Tiger Mountain V (Loop) / 虎山之五 (環線)

  • Reading time:4 mins read

Tiger Mountain V was our fifth time going up the famous mountain. I’ve lived at the foothills for nearly two years. But I’ve only discovered the shortcut up to the Preston Powerline Trail today.

Leaving East Tiger Mountain behind
Leaving East Tiger Mountain behind

See more trip photos here.
See other Tiger Mountain trips here.

Tiger Mountain V at a Glance

Access: Preston Powerline Trail
Round Trip: 15.3 miles
Elevation Range: 540′-3004′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Preston Powerline Trail

Our discovery cut nearly two miles off the approach. So we only had to walk .25 miles to the Preston Powerline Trail this time. It was our starting point to the main summit as last year.

Shortly, we hiked southbound through Dwight’s Way. Then we moved southeast on East Tiger Trail. We had somehow missed the first part of the trail after taking a spur trail. But later, we found the official path at 2100′.

Powerline Trail
Preston Powerline Trail

See more trip photos here.

In Search of East Tiger Trail

Eventually, the trail made its way out onto a road. It was at the top of Soderman Creek. But I couldn’t find any signs nearby to know our precise location.

So we walked down the road for a short distance. There I noticed logging debris up ahead. But I knew the road would most likely not be part of the trail network. So we turned around.

In search of the trail
In search of the trail

See more trip photos here.

Getting Back on Track

We backtracked to the East Tiger Trail. Then I suddenly noticed a tiny cairn with blue flagging right across the road from us. So we followed the marker and went back into the forest.

Soon, we hiked a short distance through the trees. Then we went out into the west end of the logging boundary. The logging activities had wiped out a significant portion of the trail through this area.

Logging debris
Logging debris

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One Step Closer to East Tiger Mountain

We may or may not enjoy doing things the hard way. But we painfully fought through the logging debris to the east end. Then we went out onto the Preston Railroad Trail.

Sadly, we lost the final part of the East Tiger Trail. So we scrambled up the north ridge infested with down trees. But later, we took the East Tiger Summit Trail, where it crossed the Off-the-Grid Trail.

We do things the hard way
We do things the hard way

See more trip photos here.

Tiger Mountain V Summit Views

We continued on the main path and crossed Road 5570. Then one last bit of the trail hike took us up to the summit. There we met four bikers, three runners, and two hikers during our break.

The southeastern view down to the valley was clear. But the low clouds had long shrouded most of Mount Rainier. The incessant clanking from the gusts beating the towers was nerve-racking.

Mount Rainier in hiding
Mount Rainier in hiding

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Middle Tiger Mountain

We still had plenty of daylight at our disposal. But the heavy rain in the forecast was to arrive between 4 and 5. So the pup and I took the East Tiger Summit Trail over to Middle Tiger Mountain.

I vividly remembered it from eight years ago. There was nothing to see on this summit except trees. So we left after a few minutes on top. Then we continued onto West Tiger Mountain.

Summit view on Middle Tiger Mountain
Summit view on Middle Tiger Mountain

See more trip photos here.

West Tiger Mountain

The bulk of our four-mile hike was on the road. But with that, we made our way from Middle Tiger to West Tiger #3. At the same time, we went through the summits of #1 and #2.

The walk over all the high points went by fast. But West Tiger #3 was especially memorable. It was the first place on Tiger Mountain, the black pup, and I visited nearly a decade ago. Time flies.

West Tiger Mountain #2 from #3 summit
West Tiger Mountain #2 from #3 summit

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Outro

We went down the mountain at dusk. Then we proceeded to make the final 3.5 miles of the loop hike. So we could make our way back to the Preston Powerline Trail.

Later we moved north-northeast over a slew of trails. Then we fought the brush a bit and made it back down to our starting point. Just then, the rain began to fall. So talk about timing!

After sundown
After sundown

See more trip photos here.

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