Ascent of Cougar Mountain-Belleuve High Point on 2020-04-26
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Sunday, April 26, 2020|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Start at Home|
|Peak:||Cougar Mountain-Belleuve High Point|
| Elevation:||1444 ft / 440 m|
Ascent Trip ReportI cycled from my home to the Radio Summit area of Cougar Mountain--a long and hilly ride up through the maze of residential neighborhoods south of I-90. The final push up Cougar Mountain Drive from Lakemont Road is very steep and sustained, a good workout.
Approaching the summit area, there is a fancy new gate across a road leading uphill to the right, which goes to the new "Peak" subdivision, so I kept going and took the next right, signed for "17617" and "Private Road". This short road led uphill very steeply to a maintenance yard of some kind, near the various radio towers. It was deserted on this Sunday afternoon during virus lockdown, despite all the trucks and gear around. There is a great view down to Lake Sammamish from this spot.
I locked my bike to an old fence and did a short hike (.25 mile or so each way) though a grassy area, going south and then east around a fence enclosing water towers. This led to a dirt road, and taking it east a short way led downhill to a junction, where staying straight goes uphill to a fenced old fire lookout tower. The Bellevue high point is on the north side of the lookout tower fence, in a grove of dense hemlocks. There are "private property" signs here if you go north, into the "Peak" subdivision and its cleared vacant lots. The area is a confusing mix of radio towers, fences, dirt roads, and gates, so navigation can be tricky despite the short distances.
Not a very inspiring place, and the Bellevue high point may change if the city annexes more land in this area, including the maintenance yard. So before leaving the area I tagged the "Radio Peak" summit in the yard, right up against a fence. Coming here during off hours is likely best for hassle-free ascents.
The bike ride downhill from this point was, to me, worth the energy of the uphill grind. I was able to cruise down Cougar Mountain Drive, SE 63rd, Forest Drive, and Coal Creek Parkway all the way to I-405, 1400 feet of downhill fun averaging over 20 mph with just a couple of minor uphills. My time back home was about half my time to the peak.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||2209 ft / 672 m|
| Total Elevation Loss:||2209 ft / 672 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||31.6 mi / 50.9 km|
| Quality:||2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail|
| Gear Used:||Bicycle|
| Weather:||Pleasant, Windy, Partly Cloudy|
| Gain on way in:||1689 ft / 514 m|
| Gain Breakdown:||Net: 1279 ft / 390 m; Extra: 410 ft / 124m|
| Loss on way in:||410 ft / 124 m|
| Distance:||16.9 mi / 27.3 km|
| Route:||CKC, 164th|
| Start Trailhead:||Kirkland 165 ft / 50 m|
| Time:||2 Hours 5 Minutes|
| Loss on way out:||1799 ft / 548 m|
| Loss Breakdown:||Net: 1279 ft / 390 m; Extra: 520 ft / 158m|
| Gain on way out:||520 ft / 158 m|
| Distance:||14.7 mi / 23.6 km|
| Route:||Forest Dr, Lk Wa Blvd|
| End Trailhead:||Kirkland 165 ft / 50 m|
| Time:||1 Hours 8 Minutes|
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