Cooper River

Trail No. 1311


JANUARY 22, 2011  We were a group of 12 for this Mountaineers snowshoe on the Cooper River Trail as we headed to Cooper Lake in the Salmon La Sac area. I didnít remember the trail being this steep when I hiked it as part of a loop hike to Pollalie Ridge, but the woods are just as lovely in the winter as they are in the summer. The snow was firm when we first set off on the hike down the closed road, and we didnít put on snowshoes until we reached the official trailhead. The usually gentle hike along Cooper River was made somewhat challenging by the snow conditionsówe never knew from one step to the next if we would step onto solid pack or break through the crust and posthole. The trail was not broken, but it was relatively easy to follow. We found it necessary to make a short detour around a downed tree or two and head upstream for a likely place to cross a shallow stream or two. The beauty of the woods was marred only by the sounds of snowmobiles on the other side of the river. After a lunch stop in a sunny spot, we returned the trailhead. Although we didnít reach our destination on this trip, I enjoyed the hike through the snowy woods. I love the open forest on the east slopes of the Cascades, and the Salmon La Sac area is one of my favorite places to hike.