West Tiger Railroad Grade

Tiger Mountain State Forest, Washington

Distance2.2mi
Elevation Gain1,496ft
Trailhead Elevation1,981ft
Top2,011ft
Elevation Min/Max1842/2011ft
Elevation Start/End1981/1992ft

West Tiger Railroad Grade

West Tiger Railroad Grade is a hiking trail in King County, Washington. It is within Tiger Mountain State Forest. It is 2.2 miles long and begins at 1,981 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,496 feet. This trail connects with the following: Poo-Poo Point Trail, Section Line Trail, Seattle View Trail and Section Line Connector.

West Tiger Railroad Grade Professional Reviews and Guides

"If there were a collective mountain bikers’ bucket list for the Seattle area, Tiger Mountain State Forest would certainly be at the top. The forested landmark just a half-hour drive east of Seattle is home to a collection of single tracks that, when combined with forest roads, creates a 17-mile mountain-biking loop through mature forests.

If there’s a drawback, it’s the more than 1,600-foot climb on forest service roads to the summit. Anyone who makes it to the top agrees that the gravity-battling labor pays off. Note: Mountain-biking trails are closed roughly from Oct 15 to Apr 15, depending on the weather. Take water; no potable water on-site."

"Located in the middle of 1,300 acres of state forest, Tiger Mountain is one of the most popular mountain bike areas in the Puget Sound region. Only forty minutes from downtown, Tiger is home to more than 30 miles of off-road adventure on five different trails, three of which will challenge nearly every rider who isn’t a professional mountain bike racer. Right from the start, each ride throws down the gauntlet and says, “I am going to beat you into submission.”

All of them—Preston Railroad Trail, Iverson Railroad Trail, and Northwest Timber Trail—contain steep climbs, technical descents littered with small boulders, constant twisting masses of slippery roots, deep ruts, mud, nasty switchbacks, more mud, and deceptively deep puddles that require strength, stamina, and superior skills to survive without broken bike parts, gashes, gouges, and aching muscles."

"The West Tiger Railroad Grade lies deep within the boundaries of the West Tiger Mountain Natural Resources Conservation Area. The majority of trails in this half of Tiger Mountain are for hiking only.

You can reach this one only after hiking other trails that begin from the street; the access trails are steeper than the West Tiger Railroad Grade itself. From the trailhead take the main trail 0.25 mile to the first trail to the right."

"Unlike the Tiger Mountain trails along Interstate 90, South Tiger Mountain hardly ever sees the bottom of a boot. Along the route can be found some unusual native Washington plants as well as great representatives of the usual suspects.

There are amazing views to the Olympic Mountains and south Puget Sound. For such an easily accessible hike, this place is rare, precious, and beautiful. This loop incorporates the southern terminus of Tiger Mountain Trail, a 16.0-mile traverse that wends its way past or over all six Tiger Mountain peaks."

"Tiger Mountain State Forest has several trailheads and miles of trails. Three multiuse rail-trails and one hiking trail follow old railroad grades. The Preston Railroad Trail, the Northwest Timber Trail, and the Iverson Trail can be traveled individually or as a continuous loop.

The Preston Railroad and Northwest Timber Trails take you on an exhilarating up- and downhill ride; the Iverson Trail, which makes a nice side trip, takes you through lowlands. Mountain bikers maintain these trails and use them heavily, though hikers and equestrians are welcome. Surface: Crushed stone, rocks, gravel, and dirt. You’ll find tree roots, puddles, and (on the Preston Railroad Trail section) running water on the pathway. Location: King County."

"This 15-mile intermediate-level gravel-road out-and-back travels through clear-cuts and pretty, second-growth woods. It features some moderate climbing and descending, more climbing and better descending, and a punishingly-steep climb to Poo Poo Point for a stunning view. At Poo Poo Point, Lake Sammamish lies before you to the northwest, and the Puget Sound Basin and Olympic Mountains lie beyond as the view unfurls.

