Tiger Mountain is a great hike located in the Issaquah Alps. It’s one of the closest hikes that still has a decent elevation gain and views from the top. To get there, take exit 20 from eastbound I-90. After making a right at the stop sign, take the first right to go back west, parallel to I-90.
If you have a Discover Pass, you can park at the actual trailhead. For those who don’t have Issaquah Park’s parking permit, parking is available outside the gates on the side of the road or in the small pullout if there’s room. From there, it’s less than a half-mile hike to the other parking area.
These trails can take you to the top of West Tiger #3 or further along to the other Tiger summits. Take a look at the maps that are posted around; there are dozens of miles of trails in the area and the trails interconnect. If you haven’t hiked here before, stick to one trail and know what it is so you can find your way back down.
As with any hike, water and food are essential. The legendary 10 essentials are strongly recommended for any hike. These include shelter, compass, map, extra clothing layers, sunscreen, first aid kit, flashlight and a fire starter of some kind. It’s not necessary for everyone to carry all of this all the time though. Split up the gear or use common sense. Down jackets aren’t needed in the summer. Hiking poles and a pad to sit on are also good.
The fun starts immediately when hiking in thick forested areas with ferns everywhere and other greenery popping out, sometimes right at eye level. On sunny days the light will filter through the trees, making for spectacular scenery. The #3 trail has about 2,000 feet of elevation gain over three miles, so it definitely isn’t flat. There are plenty of places to rest on the way that are shaded. From the westward view, you can see the Puget Sound and beyond that, looking east, you can see another Tiger Summit which will show views to the east from its summit as it is a little higher than West Tiger. Once at the bottom it’s good to stretch out your legs and cool down a bit before getting in the car.