More appealing than the name may lead you to believe, the trail up to Poo Poo Point – on the shoulder of Issaquah’s Tiger Mountain – makes for a nice day hike that’s right outside Seattle. The traditional trail is 7.2 miles round-trip with 1,858 feet of elevation gain; if you’re pressed for time, you can also take the shorter but steeper Chirico trail (3.8 miles round-trip). Views from the top include Issaquah Valley, Lake Sammamish, and, when conditions are right, hang gliders and paragliders soaring through the air. The top of Poo Poo Point is one of their favored launching pads.
What Makes It Great
The traditional hiking trail begins at Issaquah High School. Pass the swampy area and the athletic fields on Second Avenue SE to the first sign. Keep right, heading up a gentle hill on an old railroad grade. You’ll soon enter Tiger Mountain State Park.
At 0.9 miles you’ll encounter a power line and cross over a buried gas line. Then the route continues winding through a mix of deciduous and coniferous forests, crossing small creeks along the way. Look out for trillium, bleeding heart, and yellow violets in the spring, and for salmonberries and thimbleberries in the summer.
The trail then brings you to a three-way junction at the top of the hill. Poo Poo Point is just half a mile further; first you’ll go down and then make another short climb to the north launch on top of the point.
Since it gets them to the top (i.e. to the fun part) more quickly, hang gliders and paragliders take the shorter Chirico trail. This route starts on the eastern edge of their landing field, and goes up the steep “Yah-er Wall,” a forested hill ascended by switchbacks and stone steps. Going this way you’ll first encounter the south launch, which, on a clear day, offers views of Mount Rainier. The north launch and the top of Poo Poo Point is a quarter mile further.
Who is Going to Love It
Hang gliders and para gliders, anyone looking for an accessible, pleasant trail with a little extra entertainment thrown in (watching the hang gliders and paragliders). This is also a great evening hike, because Poo Poo Point offers wonderful sunset views.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
For the traditional trail, exit I-90 at Front Street, continue downtown, and then turn left onto Second Avenue SE. Look for street parking here, or try the small gravel lot just beyond the board fence. For the Chirico Trail, continue down Front Street until it becomes Issaquah Hobart Road. About three miles from I-90 turn into the large graveled parking lot on the left.