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Big Tree Trail

Issaquah Alps

Location

Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain
View map below

Length

1.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 110 ft.
Highest Point: 530 ft.

Rating

3.40 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2013
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 
 

The Big Tree Trail is a short (0.5 mile) trail on Tiger Mountain's Tradition Plateau. It passes one of the largest Douglas firs still standing in the Tigers, and also passes a short section of some of the best true swamp you will find in the area, with lots of hanging moss and standing water.

The trail is one of several in the Tigers that do not have a trailhead of their own, so it only can be hiked in combination with other trails. Because the network of trails on the Tradition Plateau is fairly complex, it will be helpful to refer to the Green Trails Map, No 204S, and it will be clear from the map that there are several options for a loop hike that includes the Big Tree Trail.

Many hikers will find our Tradition Lake Loop a particularly satisfying route. It leaves the main High Point Trailhead and takes the Around the Lake Trail, the Bus Trail, the Wetlands Trail and the Brink Trail (briefly,) to reach the Big Tree Trail. After you hike the Big Tree Trail, the route continues on via the Swamp Trail to return to the main trailhead. For important details, check the WTA Hiking Guide for the Tradition Lake Loop.

Other routes leaving the main High Point Trailhead that include the Big Tree Trail will be evident from the map. Or, for a considerably shorter route - but one with an extra 300 feet of elevation gain - you could park at the east end of E Sunset Way in Issaquah and hike up the trail that follows the power line (with an occasional switchback) to reach the Brink Trail just south of the junction with the Big Tree Trail. That option is shown on the map too.

NOTE: A copy of the Green Trails map is posted on the bulletin board at the Main Highpoint Trailhead. You will find another posted at the southeast end of the Wetlands Trail, if you reach the Big Tree Trail from that direction. You can refer to these maps if your own copy is buried deep in your day pack.

The names and locations of Tradition Plateau trails shown on the Green Trails map correspond most closely with what you will find on signs placed along the trails.

 

Big Tree Trail

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.5296, -121.9961 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain

Big Tree Trail (#TIGER)

Washington State Department of Natural Resources

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Winter Walks and Hikes Puget Sound

Harvey Manning

Mountaineers Books

2nd Ed 2002.

National Geographic Issaquah Alps Mount Si 824

Green Trails Tiger Mountain Taylor Mountain 204S

Getting There

From I-90, a few miles east of Issaquah, take Exit 20 (High Point) and turn south on 270th Ave SE. Just a few yards south of I-90, turn right onto SE 79th St and continue on west. The pavement ends in 0.4 miles, and a gate there is open each day from dawn until dusk. If you arrive earlier, or expect to leave after dusk, you will need to park along either side of the road here and follow the obvious trail 0.5 miles to the parking lot. Otherwise, you are welcome to drive on through, watching for possible potholes, and park in the lot. A Discover Pass is required. A toilet is available, but no regular water source.

As a possible alternative for hikers who don't have the use of a car, King County Metro bus Route 208 runs between Issaquah and North Bend, and on weekdays it has a stop at 270th Ave SE. It's a short walk to reach SE 79th St, but then about 0.9 miles to the main parking lot. There are only a few buses each day, so if you use this option be sure to check schedules carefully at metro.kingcounty.gov, including those for any connecting routes.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 

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Big Tree Trail

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