Hiking Tiger and Granite Mountains
If your schedule is squeezed or you're just looking for some quiet downtime wandering in the woods, Tiger Mountain may be your best bet. The mountain is part of Tiger Mountain State Forest, encompassing over 13,000 acres with 80 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails.
Snug in the Cascade Range foothills only 30 minutes from downtown Seattle, Tiger Mountain lets you easily plan a morning, afternoon, or even after-work hike during the long Northwest summer days. Because of Seattle's close proximity, Tiger Mountain is a popular destination for sure. Though you may encounter a full parking lot at the trailhead, you may also find a surprising amount of solitude on the trail due to the area's large network of trails, which readily disperses hikers throughout the area.
Spectacular Views Worth the Effort
Tiger Mountain's West Tiger 3 Trail is a good option for peak-baggers and more serious hikers. The trail climbs 2,000 feet over 2.6 miles, at times moderately to steeply, winding under a cool canopy of forest and through stately groves of ferns to Tiger Mountain's western summit. The last 1.2 miles consist of a series of switchbacks with views gradually opening west and north through the trees. From the partially forested summit you'll find spectacular views south and west toward Puget Sound and Mount Rainier, and east toward the heart of the Cascade Range.
Tiger Mountain also offers a healthy variety of more sedate walks well suited to hikers with less time or ambition, or even those with small children.
Try the Bus Road Trail or Around the Lake Trail, which comprise various loops less than two miles long on fairly level terrain, offer views of Tradition Lake, and provide interpretive signs describing the Pacific Northwest plants and animals you're likely to encounter.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication