Coal Creek Falls
Apr 25, 2012
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Coal Creek Falls
- Region: Issaquah Alps -- Cougar Mountain
- Agency: King County Parks
- Trails: Coal Creek Falls (#COUGAR-C4)
- Avg Rating: 3.38
- Hiking Companions
- Hiked with kids
- Why You Should Go Now
- Wildflowers blooming
- Be Aware Of
- Water on trail
The parking lot was fairly empty which meant we beat the rush. Yay for us! On all of our previous jaunts, I’d worn running shoes, so my hiking boots were very happy to hit the trail.
BC wasn’t sure which way he and Steph had gone the year before, so we went the opposite way he thought. As we started up the gentle slope, flowers and wild roses started to appear.
Just before the intersection of Red Town Trail and the Quarry Trail, there is a meadow restoration in progress. BC didn’t want to see it until he caught sight of the old, rickety bridge across the stream. Oh to be eleven again! We took a quick look around and snapped some shots of the wild flowers growing in and around the meadow.
We hit the Quarry Trail and immediately saw giant rocks that formed a bit of a natural bridge. BC, being 11, was intent on exploring. But the curmudgeon in me was worried about weather and time, so we saved it for another day.
Soon enough the trail started to get steep. The elevation gain here is about 450 feet in half a mile. Nothing major but it’ll surprise you if you aren’t prepared. More and different flowers started to show themselves through this part of the trail, along with some horse tracks.
After a few switchbacks, the trail leveled out again and we were pretty sure we were approaching the intersection with the Coal Creek Falls Trail. We made a few left and right turns, jumped over a few banana slugs, and arrived at the next trail.
This one headed down, and we could just hear the sound of the falls. The trail passed through what I’m pretty sure at some point was a meadow, either natural or man made, I can’t say. This little spot was full of wild roses! Hundreds of them, ten feet tall, all just starting to bloom. I’ve never seen so many roses in one spot. Steph asked me later if they can be raised from a clipping. Don’t know about that…will have to ask my green thumb friend.
The trail heads down a slight slope and then makes a right along a steep slope. From here you can see Coal Creek. A few hundred feet further takes you to the falls.
The falls are thirty or forty feet high with another four or five foot drop at the bottom. The base is easily and apparently frequently accessed from the trail. There is also an unofficial trail along the left side of the falls. That one looks a little unsafe for kids, though BC said he saw kids on it the last time he was here. We scrambled over some logs and rocks to the base and took a few pictures. Then it was time to head for the car.
In all, we spent a hour and a half hiking two and a half miles on a trail less than ten miles from downtown Bellevue on a Wednesday afternoon. We saw tons of flowers, a pretty waterfall, three dogs, and four people. Pretty sweet if you ask me!