Tiger Mountain is one of Seattle's most popular mountain biking destinations. The East Tiger Summit Trail, Preston Railroad Trail, Iverson (Fat Hand) Trail, Silent Swamp Trail, Fully Rigid Trail, Joy Ride Trail and Northwest Timber Trail are all open to bicycles. The trails are typically closed seasonally from October 15 to April 15 (check exact dates here), but there are many miles of roads open all year long.
Trails vary in difficulty:
- Iverson is considered moderately technical, and is a bit of a grunt in either direction. Call it a Blue Square.
- East Tiger Summit is extremely fast and flowly, requiring minimum pedaling, and overall pretty buff but with a few gnarly spots. Big physical grunt to get to the top, but a Green Circle to descend.
- Preston Railroad Grade is also fast but more technical than the Summit Trail, with roots, rocks, some gnar sections and some switchbacks. It requires very little pedaling in the downhill direction, but can be ridden either way. It's a challenge in the climbing direction! Blue Square on the way down, Black Diamond for the way up.
- Preston Bailout Radness (PBR) is a relatively short, .4 mile, trail off of the third switch back on Preston that offers an alternate way to the crossover road that removes most of the climb to Fully Rigid. It’s a rooty, technical flow trail that crosses the characteristics of Fully Rigid and Joy Ride with excellent sight lines and several bermed turns. Blue square/black diamond descending, black diamond climbing. Note this trail is designated as descending riders having right-of-way.
- Silent Swamp is a rolling elevation trail that connects the bottom of Preston to the top of NW Timber (via Joy Ride) without needing to ride the road. This is a new purpose built trail for bikes, so not reusing a road grade. It can be ridden either way, Blue Square either way.
- Fully Rigid is a short, technical trail that connects the road above NW Timber to the intersection of Silent Swamp and Joy Ride. It has some very tight and gnarly sections, and is intended to be ridden in the downhill direction, and is an extreme challenge to climb! Black Diamond downhill, Double Diamond uphill.
- Joy Ride is similar to the East Tiger Summit Trail - flowy and fast with some rollers in places. Green Circle/Blue Square either way.
- NW Timber is a mostly buff Green Circle that can be ridden either direction, but has a few intimidating cruxes that a fair number of riders might dismount for (the infamous off-camber root drop near the ledge). This trail is nearest to the trailhead; watch for hikers and riders going both ways.
- Off the Grid (OTG) is 2.5 mile trail opened late August 2014. It is a mostly downhill trail that peals off to the right just after you cross the road when descending the East Tiger summit trail. It rides like a good mix of Joy Ride and Fully Rigid, but does contain a few short climbing section. It exits directly above the entrance to Fully Rigid.
Tiger mountain can be wet following rain. Preston can ooze water for up to a week after a heavy rain, so please take this into consideration when planning your ride. The trails are closed seasonally from middle of October through middle of April. Exact dates may vary, so check with Evergreen or DNR to see if the dates have been extended due to dry weather.
Evergreen is underway with a major improvement of the Tiger Mountain bicycle trail system.
Took Tiger Summit trail to Off the Grid. Summit was in pretty good shape as were the first rollovers and step ups on Off the Grid. Second third of the trail was pretty mangled; slick rocks/roots/ brake divets/ and so forth making for some cantankerous riding. Fortunately, when the terrain and dirt gets a bit better packed and less rooty, the riding was pretty smooth and allowed me to book it without break checking everyother turn. Took Grid to Fully Rigid which had some fun techy stuff, narrow tree hits and lots of tight rooty turns. Trail wasn't in top shape, def a bit slick and required some kicking off the ground with my foot. But, it smoothes out and allows for faster riding once you get to Joy Ride and NW Timber Trail. Just watch out for tight turns where the soil is loose if you value your knees and shins :) I am guessing that everything will dry out in the next couple days! (ALSO, the new Summit trail is GREAT. DO IT)
Dawn Patrol at Tiger this AM, found OTG packing in and drying out nice. FR and JR both in good shape, and recent brushing on NW Timber.
Standard loop now with picking up PBR off the third switch back on Preston. Just like getting a powder day with this new option and cutting out the road climb on the crossover. Flow and tech similar to Fully Rigid and Joy Ride but with much better sight lines. The whole mountain is running ridiculously fast right now.
This dry weather has resulted in a particularly fast and furious season for Tiger; no mud anywhere. Soo good, just keep hitting the "replay" button on it.
Was unsure how Preston would be flowing with the recent rains, but pleasantly surprised! A teeny bit slick on the summit trail, but otherwise perfect tack and no mud anywhere. Rode everything except Iverson.
Rode the "Enduro Special" loop - Iverson CW, climb the road to Summit, Summit to Preston, climb crossover road to Fully Rigid, Fully Rigid to Silent Swamp, repeat the road to Fully Rigid, Fully Rigid to Joyride to NW Timber. And after all that, not a drop of mud on the bike - seriously! Flowers and berries are all in bloom: Ghost Plant, Twisted Stalk, Red Baneberry, Salmonberry, Red Huckleberry, Trailing Blackberry, Devil's Club, Red Elderberry, Fireweed, Foxglove, Daisies... it's all going off! Get it before the rain!
It will be hard to top this ride at Tiger - maybe the best ever for me. Perfect weather, perfect dirt, Preston was DRY (look at the pic!), not one other rider seen the whole time, and some face-time with Rainier at the summit.
I found my new favorite loop: Iverson CW, road up to summit, East Tiger Summit to Preston, crossover road to Fully Rigid, Fully Rigid to Silent Swamp, Silent Swamp to crossover road, back down Fully Rigid to Joyride, Joyride to NW Timber.