Razor Hone / Cougar Loop

The ‘main drag’ starting at the Salmon Ridge SnoPark parking lot.


Razorhone Road Area is a fun mixture of easier trails, more difficult trails, and one Most Difficult trail. Razorhone Road follows the North Fork of the Nooksack River. Enter the trail from the northeast corner of the Salmon Ridge Sno-Park. The route has a fairly gentle climb of about 200 feet (about 60 meters) over the 5 km to the end of the trail. There are several small hills which are rated easier. There are several shorter side trails through the woods on both sides of Razorhone in the first mile, such as Crossover, Mom’s, and Waterfront. Razorhone is groomed with tracks at each side with a skating lane in the middle. Near the middle of the route, is a one mile climb to the right called Blueberry Bounce. This is the beginning of the Cougar Loop. It is rated intermediate difficulty. At the end of the trail is a view of a waterfall and Bagley Creek. The canyon provides a very beautiful spot to have lunch while viewing the waterfalls. Yes, in the summer, there are lots of blueberries along Bagley Creek. After crossing a footbridge (you must take off your skis and walk, is the next section of Cougar Loop, which incorporates the Bear Hill trail back to Razorhone. It is marked Most Difficult because of steep sections, though it does have Easiest and More Difficult sections as well. The parking area is a Washington Ski Sno-Park and a permit is required to park.

Someone once described the Cougar Loop to me as a capital letter M. As you are standing on the Razor Hone (green trail) looking uphill, the Cougar Loop has four legs. Starting on the left, the first leg is a long, steep uphill (usually groomed) up to the high point. Then there is a shorter downhill section (ungroomed) down to the bridge over the creek. Then back uphill (ungroomed) to the high point on the other side of the creek. Finally, a long, not-quite-so-steep downhill back to the Razor Hone trail.

Recommendations: The first time you ski it, ski up the ‘Near’ Cougar, remembering that you will ski back down it. Ski as far as you want, maybe as far as the bridge. then turn around and go back the way that you came.

If that works for you, the second time you ski it, go up the ‘Far’ Cougar, down to cross the bridge, and back to the parking lot by the ‘Near’ Cougar. (Clockwise)

I once skied it counterclockwise, but going down the ‘Far’ Cougar was terrifying…