Even if heights aren’t your cup of tea, enjoy the majestic sport of paragliding as you make your way up Tiger Mountain’s south side. This spring hike is best on a mild and sunny day and will offer you memorable views of daring paragliders taking off of the infamous paragliding hotspot, Poo Poo point.

The trailhead begins at a grassy field. Watch above you, this is the landing strip for paragliders jumping from above. Enter through the gates of the trailhead and you’ll suddenly find yourself within a tight-knit world of mossy maple, Douglas fir, and Western sword ferns. The chirico trail is steep from the very beginning, and within minutes you can spot the outskirts of Issaquah growing distant through the trees. After several switchbacks the trail winds around the side of the mountain where you can glimpse your first scenic view of Hobart and the Mt. Rainier through the branches.

 

Continue on the switch-backing trail until you reach the first paraglider jump site, facing south at 1,550 feet. The first jump site is a large grassy ridge that has been cleared of all trees and foliage. Even when there are no paragliders present, its openness gives you stunning views of Mt. Rainier and the forested towns far below. But this view is just a taste of what is to come.

Continue on the path for roughly .25 miles to reach the second jump site. The second site is much larger and 100 feet higher than the first, facing northwest. Its carpeted departure strip offers paragliders more traction to jump, making it a popular site and often crowded on fair weathered days. It is so expansive that the bare green strip can even be seen from the town of Issaquah. Step out of the trees and you’ll be greeted by an amazing panoramic view of Squak Mountain and Cougar Mountain to your left, Issaquah below, Bellevue and Lake Sammamish ahead of you, and the Sammamish Plateau to your right.

 

Length: 1.8 miles one way
Variety: Out and back
Elevation Gain: 1650
Difficulty: moderate, my mother could do it
Season: Winter Spring
Trail Open to: Hikers, Dogs
Passes Permits: None
Facilities at Trailhead: Portable Privy
Maps: Green Trails #204S Tiger Mountain

Directions: From 1-90 take Exit 17. Follow Front Street through Issaquah, continue on the road as it turns into Hobart-Issaquah Road. The trailhead will be on your left at the hang-glider landing area.

 

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