Driving Directions: From I-90 take exit 13 onto Lakemont Boulevard. Drive south on Lakemont Boulevard, which becomes Newcastle-Coal Creek Road. After crossing "The Pass," turn left (east) onto Cougar Mountain Way. Continue about 0.5 mile before turning right (south) onto 166th Way. Drive about 0.75 mile to a gate and park, being sure not to block the gate.

Statistics

Roundtrip

6.0 miles

Elevation Gain

625 ft

Highest Point

1525 ft

Features

Lakes

Mountain views

Wildlife

 

Short Loop (approx 1.8 miles)

Start: Anti-Aircraft TH

Take - Shangri La Trail to SE (E1)

Turn Right and Stay Right - Lost Beagle Trail (N6)

Turn Right and Stay Right - Coyote Creek Trail (N4)

Turn Right and Curve Back - Shangri La Trail (E1)

 

Show Mt. Baker (aka Million Dollar) View Point

Teach Boys History on the Parade Grounds

Long Loop (approx 2.8 miles)

Start: Anti-Aircraft TH

Take - Shangri La Trail to SE (E1)

Turn Right then Veer Left – Tibbett’s Marsh Tr (N9)

     Stay Right & Right again @ Tibbett’s Marsh

Turn Right Cougar Pass Trail (N8)

Turn Right – Klondike Swamp Trail (N5)

Turn Right – Coyote Creek Trail (N4)

Turn Right – Shangri La Trail (E1)