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Natural Resources and Parks
Public Affairs

Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park’s Red Town Trailhead closed while King County assesses sinkhole in parking lot


Out of an abundance of caution, King County has closed the Red Town Trailhead at Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park to public access while the county determines an appropriate repair to a small sinkhole that has appeared in the trailhead parking lot. Park visitors are encouraged to use nearby Sky Country Trailhead for access to Cougar Mountain.


King County crews are developing ared_town-closed_web plan to repair a small sinkhole that has opened up in the parking lot of Red Town Trailhead at Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. To ensure public safety, the county has closed the parking lot and trailhead to all public access until repairs can be completed.

Cougar Mountain visitors are encouraged to access the park from Sky Country Trailhead at 7077 Clay Pit Rd., Bellevue, while the Red Town Trailhead is closed.

County employees fenced off a generous buffer around the small sinkhole when it appeared in the Red Town Trailhead parking lot in mid-September. Earlier this week, the sinkhole doubled in size from about 12 inches across to roughly 2 feet across - perhaps as a result of recent heavy rainfall.

King County Parks has been in contact with the federal Office of Surface Mining to help determine if the new sinkhole at Red Town Trailhead is related to historic mining activities.

Cougar Mountain is in the heart of King County’s late 19th- and early 20th- century coal-mining region, with miles of mining tunnels and numerous mine shafts scattered underneath portions of Newcastle, Bellevue and beyond. 

At more than 3,000 acres in size, Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park is the gem of King County’s 28,000 acres of open space. The park contains about three dozen miles of forested backcountry trails that take hikers past waterfalls and wetlands, as well as historic mining sites.


Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park

Doug Williams, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, 206-477-4543

About King County Parks
King County Parks - Your Big Backyard - offers more than 200 parks and 28,000 acres of open space, including such regional treasures as Marymoor Park and Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, 175 miles of regional trails, 215 miles of backcountry trails and a world-class aquatic center. King County Parks cultivates strong partnerships with public, private, and non-profit entities that leverage public dollars, enhance public recreation opportunities, and involve King County residents in the stewardship of King County’s open space and recreation assets.