The view was beautiful; on a clear day, it is majestic.
Poo Poo Point is a popular hang-gliding and parasailing area, and in the summer, the airborne folks add to your viewing pleasure. Good winter workout when the trails are closed; good summer outing for views and hang-glider watching. Scenery: Second-growth forest with views into Maple Valley and Mt. Rainier; striking views of the Puget Sound Basin and beyond."

"This 11.3-mile loop, suitable for strong intermediates and above, is by far the most entertaining ride available to mountain bikers in Tiger Mountain State Forest. The woods and trails are the highlight of the ride, as views are few. The route travels through second-growth clear-cuts, but also Douglas fir, western red cedar, western hemlock, red alder, and big-leaf maple. At the time of research, the Preston Railroad Trail was graveled for the first 0.6 mile, but the gravel mounds on the side of the trail along the rest of the way indicated more coverage to come.

The gravel trail was fun to ride, but it eliminated the rooty, rocky technical challenges encountered on the rest of the trail. The Northwest Timber Trail was much smoother, and by itself can make for an out-and-back, virtually all singletrack route. Scenery: Brief glimpses of Mt. Rainier and valleys below on the initial road climb; trails go under the cover of second-growth woods."

"Tiger Mountain State Forest has miles of trails and serves as one of Seattle’s most popular mountain biking destinations. In the East Tiger Mountain Trail System, multiuse rail trails follow portions of old railroad grades and interconnect via old logging roads.

The Preston Railroad, Northwest Timber, Iverson Railroad, and East Tiger Summit Trails are open to mountain bikers and hikers seasonally, dependent on trail conditions. Joy Ride, Silent Swamp, and Fully Rigid Trails were opened in 2014. All trails can be traveled individually or combined with another trail or road to create loops. Many volunteer groups maintain these trails and use them heavily."

"The lower loop of this 4.3-mile figure eight is mainly on gravel roads; the main event is the upper loop- the gravel West Side Road climb and descent, and the Iverson Railroad Trail, a singletrack known to locals as Fat Hand. The ride is not for beginners- not because of the short, relatively tough initial climb but much more for the technical, sometimes steep singletrack. Even intermediates will be challenged on rocky, rooty sections of trail.

Don't let the low mileage of this ride fool you; the Iverson Railroad Trail ride is short in duration, but it's a fun, advanced-level outing on high quality trail. It can be combined with the Preston Railroad Trail- Northwest Timber Trail loop for a satisfying 15.3-mile day. Challenging, technical singletrack; can be combined with the Preston Railroad Trail- Northwest Timber Trail loop for a 15.3-mile total. Scenery: Vista along West Side Road at top elevation on the road climb; second-growth Douglas fir forest, clear-cuts."

"Hiking the crown jewel of Tiger Mountain State Forest is a rite of passage for serious Issaquah Alps explorers. The trip isn’t to be taken lightly, however. It requires a long day and good conditioning. It also requires some planning, as you’ll need to arrange for a car at the trail’s end.

The 16-mile route weaves around or over most of the primary peaks on Tiger, and since it crosses scores of other trails and not all of the intersections are well marked, good route-?nding skills are essential."

"The Tiger Mountain Trail (TMT) is to Tiger Mountain what the Pacific Crest Trail is to the Cascades—a long, winding trail that crosses many summits and offers a long through hike or
short section hikes. This is the shortest, but possibly most scenic, of the main TMT
sections. It’s an outstanding introduction to Tiger Mountain and its wonderful wildland trails."

"The Chirico Trail provides the shortest and easiest hike to two of the finest vistas anywhere in the Issaquah Alps, including spectacular Poo Poo Point. If the wind is right, you may share the trail with paragliders who launch from the top and fill the sky with their colorful sails, an unforgettable sight."

"Poo Poo Point is much nicer than it sounds. Perched on the western end of Tiger Mountain, it provides one of the best views anywhere in the Issaquah Alps, even though it is more than 1,000 feet below the true summit.

