Tiger Mountain (Washington)

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Tiger Mountain
Tiger mountain.jpg
Squak Mountain, Cougar Mountain, and Seattle seen from the summit of West Tiger #3
Highest point
Elevation 3,004 ft (916 m)  NAVD 88 [1]
Prominence 1,644 ft (501 m) [2]
Coordinates 47°29′17″N121°56′49″W / 47.488096836°N 121.946962119°W / 47.488096836; -121.946962119 Coordinates: 47°29′17″N121°56′49″W / 47.488096836°N 121.946962119°W / 47.488096836; -121.946962119 [1]
USA Washington relief location map.jpg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Tiger Mountain
Location of Tiger Mountain in Washington
Location Issaquah, Washington, US
Parent range Issaquah Alps
Topo map USGS Hobart

Tiger Mountain is a mountain in the U.S. state of Washington. It is at the center of the Issaquah Alps, a small range in the Eastside region of King County, Washington southeast of Seattle. The mountain is part of a designated protected area, the Tiger Mountain State Forest, and has several recreational areas used for hiking, mountain biking, and paragliding.



The mountain has six peaks in the center of the Issaquah Alps, forming a 13,500-acre (55 km2) triangle between Interstate 90 (I-90) on the north, Issaquah-Hobart Road on the southwest, and State Route 18 (SR 18) on the southeast. Immediately to the west is Squak Mountain followed by Cougar Mountain, while to the southeast are McDonald and Taylor Mountains, and Rattlesnake Ridge.

Tiger Mountain State Forest

Tiger Mountain State Forest was established in 1981. In 1989, the entire Issaquah Plateau in the northwest corner was designated as a conservation area, the West Tiger Mountain Natural Resources Conservation Area, accessed by a large trailhead at Exit 20 on I-90. It is 13,745-acres.

The most crowded trail leads to the bald summit of West Tiger #3, with a panoramic view of Seattle and points to the south and east. It is a 6.2-mile (10.0 km) hike, round-trip, with an elevation change of about 2,000 feet (610 m). The nearby peaks of West Tiger #2 and West Tiger #1 provide essentially the same view, but with fewer obstructions.

State Route 18 runs between Tiger and Taylor mountains, reaching an elevation of 1,375 feet (419 m). This stretch of the highway is commonly referred to as the "Tiger Mountain Summit" in local traffic reports. Another major trailhead is located at this summit. The trail provides access to South Tiger Mountain with limited views, Middle Tiger Mountain with a 45-degree window looking down on the Cedar Hills Landfill, and East Tiger Mountain with a panoramic view south toward Mount Rainier.

Many trails on Tiger Mountain have wide beds and slope very gently because they are built on the remnants of 1920s logging railroads, long after the rails and crossties were salvaged in the Great Depression. Near Middle Tiger Mountain is the site of a fatal 1924 train wreck where artifacts can still be seen.

In the most remote part of the forest, 15 Mile Creek (a tributary of Issaquah Creek) arises in the pass between East and West Tiger. The creek carves a miniature "Grand Canyon" through sandstone. Much of Tiger Mountain is owned or managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. [3]

Paragliding history

Poo Poo Point is a bare ridge on the west side of Tiger Mountain. The point is a popular launching point for paragliding and hang gliding. [4] The point is reached by the Chirico Trail, which starts at the landing zone for the hang gliders and paragliders in a field adjacent to the Issaquah-Hobart Road, or by taking the High School Trail which begins on 2nd Avenue just south of Issaquah High School. Many people fly year-round (weather permitting) and have flown cross-country flights exceeding 75 miles (121 km). [5]

In the 1970s, the area was owned by Weyerhaeuser and used for logging. The name "Poo Poo" Point came from the sound of the logging steam whistles. In 1976, the clear-cut area started to be used by hang gliders as a launching spot. Gliders would be taken up the hill on the logging road. [6]

Poo Poo Point got its start as a paragliding destination in the 1990s. [7] [8] [9]

While there have been a significant number of paragliding incidents, there have not been any paragliding fatalities on Tiger Mountain. Although in 2008 Eric Jansen died of natural causes while paragliding from Tiger mountain (however his death was not due to paragliding). [10] and in 2011, Ken Blanchard died in a neighboring valley while on a cross-country flight. [11] Poo Poo Point is currently the most popular spot for Paragliding in Washington.[ citation needed ]

Transmitting facilities

Aerial view of antennas on Tiger Mountain Tiger Mountain Antennas.jpg
Aerial view of antennas on Tiger Mountain

Some Seattle-area radio station transmitters are on Tiger Mountain's west face. These include:


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  1. 1 2 "Tiger Mtn". NGS Data Sheet. National Geodetic Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Department of Commerce.
  2. "Tiger Mountain, Washington". Peakbagger.com.
  3. "Washington State Department of Natural Resources". Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Archived from the original on 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
  4. "About Issaquah Parks & Trails: Poo Poo Point Trail & More". Visit Issaquah. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  5. "Tiger Mountain site guide". Cloudbase Country Club. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  6. "Poo Poo Point - Chirico Trail — Washington Trails Association". www.wta.org. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  7. "Northwest Paragliding - The Early Days". alpenglow.org. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  8. De La Rosa, De La Rosa (25 September 2017). "Flying High". 425 Business. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  9. Campanario, Gabriel (18 May 2013). "Sketching on the fly while in the sky". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  10. WONG, BRAD (14 July 2008). "Paraglider dies following his passion". seattlepi.com. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  11. "Paraglider pilot died Sunday after falling 40 feet near Issaquah". The Seattle Times. 8 August 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2021.