Feb 1, 2009

West Tiger One from Preston

Perhaps the coolest thing about Tiger Mountain is the wide variety of trailheads that get you to the four peaks that comprise Tiger Mountain (three West Tiger peaks and the Main Tiger peak or East Tiger). Today I parked at a little used trailhead off I-90 exit 23. Called the "WSDOT" or "SE Preston Way" trailhead on all the trail signs, this trailhead starts you off north and a little east of West Tiger One. From there, it is a 3.8 mile, 2500 foot elevation gain hike to make it to one of the West Tiger One viewpoints (either West Tiger One summit or Hiker's Hut).

The trail from here starts as a pretty boring half mile walk along a power line trail. Watch for the Preston Trail sign, and that will start your ascent into the thick firs of Tiger Mountain. From there you will run across Dwight's Way (trail), the Bootleg Trail, West Tiger Railroad Grade, and Pop Top trail. Signs along the way will keep you on track for West Tiger One, although you can get there from a variety of trails and distances.

I took the straight shot this morning, and ran into snow about 2200 feet. No more than a couple of inches, completely passable, although slippery in spots on the way down.

At the top of West Tiger One you'll want to head to Hiker's Hut Viewpoint, on the west side of West Tiger One. From here you'll be treated to a spectacular view of Mount Rainier, and you can see Seattle on a clear day.


Adept said...

James, thank you for another good idea on where to hike around Seattle :)

Autumn said...

Amazing photos! I have recently started a hiking blog too. pnwhike.blogspot.com

Ev said...

Great hike! This back way into tiger feels like a new secret getaway, even though you're only a stone's throw from the usual tiger crowds.

I did notice that you put this hike down as being off exit 23, but when we went, we saw no exit 23! Just 22 and then 25.

But at exit 22, we made a right at the first intersection south of the freeway and following that road down, there's a kind of hidden trailhead sign on the left behind a chain link fence, before the WSDOT compound. Here's where we entered, got to the power-line trail, then eventually to the Preston trail.

Not sure if this is your way in, but it worked all the same!

James V Reagan said...

Ev, you're right, it is exit 22. and you found the trail entrance that I used.