It's one of those things that we often passed on Highway 18. At the Tiger Mountain summit, there is a little parking lot. It took many years to learn that it was a trail head. And it took many more years to finally hike that trail.
It was a spur of the moment thing. We had a free day with our only obligation being annual vet appointments for the dogs (they're in good health). Then Hubby was like, let's go to Mt. Rainier, take the dogs for a hike there. I was like, um...Sure! Then I thought someone had told me that you couldn't take dogs on the trails. And I was right. Because it's a National Park, they only allow dogs where cars can go. So, ruling that out, I suggested we do the Tiger Mountain trail. And so that is what we did.
We set out and got some sandwiches at Quizno's. Then we drove to the trail head. It's a short 15 minute drive from the house. From the Hwy 18 trail head, there are a couple of different trails. We took the Iverson Railroad trail (the other two trails - Northwest Timber trail and Preston Railroad trail were closed due to maintenance) There are old logging roads that comprise some of the trails. The trail we hiked was designed for mountain bikers and we saw a few of them, but it was pretty quiet and didn't see a whole lot of people. We had the dogs so fellow hikers were really friendly and wanted to pet the dogs.
The loop was really enjoyable - every part of it was new since we didn't have to backtrack. The first part was on the forest trail and the second part was on the logging road. The dogs did a great job, considering they just had vet appointments. We took along plenty of water, and I have to say those collapsible Rubbermaid containers make the best portable dog bowls! They're portable and you can put a lid on it to prevent a wet mess in the backpack. Bandit was getting really tired, but she only stopped once to lay down, and that was near the end.
We're both really glad we did it. We pushed ourselves a little, but we're certainly not dead tired. My feet, however, are a little sore. Already, we're planning on returning and trying the other trails. Tiger Mountain has two other trail heads to choose from so there are a lot of options. It's so nice to have something so close.
The hike was pretty scenic, wandering in the forest, crossing bridges going over mountain streams, seeing an occasional large boulder covered in moss, and meadows that were long ago clearcut forests.
4 days ago