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West Tiger 3

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Start up the Bus Trial, and after just 0.25 mile veer left onto the West Tiger 3 Trail. Stay to the right just after that trail for (the second left leads to the seemingly endless Tiger Mountain Trail, or TMT). Sticking to West Tiger 3 Trail can be problematic if trail signs are missing or hard to find, since multiple trails slant away left and right over the next 3 miles. Stick to the primary path as it ascends a long series of steep switchbacks.

At 2 miles out, the trail crosses the West Tiger Railroad Grade (elev. 1960 ft.) Continue upward heading into a tight series of switchbacks. The trail gets steeper, it seems, the closer you get to the top. Btt finally, you burst out onto the summit of West Tiger 3 (elev. 2525 ft), just 2.5 miles from the trailhead.

The open view you'll find here sweep in Squak Mountain, the sprawling town of Issaquah, the blue waters of Lake Sammamish, the skyscrapers of Bellevue, and eve the snowy crown of Mount Baker far to the north. On hot summer days you might see hang gliders and paragliders launching off Poo Poo Point (just to your south), riding the thermal lift that spins out of Many Creeks Valley and off the summit.
Driving Directions:

From I-90 take exit 20 and then turn right onto the frontage road paralleling the interstate. In just under 0.5 mile the road ends at a gate. The gate opens daily, though it is closed and locked at 7:00 PM. Park outside the gate if you'll be returning late in the day. Otherwise, continue another 0.4 mile to the Tradition Plateau trailhead.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 240 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Tiger Mountain Trail North, Cable Line Trail, K-3 Trail, West Tiger 2, West Tiger 3, West Tiger Railroad Grade — Mar 27, 2014 — HikingwiththeBlackDog
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Mudholes | Water on trail
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Trail Dog Lucy slept in this morning and missed a great misty morning walk in the woods. Parked out...
Trail Dog Lucy slept in this morning and missed a great misty morning walk in the woods. Parked outside on the road near the trailhead to avoid the moonscape that awaits past the gate.

Did a quick loop covering Tiger 2 & 3 using some of the lesser traveled trails and a little scouting on some side trails. Saw only a few hikers all morning including at the top of the normally densely populated west Tiger 3 summit.

 All the trails were in remarkably good condition with only the occasional squishy spot. That is to say, all but the Cable Line which was miserable... i.e. normal. No photos from the Cable Line... needed both hands and both feet to keep from doing a "dirt glissade" on the way down. Good times!
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West Tiger 3 — Mar 22, 2014 — SuperScout
Day hike
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The road to the parking lot is not great as there are lots of potholes. The trail was clear, no s...
The road to the parking lot is not great as there are lots of potholes.

The trail was clear, no snow. It is a fair amount of elevation though, so if you're looking for a little stroll in the park with a view, this isn't your trip. Also, there's not much of a view at the top because of the trees. There are a few places you can see, no panorama. Still, a good hike and it's not too far out of town and lower elevation so it was snow-free. Great last-minute hike!
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West Tiger 3 — Mar 01, 2014 — Obsidious27
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail
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We hiked from the Tradition Plateau trailhead up to the summit of West Tiger 3 via the West Tiger 3 ...
We hiked from the Tradition Plateau trailhead up to the summit of West Tiger 3 via the West Tiger 3 trail. Trail conditions were excellent, with only a small dusting of snow leading up to the summit. The access road to the trailhead was plagued with deep potholes!
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Adventure Trail, West Tiger 3, Tiger Mountain Trail North — Feb 27, 2014 — bockdip
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail
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West Tiger 3 Trail was in fine shape. Didn't see any snow until about 2100 feet, and none on the tr...
West Tiger 3 Trail was in fine shape. Didn't see any snow until about 2100 feet, and none on the trail until the last stretch below the summit. I then headed south toward West Tiger 2 and turned east on the TMT. There was a fair amount of snow in this section, mostly 1-2 inches. Heading down the steep section of TMT below West Tiger 2 I was glad I had poles. By the time I hit the K-3 trail, though, the trail was completely snow-free, and there were no further issues as I followed the TMT back to the Tradition Lake trailhead.
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West Tiger 3 — Feb 23, 2014 — Taum Sauk
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail
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My original plans were to join a work party for the Rock Trail in Larrabee State Park, but snow in W...
My original plans were to join a work party for the Rock Trail in Larrabee State Park, but snow in Whatcom County caused cancellation of the work party. I settled for a winter hike to West Tiger #3 instead.

Driving to the trailhead, I could see the peaks of Tiger Mountain from I-90, including the broadcast antennae. This raised my hopes for views from the top. I could also see snow on the top 1/3 of the mountain. The parking lot was half-full (some see the parking lot as half-full, others as half-empty) at 8:30 am.

The lower 1.5 miles of trail were snow-free and in good shape. From about 1.5 miles to 2 miles, there was a slushy/muddy mixture of snow and dirt on the trail. At 2 miles, pure snow took over, but nothing deeper than a few inches, even at the summit. I was struck a couple times by falling snowballs dropped by mischievous evergreens. During the last mile, snow was falling gently.

I reached the top at 10:30. Visibility at the summit was minimal. I could see West Tiger #2. At the top, the gray jays were waiting to be fed and were not shy, as per their norm. I got some close-up photos of one fellow whom I nicknamed Officer Krupke, for inexplicable reasons. Just about everyone else seemed to be hiking with a dog or dogs, and at the top, there was even a 12-step group meeting taking place.

I used hiking boots and trekking poles. The smarter folks brought their microspikes, which would have helped near the top. I would recommend wearing boots with either microspikes or poles to assist with balance and traction at the top.
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West Tiger 3 stephen.jpg
West Tiger 3. Photo by Stephen.
Location
West Tiger 3 (#TIGER)
Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain
Department of Natural Resources, South Puget Sound Region
Statistics
Roundtrip 5.0 miles
Elevation Gain 2100 ft
Highest Point 2525 ft
Features
Old growth
Mountain views
Wildlife
User info
Discover Pass required
Guidebooks & Maps
Snoqualmie Pass
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Seattle Guide Book
Green Trails 204S Tiger Mountain

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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Red MarkerWest Tiger 3
47.5295789 -121.9956374
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