Friday, February 6, 2015

Tiger Mountain

Another hike we took recently was to Tiger Mountain near Issaquah on the way to Snoqualmie Pass.  This region was logged up until about 1930 and part of the trail was a railway route for the logging companies.  The big lumber mill was just south of here in the town of Hobart.  In more recent times the State Department of Natural Resources bought up large tracks of land to preserve the forests making Tiger Mountain a State Forest.  For sustainable logging the area will not be harvested for timber more often than once every 100 years.  The department has promised not to log the ecologically sensitive areas on the mountain, also logging near the trails will be avoided if possible.  Giant old stumps can be found among the 2nd and 3rd growth trees that bracket the trail side. 

Little trees and shrubs have started growing on the old stumps

Conservation of the mountain was encouraged and aided by the Issaquah Alps Trail Club.  The club built the Tiger Mountain trail (TMT) that crosses the entire mountain and many additional trails.  The mountain thus became a popular hiking and recreation area (hiking, horse back riding, hang gliding).  Trails are open to non-motorized recreation only.   Harvey Manning, who was a noted mountaineer and one of the major lobbyists to promote the creation of the North Cascades National Park, founded the Issaquah Alps Trail Club. 

 The trails range from very easy to long and difficult.  The trail we took was the on the south end of TMT that is part of the original 15 mile route but we planned to go only about 2 or 3 miles in and then return.  The trail is marked for hikers and horses only but I think dogs must be included because we did see a couple.  The trail is dirt and at this time of year it had lots of muddy patches.  We had almost reached our destination when we encountered a huge muddy quagmire and turned back rather than continue.  We ended up with a 3.5 mile round trip, elevation gain of 550 feet.  It was a beautiful day—the temperature got up to 63 degrees F.

 There were several recently downed trees that had been cut to allow trail access

Licorice ferns growing in the moss on this cut log

 A very large Conk also called Bracket Fungus growing on the side of a tree

 Views of the forest from the trail

 Flowering moss?  At least that is what these little trumpets looked like.

One of several big mud pits but not the huge quagmire that forced a retreat


Thanks to Bob for providing information about Tiger Mountain and the Issaquah Alps Trail Club.

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