Poo Poo - Tiger 3 Loop

Gary was free for an after work hike. I was able to get away earlier than usual. It looked to be the warmest day of the year so far. After this it would be colder and wet heading into the weekend. This was the day to get out. With the TMT shut down south of Tom's Crossing at the north end of Tiger 2 due to logging, we decided to check out the condition of the railroad grade below the TMT. If it was in good condition it would allow for loop trips without the TMT. I arrived at the Sunset Trailhead at 1:40 pm and Gary was already there.  On the warmest day in about six months the lot was not full. Thankfully, not too many folks followed our plan to get out for a hike. Our goal was an 11 mile loop to Poo Poo Point and then Tiger 3 via the railroad grade.

It was about ten degrees warmer than any other hike I had done since October. Noticeably warm but with a lot of shade on this trip it was not too hot for early season.We quickly hiked up to the Tradition Plateau. At the junction with the Adventure Trail we headed right on that route. Our loop would end back at this junction many hours later. There are enough trails through here to make all kinds of loops. We ascended the trail and then gave back elevation down to the High School Trail That brought us up to the Poo Poo Point Trail. The first part is on an old road. Up to this point we had seen trillium in bloom. We also saw yellow violets, spring beauty, and just a couple bleeding hearts. We saw a few folks along the trail but it was not very busy. After crossing the big bridge the road goes on for a few minutes. The old trail turned left straight up the fall line. It was very steep at first. Now the route starts up at a gentle grade then switchbacks to reach the old trail avoiding the steep part.

I hiked up this trail in January and hiked the new trail over to Poo Poo Point for the first time; It cuts out over 100' of elevation gain in both directions. Gary had not seen the modifications and the new trail yet. We hiked the new trail passing where the old trail dropped very steeply to meet this route. A short gentle uphill brought us to Poo Poo Point. I expected a big crowd on such a sunny day and with the very short Chirico Trail also reaching the Point. With all this heat there would be thermals to help the parasailors to stay up for a long time. There should have been a lot of them there. There were no parasailors and not all that many hikers. I was wearing shorts and short sleeves for the first time since about last October and it was plenty warm. No jacket going on when I stopped hiking. We arrived at Poo Poo Point at 3:22 pm. We hiked 3.8 miles in 1:39. I could have spent the rest of the afternoon there. We still had quite a way to go and packed up to go at 3:35 pm.

We retraced our steps back to the junction where the trail continues uphill as the One View Trail. We climbed up to the once four way and now three way junction at the railroad grade. The old right turn trail that dropped to PPT is now well blocked off. We turned left on the railroad grade. I have hiked this trail a number of times over almost 40 years but not any time recently. It does not get much use and can have trees down across it. This time it was in pretty good shape. There were only a couple logs to step over. At one time it was a pretty level grade with a number of trestles over the creeks. Some drops are short but pretty steep down to the creeks. The trestles have long since rotted away. Now we had to climb down and up each of those gullies. We ended any question if this was a railroad grade. There are a couple of old rails right alongside the trail.

We finally reached the junction with the Section Line Trail. It is a very steep trail. We only had the last part of it to hike. The grade at the junction is at 1950'. We had 600' to climb to the top of Tiger 3. We had not seen anyone on the grade and saw nobody on the Section Line. We reached the top of Tiger 3 at 5:09 pm. The sun still seemed to be high in the sky. All winter long our headlamp hikes had us in the dark on the summits. There were other folks on top. As some left others arrived. That was not a surprise. It was mostly sunny but quite hazy to the west. Mt. Rainier had a cloud forming on top. I would have been happy to spend the rest of the day up there in the sunshine. Unfortunately, we still had 4.3 miles to go. After 6.7 miles of hiking we had most of the 3000' of gain done but still had miles to go.

At 5:41 pm we headed down. A few folks passed by us going down. We saw some groups coming up too. Not nearly as many as I expected. We have hiked down this trail a number times this winter, just not in daylight. We made good time though were not trying to go fast. Darkness is around 8:00 pm now. It was quite unlikely we would need our headlamps. On the way down we saw more trillium in bloom and some salmonberry flowers. At the bottom of the Tiger 3 Trail we turned onto the Bus Trail. Nice flat hiking for almost a mile brought us to the Powerline Corridor. We went right then left onto the Wetlands Trail. Round Lake  is full right now. We spooked some ducks on the lake. Before long we completed the loop back at the junction with the Adventure Trail. We retraced our afternoon steps back to the car. We arrived at 7:38 pm. It was ten minutes before sunset.

This turned out to be a really good hike. We left early enough to allow for time on the summits and a leisurely pace. 11 miles with 3000' of elevation gain is a good workout for an after work hike. We used all the available daylight. It will be July before 75 degree days are normal. This was a sneak peak at summer in early April. We saw folks where we expected and none where not expected. There were fewer folks out hiking that I expected for such an unusually warm day. The wildflower show is still a few weeks away but we had a nice preview. All in all, it was a great day to get out of town and enjoy short sleeve hiking once again.

Yellow Violet
Bleeding Hearts
Spring Beauty
Cascading Creek
Catching Some Rays
Poo Poo Point
Salmonberry Flower
On The RR Grade
Four Trillium
An Old Railroad Rail
Jim At Work
Heading North On Grade
Ascending Section Line
West Tiger 2
Looking East
Hazy Seattle
Gary On Tiger 3
Heading Down
Beautiful Trillium
Sunshine & Shadow
Many Mushrooms
West Tiger 3 Trail
Bus Trail
Very Colorful Salmonberry
Round Lake
Nearly Empty Lot
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2022