Aug 31, 2008

Tiger Mountain: West Tiger 2 Summit

A month ago the family tackled West Tiger 3. This morning I set out to hit West Tiger 2, which is the middle peak in the triad of peaks comprising West Tiger Mountain. It was a cloudy, drizzly morning, so instead of driving straight for the peak and spectacular views I took my time and did some exploring.

Tiger Mountain is interesting with a myriad of trails. It makes it easy to hike in "loops" where you can finish where you started without retracing your steps. I didn't have a plan going in, but happened to take the optimal way (from a time perspective) to get to West Tiger 2. I started at the High Point trailhead off I-90 Exit 22, and took the Tiger Mountain Trail (TMT) just passed the gate off the West Tiger 3 trail. This is a flat-to-steady climb for a good mile and a half. At that point, after crossing a couple bridges, the trail will split. TMT continues to the left, and the K-3 trail starts and veers off to the right. The sign says its an unmaintained trail, but its in good shape. It takes you a steep 400 feet up to the West Tiger Railroad grade, and in doing so shaves about three miles off the TMT, which meanders down and around the mountain until meeting back up at the West Tiger Railroad Grade. Anyway, back on the trail, the grade heads east and west on a flat trail - head east (left) a half a mile and you will find yourself back on the TMT. Take that about 800 feet up of switchbacks, and you will find yourself close to the summit. Look for a sign for West Tiger 2 about 2500 feet up, and take the trail to the left to the summit.

I really don't know what kind of views are available here, I imagine they are excellent. You also walk right by the antenna tower visible from the freeway. Walk past it and you will see a sign pointing you to West Tiger 3. I assume you can also get to West Tiger One from here but did not notice a sign (actually that's probably what TMT will do). I followed the trail back to West Tiger 3, took that down to the Talus Rocks Trail, and followed that to the Nook Trail. That took me to Tradition Loop and back to the parking lot.

The entire trip was four hours, with 2200 feet of elevation gain, covering about 7 miles (that's a guess as I didn't have good GPS coverage). I really liked the various trail and the options it gives you to explore various areas of Tiger Mountain. I'll be back to see where TMT takes me past West Tiger 2.

No comments: