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South Tiger Mountain
Mountain/Rock

South Tiger Mountain

 
South Tiger Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 47.45955°N / 121.96178°W

Object Title: South Tiger Mountain

County: King

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 2028 ft / 618 m

 

Page By: Redwic

Created/Edited: Mar 14, 2009 / Oct 29, 2012

Object ID: 497842

Hits: 7177 

Page Score: 78.27%  - 9 Votes 

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Overview

South Tiger - Southern Approach
 

Located in the southwestern side of the Tiger Mountain State Forest of the Issaquah Alps, South Tiger Mountain is one of the lesser known mountain summits in the Tiger Mountain chain of peaks.

But what South Tiger Mountain lacks in popularity it makes up with scenery. The routes to the summit traverse through some of the most beautiful woodland the Cascade foothills can offer. Wildlife and plants are abundant. Travelers can visit the mountain year-round.

While most travelers in the Tiger Mountain State Forest tend to focus on summiting West Tiger or East Tiger, South Tiger sees relatively little visitors by comparison. One might encounter occasional hikers, trail runners, and possibly even horseback riders, during the hike but not near the quantity in nearby areas.

South Tiger Mountain has two summit hills. The southern summit has been triangulated by the United State Geological Survey as having an elevation of 2028'. The northern summit has never been triangulated, but it has a minimum elevation of 2020' and from many angles appears to be of similar elevation as the southern summit hill. The 20' Closed Contour of the northern summit means that its elevation is actually between 2020'-2040'.
South Tiger Summit
The Triangulated South Tiger Summit

Many people believe the northern summit is the true summit. However, this has never been officially verified and the presumption likely originates from the fact it is the more enjoyable of the two summit hills. The northern summit has the easiest access, least bushwhacking, and more potential for viewpoints than the southern summit. However, because the two hills are close in proximity with no technical difficulties, both are recommended to be visited. However, that is a decision at the discretion of each individual visitor.
The north summit of South Tiger
Benches At Northern Summit (Photo Credit: "EastKing")

Standard Summit Approaches

 
South Tiger Traverse Trail
South Tiger Traverse Trail
 
South Tiger Mountain
Entrance To Summit Trail




With a large overlapping trail system within Tiger Mountain State Forest, multiple approaches to South Tiger Mountain are possible. However, there are three standard approaches leading to the summit of South Tiger Mountain. The shortest route is via the Southern Approach to South Tiger Mountain. Each of these approaches eventually use the same maintained trail ("South Tiger Traverse") and summit trail to reach the summit of the mountain.








SOUTHERN APPROACH:


1) Start at the Tiger Mountain Trailhead located at 560' elevation, along Tiger Mountain Road SE.
2) A Horse Trail (1060' elevation) begins after 1.1 miles. Do not use that trail. Keep following the main trail, to the left.
3) A trail intersection, Hobart Gap (1080' elevation), is reached after 0.3 miles further. Take an immediate left turn, followed by an immediate right turn up a gravel road (hill).
4) Cross under powerlines after 0.2 miles further. A viewpoint looking west will be on the leftside of the area. Keep following the route straight (NOT the trail following the powerlines to the east). This marks the beginning of the "South Tiger Traverse" Trail.
5) Follow the "South Tiger Traverse" Trail for 0.9 miles, until approximately 1780' elevation. The seldom-used summit trail heads uphill on the hiker's rightside (eastside), starting at a large old-growth stump.
6) Hike 0.25 miles up the seldom-used summit trail to the summit.
TOTAL ROUNDTRIP DISTANCE, SOUTHERN APPROACH: 5.50 miles

EASTERN APPROACH:


1) Start at the "Tiger Summit" Trailhead, 1377' elevation (lower parking lot, if upper parking lot located 0.3 miles further is not open), on the southeastside of the Tiger Mountain State Forest area.
2) Follow "West Side Road" (eventually becoming "Road 1000") for 2.1 miles, until the intersection with the Tiger Mountain Trail (1500' elevation).
3) Head south along the Tiger Mountain Trail for 0.1 miles, until the intersection with the "South Tiger Traverse" Trail (1520' elevation).
4) Head south along the "South Tiger Traverse" Trail for 0.9 miles, until approximately 1780' elevation. The seldom-used summit trail heads uphill on the hiker's leftside (eastside), starting at a large old-growth stump.
5) Hike 0.25 miles up the seldom-used summit trail to the summit.
TOTAL ROUNDTRIP DISTANCE, EASTERN APPROACH: 6.70 miles

NORTHERN APPROACH:


1) Start at the "15 Mile Creek" Trailhead, 840' elevation, on the westside of the Tiger Mountain State Forest area.
2) Follow "Road 1000" east for 3.0 miles, until the intersection with the Tiger Mountain Trail (1500' elevation).
3) Head south along the Tiger Mountain Trail for 0.1 miles, until the intersection with the "South Tiger Traverse" Trail (1520' elevation).
4) Head south along the "South Tiger Traverse" Trail for 0.9 miles, until approximately 1780' elevation. The seldom-used summit trail heads uphill on the hiker's leftside (eastside), starting at a large old-growth stump.
5) Hike 0.25 miles up the seldom-used summit trail to the summit.
TOTAL ROUNDTRIP DISTANCE, NORTHERN APPROACH: 8.50 miles

Getting There

SOUTHERN APPROACH


FROM I-90:
1) Take Exit 17 (Front Street, Issaquah). Head south on Front Street, eventually turning into Issaquah-Hobart Road.
2) Follow the road for 8.0 miles, then turn left (east) onto Tiger Mountain Road SE.*
*NOTE: This is the SECOND intersection encountered with Tiger Mountain Road SE and Issaquah-Hobart Road.
3) Follow the road for 0.25 miles. The Tiger Mountain Trail is on the rightside of the road. There is a small parking area across the road from the trailhead.

EASTERN APPROACH:


FROM I-90:
1) Take Exit 25, and head south on Highway 18.
2) After approximately 4.50 miles, the lower Tiger Summit Trailhead parking lot is found on the righthand side of the highway. If the gate is open, proceed up the hill and park in the upper parking lot. If the gate is closed, walk the 0.3 miles to the upper parking lot.

NORTHERN APPROACH:


To the general public, this approach is currently a hiker's trailhead only, and not a parking lot. Vehicle access is currently limited to educational groups by DNR permit only.

Red Tape

Beginning during 2011, parking areas and trailheads within and for the Issaquah Alps region require a Discover Pass to be in each vehicle during the visit. Failure to have a Discover Pass visible within a parked vehicle at these locations can result in a substantial fine. For more information regarding the Discover Pass, please visit the official website.

The two parking lots (upper and lower) for "Tiger Summit" Trailhead are only open from dawn until dusk. However, there are no hours of usage for the parking area located next to Tiger Mountain Road SE across from the Tiger Mountain Trailhead, for the Southern Approach.

Possible car prowling area; keep valuables out of sight.

External Links

Reference Green Trails Map #204S, for more information regarding trails, trailheads, and parking areas.

Images