LOWER COUGAR CREEK FALLS
RATING - 58.0
VR - 6 (Med) HR - 7.0 SR - 16/20
TYPE OF APPROACH - Trail + Bushwhack
DIFFICULTY - Fairly Difficult
LOCATION - Mountain Loop Highway
TYPE - Segmented
HEIGHT - 235'
WIDTH - 60'
GPS - N48 04' 30.14" W121 19' 20.53"
ELEVATION - 2587'
Lower Cougar Creek Falls is the best of the three known waterfalls along Cougar Creek and is one of the hidden gems of the Mountain Loop Highway. The falls occur where Cougar Creek splits in two around a small island and plunges 205' in side-by-side drops. Added to that is about 30' worth of cascades before the main portion of the waterfall. From the base, the waterfall is so tall and you are so close that it's difficult to photograph without a wide angle lens. The photo on the left was created by stitching together two images. Surrounding the waterfall are a ton of massive trees with diameters in the 6-8' range that really add to the appeal of the area.
The waterfall is located just off the trail and can actually be seen from the trees. In order to get a clear view, you'll have to bushwhack a short distance off the trail. It's fairly easy as far as bushwhacking goes and if you've huffed it this far up the trail you should have no problem making it. If you have the opportunity to visit the Cougar Creek area I highly recommend it. The three waterfalls make this one of the best hikes in the area.
DIRECTIONS - Follow the directions to Cougar
Creek Falls. About 1/4 of a mile before that, you should hear and
see this waterfall through the trees. Leave the trail and scrambled
down to the falls. You'll have to drop a little bit and climb over
some very large trees but it's nothing overly difficult or dangerous.
Once you get to the falls you have all sorts of room to explore.
NEARBY WATERFALLS - Big Cat Falls, Cougar Creek Falls, Middle Cougar Creek Falls
ADDITIONAL PICTURES (CLICK TO ENLARGE) AND