West Tiger Mountain Number 3 Hike
Sunday July 23rd 2006
West Tiger Mountain has 3 summits. We took the trail up to summit 3. It is a 5 mile round trip, with a total cumulative elevation gain of 2000 feet. This trail doesn't fool around - it heads up hill, and continues up hill. No level stretches. No brief down hills. Just a relentless charge all the way to the summit. Despite the fact that it is a steep hike, it is quite popular. Probably because it is pretty close to the Seattle population centers, and because everyone like to make it to the top. We saw a bunch of people hoisting toddlers to the top, so don't be scared off by difficult trail rating; after all it is only 2.5 miles to the top.
You can see all the bright sunshine in my photographs, it was a warm day. But the trail is mostly shaded. Plenty of tall trees, but nothing that looked dramatically huge - I wonder if Tiger Mountain was clear cut at some time in the 20th century.
At the summit you get a view of Mount Rainier to the south. Looking west you can see Squak Mountain. The summit for West Tiger 2 has a radio/microwave tower on it. We noticed another hiker holding out his hand, and the wild birds have become so accustomed to being fed by the hikers, that one bird flew up and landed right on his fingertips. We didn't have any food with us, but Melanie sat down and held out her empty hand - and sure enough, a wild bird landed right on her fingertips! It soon flew off in disappointment, but I did snap a photo of the event.
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