September 11, 2021
Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park – Sky Country Trailhead
|Download the Field Trip Guide here!|
AEG Hiking Field Trip and Picnic Saturday, September 11, 2021
As previously announced in our “Save the Date” email, the registration for the joint AEG Puget Sound and Nisqually sections “Cougar Mountain Field Trip and Picnic”, Saturday, September 11, is now open through Brown Paper Tickets (see below).
The event will be held at the former Nike Park site next to the Sky Country Trailhead of King County’s Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park near Bellevue.
Cougar Mountain is bounded on the north by the Seattle Fault and on the south by the Newcastle Hills Fault, a likely back thrust. The uplift exposes Eocene to Oligocene volcaniclastic and sedimentary rocks. The mountain was the site of major coal mining operations from the 1860’s to the early 1960’s before becoming a well-loved regional hiking asset from the mid-1980’s to today.
Please bring your own chair and water bottle!
Avenza Downloads are here!
Optional (but very cool)
Please use the links below to download these images and then get them on your mobile device for use with Avenza during the field trip. The free version of Avenza will only allow three images. If you have the free version, just download the first three.
If you are on your desktop computer, you can right click these links and “Save As” and then email them to yourself. Then download them to your phone from your email.
Or, you can click these links on your phone and then download them.
You will need the Avenza app installed on your mobile device to use these during the field trip. The free version of Avenza will suffice. Open this webpage on your phone and download the app with one of the links below.
Avenza for iOS
Avenza for Android
Once you have Avenza downloaded, you can import the images linked to above.
We will be available to assist with getting this all working for you on the morning of the field trip.
9:00 to 11:45 Hike 1. Easy 3.5-mile (200′ elevation gain) hike including mine cave holes, coal outcrops, beaver dams, grated mine shafts, Office of Surface Mining remediation sites, and the former Mutual Materials clay pit.
11:45-1:30 Pizza Lunch with socializing, chapter updates, and special guest Bill Godwin, AEG national president. Snacks and drinks included.
1:30-5:00 Hike 2. Moderate 4.7-mile hike (500′-600′ elevation gain) from Sky Country to the Red Town trailhead and back. Ford Slope Mine and historic Coal Creek townsite with coal exposures, waterfalls, Tukwila formation exposures. Options for ~3.5 mile hike possible, but same elevation change.
Join us for either the morning or afternoon hikes (or both!). Or use the field trip guide to set out on your own.
Registration and Health Guidelines
The $25 registration includes in addition to lunch a profusely illustrated field trip guide with lidar images, mine maps, and background material on the structural, glacial, and mining geology of Cougar Mountain. Links to downloadable geo-referenced pdf lidar maps will be provided for use in Avenza (free iOS or Android trail and hiking app).
To preserve the health of everyone, we ask that all attendees be vaccinated, and we will follow public health recommendations with respect to masking at the time of the event.
Special registration rates for significant spouse, partner, or accompanying friend ($10) children (free) and students (free for first 30 registrants).
Registration is open until noon September 10, but space is limited and early registration will greatly (!) help with our planning.
The hiking trails are excellent but can be a bit cobble-ly. Sturdy footwear is recommended – trail running shoes, trail hiking shoes, or boots. Poles may be helpful for a few small scrambles.
If you want to sit, please bring portable chairs or picnic blankets. We can watch these while you are hiking.
Parking is free – no Discovery Pass needed. If the parking lot is full, there is parking on the clay pit road approaching the trailhead.
Email Tom Doe at email@example.com or text (425)241-6553.