7.2 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 1858 ft.
Highest Point: 2021 ft.
Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain
Poo Poo Point lies on a shoulder of West Tiger Mountain, and a small knoll there is topped by a mast with a windsock. The knoll is only a few feet higher than the surrounding area, but it qualifies Poo Poo Point - if minimally - as one of West Tiger's summits. The folksy name is a reference to the steam whistle sounds heard throughout the Tigers in the early days of logging. More recently (1970s) the area around Poo Poo Point was logged by its then owners, Weyerhaeuser Corporation. They even took the stumps! The result is a large clear area used now as a launching pad by paragliders who generally backpack their lightweight gear up the Chirico Trail, or sometimes arrive by minibus. The Point also offers a fine view northwest across Issaquah and Lake Sammamish toward Bellevue's downtown. To the west are Squak and Cougar Mountains, with a hint of Seattle's tallest buildings showing beyond.
From the trailhead on Second Ave SE in Issaquah take the unsigned trail, passing swampy areas and the high school athletic fields. In 0.3 miles come to the first trail sign, placed there by the Issaquah Alps Trail Club to mark the start of the High School Trail. Turn right at the sign and, in 100 feet or so, bear right again, heading uphill on an old road grade. A later sign indicates passage from the Issaquah city limits into Tiger Mountain State Forest. Another sign mentions wildlife, and displays prominent images of a bear and a cougar. They are out there, of course, but the likelihood of a sighting is very slight.
Continue on the old road bed, ignoring side trails whether signed or unsigned. At 0.8 miles cross a small creek that flows all year from Round Lake on the Tradition Plateau. At 0.9 miles come to a power line. A few feet to the left a wooden trail sign points to the right up a rocky slope, indicating the way to the Poo Poo Point and Section Line Trails. Hike that way, and very soon come to the signed beginning of the Poo Poo Point Trail. The fainter trail heading left though a wooden gate is the steep Section Line Trail that goes to West Tiger #3.
The Poo Poo Point Trail crosses the open route of a buried gas line, then climbs steadily up an old railroad grade through mixed deciduous and coniferous forest. In early spring, look for trillium, bleeding heart, and yellow violets. Later in the summer, be alert for salmonberries or thimble berries. Throughout the year, hikers can enjoy the vigorous growth of ferns and the accumulations of moss on trees.
The route traverses Many Creeks Valley crossing a number of small creeks, some of them seasonal, then levels out briefly to cross Gap Creek on a high bridge. This is a great place to pause and view the stream and many large mossy trees. The trail then continues on more steeply through coniferous forest. Note the many old decaying stumps, a remnant from logging days, some of them now appealing abstract sculptures in reddish brown tones.
Soon, reach a signed three-way trail junction and the highest elevation of your hike. To the left is the West Tiger Railroad Grade, straight ahead is the One View Trail. Head to the right, where the trail continues to Poo Poo Point, now just a half-mile away. The trail loses 170 feet of elevation before resuming a very gentle climb on an old logging grade to reach Poo Poo Point - specifically, the North Launch Viewpoint. The gravel road seen arriving at the Point is the West Side Road, one of several non-public service roads that begin at the Tiger Summit on Highway 18.
The Point is a great spot to sit and enjoy the view and have a snack. There are two picnic tables, and there is a Clivus toilet. There is no regular water source at the Point. If your timing is right you may enjoy seeing a few paragliders soar off the steep northwestern face of the Point.
From I-90 east, take Exit 17 for Front Street and head south through the picturesque old downtown. 2.8 miles from the exit, find the new parking lot. For alternative parking you could check the Issaquah High School lot. The entrance is 0.3 miles north on Second Ave SE. There are several sections to the lot, and some sections are marked on the pavement "Staff Only." Try to find a slot in an unrestricted area.
THIS HIKE IS SELF GUIDED!! - There may or may not be a coordinator in attendance. Be responsible for yourself and those you hike with.
DISCLAIMER: HIKING IN THE WILDERNESS CAN PUT YOU IN DANGEROUS SITUATIONS, MENTAL AND PHYSICAL STRESS. I AM NOT A HIKING GUIDE. I AM ONLY A HIKER INVITING OTHER HIKERS TO JOIN IN THE FUN. WHEN YOU RSVP AND ATTEND THESE MEETUPS, YOU ARE ACKNOWLEDGING THAT YOU ARE FULLY AWARE THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY.