I love hiking long trails. What I don’t love about long-distance hiking, however, is being away from my family for extended periods of time. Luckily for me, there are lots of shorter “long trails” in my area to explore. The Tiger Mountain Trail (TMT) is one of those trails. Traversing the entire length of the Tiger Mountain State Forest, the TMT is rugged and wild and attracts a fraction of the crowds that flock to more popular trails with big views.
During our recent heat wave, I decided to hit the trails early for another midweek hike. This time I headed to Cougar Mountain – it’s an area I’ve visited previously but not for several years. As a part of the Issaquah Alps mountain range, Cougar Mountain is the easiest to access as it’s the closest mountain to Seattle.
Last Wednesday dawned bright and sunny and so I decided to check out another new trail before work. This time I chose to explore Squak Mountain. Located between Cougar and Tiger Mountains, Squak Mountain is easily accessible from the I-90 corridor and only a 40-minute drive from my house.
I’ve never been a fan of especially steep trails. Given the choice of a long trail with a moderate incline over a short steep trail, I’ll take the long trail any day. I’ll take all the switchbacks, please and thank you! Thus I found myself at the Chirico Trailhead on Wednesday morning, attempting the trail for the very first time.
Tiger Mountain is one of my go-to hiking destinations near the Seattle area when I don’t want to drive too far. Thirty minutes from downtown Seattle, it’s a short drive but miles away from city life. The mountain can draw quite the crowd on a sunny weekend, but I’ve found that most folks tend to congregate on the West Tiger #3 and Poo Poo Point Trails.