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Northwest Timber Trail

Issaquah Alps

Location

Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain
View map below

Length

4.4 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 150 ft.
Highest Point: 1500 ft.

Rating

3.20 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 
 

The Northwest Timber Trail can be an easy first hike for young hikers, or it can be a pleasant stroll for experienced hikers when they have limited time. For many, this trail is a gateway to other routes that lead to more distant goals, such as the Silent Swamp Loop or the Preston Railroad Grade, or to forest roads that lead to the summit of East Tiger.

Begin at the Tiger Summit Trailhead and take the short Connector Trail heading east. It soon crosses the Main Tiger Mountain Road (Rd 4000) and then becomes the NW Timber Trail. Enjoy the surroundings here that are exceptionally green and mossy, and in spring be alert for a few wildflowers.

Soon, you will come to a trail junction. This could be confusing because it's not shown on the 2014 or earlier revisions of the Green Trails Tiger Mountain Map. The right fork is the ongoing NW Timber Trail (although in the spring of 2016 the trail sign was reported missing.)

Just FYI the left trail fork here, signed "Master Link Trail," is one of several new trails constructed in this corner of the Tigers for joint use by hikers and mountain bikers. Some of these new trails may not be shown on your map, but likely will appear on future map revisions. In the interim, you can find all the new joint-use trails depicted on a map offered by Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. (Click the Navigation tab to view or download the map.)

Stay on the NW Timber Trail, and about 0.5 mi from your trailhead you will pass a very steep hillside, one of the steepest you will see in the Tigers. It's a shoulder of Beaver Hill that you can find on your map. Along the way and in season you will cross small streams that tumble down from the heights (some years, in late summer, they may be dry.)

Farther along, the trail enters an area that was logged a few years ago. It's been replanted, and now a few knee-high or taller trees can be seen among the native transitional vegetation. At least it's green and easy on the eyes, and in spring you will find different wildflowers here in this sunnier area than you see in the shady forest near the trailhead.

Continuing on, pass junctions with two additional joint use hiker-biker trails, first the Easy Tiger Trail on your right, then the Joy Ride Trail on your left. Stay on the NW Timber Trail, and it will come to an end when you reach the East Side Road (Road 7000,) 2.2 miles from your trailhead. Like many roads in the Tigers, this is a service road intended for use by authorized vehicles so you are unlikely to see much traffic here.

When you are ready, you can return the way you came, or can consult your map for other options.

Extending Your Hike: For an interesting, but longer and considerably more strenuous hike (8.8 mi RT, 600 ft elevation change,) see Silent Swamp Loop in our hiking guide.

 

Northwest Timber Trail

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.4669, -121.9333 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain

Northwest Timber Trail (#TIGER)

Washington State Department of Natural Resources

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Harvey Manning

Winter Walks and Hikes Puget Sound

Ed 2 (2002)

Dan A. Nelson and Alan L. Bauer

Day Hiking Snoqualmie Region

Ed 2 (2014)

Green Trails Tiger Mountain / Taylor Mountain No. 204S

Getting There

From I-90 a few miles east of Issaquah, take Exit 25 and head south on Highway 18. In about four miles, turn off to the right at Tiger Summit. Or, if you are coming from Tacoma or points south on I-5, take the Highway 18 exit (Auburn) and head east to Tiger Summit. As you leave the pavement, watch for potholes. Continue on Road 1000 a quarter mile to the trailhead parking area, just before you reach a locked gate. A toilet is available, but no regular water source. A Discover Pass is required here. As an alternative, you could park in the large open area adjacent to Highway 18, where a Discover Pass is not required. In that event, it will be easier to walk up Road 4000 for 0.3 mile to find the beginning of the Northwest Timber Trail.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 

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Northwest Timber Trail

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