The Poo Poo Point Trail climbs to the viewpoint through some of the best forest anywhere on West Tiger Mountain and avoids most of the crowds that congregate on the mountain’s northern side."

"One of the few neighborhood mountain trails in the Seattle area still open to mountain bikers is Tiger Mountain. Thus, it’s quite popular. The trail has a lot to offer: The forest roads lead up to the singletrack, which in turn leads to the woods, over technical trails shaded by a thick canopy of trees. The singletrack at Tiger Mountain is a great training ground for those learning how to ride technical trails and is especially challenging on wet days.

There are three ways to tackle Crystal Mountain with a mountain bike after the snow has melted. First, there’s the heart-pumper route that we’ve detailed here: up Forest Service 184 and the Silver Creek Trail for a relatively short, steep climb; and then down the Crystal Mountain Trail for a world-class downhill experience. This is not the easiest way up, but it offers a challenging, exhilarating cardiovascular workout."

West Tiger Railroad Grade Reviews

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8/13/2018
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8/4/2018
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4/9/2011
The trail was not busy; I only saw people at the beginning and end of the trail. The trail is moderately maintained by volunteers but is still fairly muddy. Saw multiple off leash dogs with people. Trail is a little confusing because it is apart of other trails and logging areas. I would have gotten lost without a guide book. Not a difficult climb.
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9/12/2010
Great trail, it is a difficult climb to get started but well worth the effort.
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8/19/2010
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8/11/2010
Trail was sweet...fast and sticky. Pretty smooth throughout!
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4/28/2010
HI. I am new to Trails.com. I am just check it out before buying. Anyways, thought I would evaluate it on one of my local rides here in Seattle. The Tiger mountain rides have long been one of my favorites. I must say the Trails.com description is a bit off however. It calls this ride "moderate", and "front suspension is recommended but not required." Wrong. This is a very technical and strenuous ride, and not only is front suspension needed, but rear as well. Your pace would be slowed to almost walking trying to navigate the 3 mile single track down with no suspension! This ride is epic.
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7/25/2009
This is a nice network of singletrack and fire roads. I am not much for fire roads, but the singletrack is great! Very well maintained, with many well built bridges and clear signs posted. It was a warm. almost hot day and the trails were dry, a bit dusty, but very fast. Traction was good as well. DIfferent loops can be made by linking up various trails and roads. There is a fair amount of climbing but its not so bad that you hate life while doing it. These trails are multi use and you will see horses and hikers on them as well. There are many more trails in the area, accessible from these roads that mountain bikes are not allowed one. All trails are posted as to which users can use which trails. All in all its a great place to ride if you dont want to make a long trip from the Seattle area.
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6/1/2009
Lived in Issaquah 12 years and can't believe I never did this hike. Yes, don't be fooled by the word 'easiest' in the description. The elevation gain is RELENTLESS on this hike. You will need to be in pretty good shape to do this hike without stopping for a breather a few times (depending on how hot it is.) But the reward at the top is worth it (view of Rainier then move to paraglider take off and be awed by these crazy/brave people. Be sure to go on a clear day when there are paragliders. Small children (under 10) would have a tough time on this one but could do it with several rest stops along the way.
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11/27/2008
Steep trail with many rocks placed to make the trail easier. Beautiful view at the top. The forest itself is worth the hike, but go all the way!
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West Tiger Railroad Grade Photos

Trail Information

Tiger Mountain State Forest
Nearby City
Tiger Mountain State Forest
Parks
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Issaquah Alps Trails Club, PO Box 351, Issaquah, WA, 98027; www.issaquahalps .org. Washington Department of Natural Resources, PO Box 47000, 1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia, WA 98504-7000; (360) 902-1000; www.dnr.wa.gov. Washington Native Plant Society, 6310 NE 74th St., Ste. 215E, Seattle, WA 98115; (206) 527-3210 or (888) 288-8022; www.wnps.org; wnps@wnps.org.
Local Contacts
DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer—Washington, page 46; Green Trails Maps, Map No. 204S: Tiger Mountain
Local Maps