Tiger Mountain - Iverson Railroad Trail

Description: Tiger Mountain is one of the most popular Seattle area mountain biking destinations. On a weekend afternoon it can be difficult to find a parking place at the trailhead. Tiger Mountain offers some wonderful rocky, rooty, nothwest style singletrack with a few climbs thrown in for fun. There are three singletrack trails on Tiger Mountain that are open to cyclists - The Preston Railroad Trail, Northwest Timber Trail, and Iverson Railroad Trail.

The Iverson Railroad trail is also known as the Fat Hand trail. While the trail was being built one of the workers got hit on the hand with a tool and ended up with a fat hand. Since then the unofficial name of the trail is The Fat Hand Trail. This is a fun trail that features a fun little downhill complete with root steps and large rocks that are just waiting to hit your pedal and knock you off the muni.

This trail can be done as an out and back ride or as a loop. The loop option starts on West Side Road and finishes on the Iverson Railroad Trail. The loop option is the easier route and is a good option for a group ride. The trail is most rideable going from east to west.

The Iverson Railroad Trail can be combined with the Northwest Timber Trail to make a longer ride.

Location: East Tiger Mountain located on Highway 18 just 15 minutes from Snoqualmie and North Bend.
Distance: About 4 miles. Two miles out and two miles back.
Difficulty: Intermediate
The Trail: From the lower parking area take the gated gravel road to the left. This is the West Side Road. After about 0.25 miles you will pass the upper parking lot on your right. Continue on West Side Road. Go around the locked gate that is just past the upper parking lot. About 1.5 miles past the gate you will come to the entrance for the Iverson Railroad Trail on your right. Turn right onto the Iverson Railroad Trail. The trail will climb up and you'll quickly gain about 200 feet of elevation. After the initial climb the trail levels off and begins to follow a contour line. There is one more climb that gains you about 100 feet and then lots of little rolling ups and downs. After a little more than a mile the fun little downhill section begins. You'll go down a chute, try to keep your feet dry as you cross a little creek with no bridge (they are in the process of building a bridge across the creek), go down some little drops, go down some root steps, dodge some basketball size rocks, and have fun. The Iverson Railroad Trail will end at the Connector Trail. Turn right to go to the upper parking lot. Turn left to go to Main Tiger Mountain Road. At Main Tiger Mountian Road turn right and head downhill back to the lower parking lot.
Notes: There is no water available at the trailhead. Bring all the water you are going to need with you.

Pack some basic tools with you. It is a long walk back to the car if you have a mechanical.

There are two parking lots at the trailhead. The lower lot is right by Highway 18. The upper lot is straight through the lower lot, take a left through the open gate, and follow the dirt road about 0.25 miles. The upper lot will be on your right.

There is a pit toilet in the upper parking lot.

These are all multiple use trails. The trails here are open for hikers, horses, and mountain bikes. Yield the trail for hikers. Dismount the unicycle for horses and stand by the side of the trail. Do not do anything that could spook a horse as it passes you. These trails are very well used and it is very likely that you will pass other people on the trail.

The trails are on the east side of the mountain and get dark about an hour before sunset. If you are going to be doing a late evening ride here plan on the trails getting dark earlier than you expect. The trails are under heavy tree cover so they don't get much light to begin with. When the sun starts to go down the light fades quickly.

When parking at the trailheads do not leave valuables in the car.

Getting There:
Directions to East Tiger Mountain: The trailhead is on Highway 18 just 15 minutes from Snoqualmie and North Bend. From Snoqualmie get on I-90 and head west to Exit 25 (Highway 18 and the Snoqualmie Parkway). Head south on Highway 18 for 4.5 miles. The trailhead parking area will be on the right just after highway passes over the summit (there will be a small road sign giving the elevation of the summit). Stay in the right-hand lane as you drive over the summit (stay out of the uphill passing lane) otherwise you may miss the right turn into the trailhead parking lot.

Driving directions and map

   
Maps: Overview map of the trail 327 KB

The overview jpg maps don't have a high enough resolution for good printing. The purpose of the overview map is to give you an idea of the area. I'll have high resolution printed maps to hand out at the convention.