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... more » 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. less «