SPECIAL NOTE: This page is dedicated to Middle Tiger Mountain only. This page is not dedicated to West Tiger, East Tiger, South Tiger, or Poo Poo Point.
Located in the heart of the Tiger Mountain State Forest of the Issaquah Alps
, Middle Tiger Mountain is one of the lesser known mountain summits in the Tiger Mountain chain of peaks. In fact, the summit is so little mentioned that many maps do not even reference an actual name for the peak. Even the summit is fairly uneventful.
But what Middle 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. Conifers line the trails. Several streams are passed.
While most travelers in the Tiger Mountain State Forest tend to focus on summiting West Tiger or East Tiger, Middle Tiger sees relatively little visitors by comparison. One might encounter occasional hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers, but not near the quantity in nearby areas.
And although the summit of Middle Tiger is basically just a mound surrounded by trees, continuing down to the north side of the mountain might be worth the trip in itself. A viewpoint on the north side of Middle Tiger Mountain offers breathtaking views of West Tiger and East Tiger, as well as other peaks within the Snoqualmie I-90 Corridor.
From Seattle or I-405, head east on I-90. At Exit 25, head south on Highway 18. At 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.
From the upper Tiger Summit Trailhead parking lot, the standard southern route for the Middle Tiger summit is approximately 7.4 miles roundtrip, including an elevation gain of approximately 1200 feet from the upper Tiger Summit Trailhead parking lot to the summit (2607').
There are two options for how to start the southern route to Middle Tiger Mountain from the upper Tiger Summit Trailhead parking lot: the Iverson Railroad Trailhead or the West Side Road 1000. Both routes eventually intersect (after approximately 1.5-1.8 miles) and are basically similar distances before doing so; it is just a matter of personal preference of walking along an actual forest trail or walking along a gravel road for those first couple of miles.
Here is the basic description for the standard southern route to the Middle Tiger Mountain summit:
1) From the upper Tiger Summit Trailhead parking lot to West Side Road 1000/ Iverson Railroad Trail intersection: 1.5 miles.
2) From that intersection, follow West Side Road 1000 for 0.3 miles to the Tiger Mountain Trail (TMT). Take a right.
3) Follow the TMT for 1.6 miles to the Middle Tiger Trail intersection. Make certain to turn left at "Zeig's Zag" (posted on a tree) after approximately 1/2-mile on the TMT. Continuing straight would lead to the little known/ little used "Artifacts Trail".
4) At the Middle Tiger Trail intersection, take a right onto the trail and head uphill. The summit is approximately 0.3 miles from the intersection.
5) Continuing along the trail from the summit, a great viewpoint location can be found approximately 1/4-mile down the north side of the mountain.
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
Upper Tiger Summit Trailhead parking lot is open from dawn until dusk.
Possible car prowling area; keep valuables out of sight.