Issaquah’s Best Workout: the Poo Poo Point Chirico Trail

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View of Mt. Rainier from the Poo Poo Point Chirico Trail

Distance: 3.8 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1760 feet

The Poo Poo Point Chirico Trail is a short and steep hike on Tiger Mountain in the Issaquah Alps. Located near Seattle with great views of Mt. Rainier and the Puget Sound, it is an extremely popular day hike – so expect crowds unless you can manage to visit on a weekday. Note that this is one of two trails up to Poo Poo Point – the other one (called the High School Trail) starts near the Issaquah High School.  The High School Trail is longer and less steep and often less crowded.

Below is a summary of my experience when I hiked the Poo Poo Point Chirico Trail in May 2018.

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View of the Puget Sound from Poo Poo Point

Poo Poo Point Chirico Trail

I’ve never been a fan of especially steep trails. Given the choice between a long trail with a moderate incline or a short steep trail, I’ll take the long trail any day. Give me all the switchbacks, please and thank you!

The Chirico Trailhead definitely wins the prize for the coolest trailhead sign
This guy is located next to the trail entrance.  I love it!

Thus I found myself at the trailhead on Wednesday morning, attempting the trail for the very first time. I’ve been to Poo Poo Point on multiple occasions previously, but I’d always taken the longer route starting from Issaquah High School. I didn’t have time for a long hike today and wanted a good workout before beginning my workday, so I decided to give the Chirico Trail a try.

Watch out for paragliders
The official Poo Poo Point Chirico Trailhead

I arrived at the parking lot at 6:45 am which is located next to a paraglider school. There were no paragliders out this morning but lots of other folks were on the trail. I was surprised by how popular this trail is on a weekday. I passed scores of other hikers, trail runners, and backpackers in training huffing up and down the hill. The parking lot was almost completely full when I left at 9:15 am.

The well-maintained Poo Poo Point Chirico Trail
So many switchbacks!

I’m training for a backpacking trip and carried a 27 lb backpack today. The trail is as steep as advertised and within a few minutes sweat was pouring down my face. It’s a nice, well- maintained and well-used trail, with lots of steps and switchbacks built in.

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Mt. Rainier Overlook

It was an absolutely gorgeous day and I look a few minutes to admire the stunning view of Mt. Rainier from the overlook near the top. I’ve never been to this spot before since I’ve always previously approached the summit from the other side. Wow!

When I made it back to the bottom I was exhausted but satisfied. I definitely got the workout I was looking for and still made it to work on time. No wonder this trail is so popular- I’ll definitely be back.

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Whew! I’m pooped. What a workout!

More Information

For more information on hiking the Poo Poo Point Chirico Trail, check out the following links:

Here are some other trails in the Issaquah Alps:

Looking for some other hikes near Seattle? This post has some good ideas on where to start:

2 thoughts

    1. I’m going to hike the Snoqualmie Pass to Steven’s Pass section of the PCT in July 😊. I don’t have many vacation days so I’m going to have to hoof it!

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