Nestled in the forests in the upper Cussed Hollow Valley, this lower elevation hike thaws more quickly than some of the other trails in the area, attracting ground-foraging wildlife such as the forest grouse and their prey.
Grouse are present in 34 of Washington’s 39 counties. The western slope of the Cascades is home to the sooty blue grouse. Males have blue-gray feathers, complemented by orange and white accents. Females are smaller and less flashy, mildly decorated with brown and gray coloring. To spot one, tread softly and listen for a “whoomp!” calling sound. Look for areas of disturbed soil and stray feathers where the birds are known for “graveling.”
You may not be the only one camping out for grouse-gatherings. The brush offers good coverage for sneaky bobcats, who crouch and watch their prey before pouncing on the chicken-sized birds. While bobcats are reclusive by nature and mostly quiet, when they do make noise, it can be rather upsetting if you don’t know what to expect. A noisy bobcat often sounds like a woman screaming or a baby crying.
Ready for some wildlife spotting? Set out on the woodland trail, crossing over and around several tributaries on their way to Cussed Hollow Creek. Steadily descend into Cussed Hollow through western white pine, Douglas fir, and Silver fir trees before turning uphill around 1 mile. Pop out around the ridge at 2.5 miles. This is a good spot to turn back the way you came, straining your ears above the babbling brooks for the calls of the wild.
- 5.0 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 600 feet
- Highest Point
- 3,400 feet
Hiking Cussed Hollow
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 46.1731, -121.9257 Open in Google Maps