Big on views and small on crowds, this 7.6-mile out-and-back conquers the tallest peak in Washington’s popular Tiger Mountain State Forest, culminating with spectacular views of Mount Rainier, the toothy Cascade Range, and Puget Sound. The journey up East Tiger follows gravel maintenance roads that climb to the 3,004-foot summit. Originally created as logging byways during the 1920s, these mildly-graded roads wrap gently around the mountain, making the hike to East Tiger’s summit relatively relaxed.
From the trailhead off WA 18, begin ascending through mixed second-generation forest, which occasionally opens up to reveal vistas of Taylor Mountain to the southeast. At mile 2.6, bear right to traverse along an east-west running ridgeline opening up to a southern panorama of Mount Rainier, with the rolling Tiger Mountain Range perched in the foreground. After turning left to head north up the Preston Snoqualmie Trail, you’ll crest East Tiger’s summit at mile 3.8. Despite the presence of radio towers, summit vistas remain obstructed: you’ll see rolling hills and the Puget Sound to the west, Mount Rainier to the south, and the rugged Cascade Range to the north and east. Retrace your route to return to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Nathan and Jeremy Barnes, hikingwithmybrother.com