West Tiger Mountain in Issaquah Alps via Preston Powerline Trail / 西虎山

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West Tiger Mountain in Issaquah Alps is one of the six summits along the Tiger Mountain massif. The vast trail network, including paths like Preston Trail, offers various difficulties with something for everyone.

West Tiger Mountain 1 radio facility
West Tiger Mountain 1 radio facility

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

West Tiger Mountain 1 at a Glance

Access: Preston Powerline Trail
Round Trip: 6.5 miles
Elevation Range: 540′-2948′
Gear: microspikes, snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

February Snow

Snowstorms in the last few days have brought a surprising amount of fresh powder. That meant most of us here would stay put for a while. Or at least until the snowplows make rounds through the back streets.

Living at the northern foothills of Tiger Mountain, I’m thankful to have direct access. It’s also the one place I can hike to without driving. So after last night’s snowfall, we tried to bet the 10 AM snow in the forecast.


See more trip photos here.

Preston Trail

Preston Trail is the most direct way to reach West Tiger Mountain from the house. But we first had to make our way to the Preston Powerline Trail. So we stumbled through the forest behind the neighborhood at the crack of dawn.

It didn’t look like anyone had set foot on the trail since it snowed. Then right before Dwight’s Way, I saw boot tracks coming down from uphill. But they all went back east on the private land.

This way to West Tiger Mountain #1
This way to West Tiger Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Through the State Forest

Later we took a right at the fork. Then just past a tiny stream, we made the first left onto West Tiger Mountain 1 Trail. Then at the next crossing, we continued uphill toward the east ridge.

Different maps appeared to use Preston Trail and West Tiger Mountain 1 Trail interchangeably. But a clear sign placed at every junction kept us on track. Soon, I put on snowshoes below the east ridge.

Open invitation
Open invitation

See more trip photos here.

Hikers Hut on West Tiger Mountain 1

We later took the Bypass Trail around the north of the radio facility. Then we continued to the open area by the Hikers Hut and the lone bench. Holy moly, it was super gusty, with snow flying in all directions!

We dove into the trees minutes later and walked up to the towers. It wasn’t as breezy there, but the wind chill made hanging around uncomfortable. So we left a short while later.

Hikers Hut viewpoint
Hikers Hut viewpoint

See more trip photos here.


It continued to snow throughout the morning. Then it stopped as we went back to Preston Powerline Trail. Despite the weather, it was surprising not to see people out on the mountain.

Not sure what the snow situation was over at High Point. But getting into the parking lot from the freeway would perhaps be challenging for most people with compact cars. At least it would be for me!

Mount Rainier in hiding
Back on Preston Powerline Trail

See more trip photos here.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Miranda

    Hi John,
    We met in line waiting for permits. I managed to summit Luna Peak with your kind advice. Once I forgot my poles, once I pooped out, and finally made it on the third try. I’m wondering if you ever like company. My husband Craig and I would love to do some of the tougher hikes with a “guide.”

    1. onehikeaweek

      Hey, Miranda!

      Good to hear from you. It seems like forever since we stood in line at the ranger station. Glad you were able to climb Luna and come back safely. Yes, we should get together and do some scrambles. You can reach me directly using the email icon at the top of the page. Or find Contact under the About menu. Take care!

  2. Louise Suhr

    Hi John, A friend and I hiked up to WT1 from Preston TH today 2/16. Along the power line in the morning, we met a Rottweiler dog without a collar. Very friendly chap, who followed us up and down, well actually, he led most of the time. Back along the power line in the afternoon, we asked a dad outside with a couple of children if he recognized the dog, and he said no. Back at the car, the dog was obviously waiting for us to invite him to jump in, Luckily, a state trooper drove by right then, and offered to take the dog to a local vet to see if he was chipped. Hope so! Seeing as you are local, do you know of this dog and who his humans might be? Hope so!

    1. onehikeaweek

      Hey, Louise!

      I hope you had an enjoyable outing on the mountain. Too bad about the dog. I haven’t seen any Rottweilers in our neighborhood along Preston Way. Perhaps he belongs to one of those homes on the south side of Preston Powerline Trail. But I hope he finds his way home! Fingers crossed.

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