I took advantage of this Seattle trip to explore the trails around. Staying in Bellevue, WA, I tried to find a challenging trail not too far. After searching online, it sounds like the Tiger Mountain Trail could be what I was looking for. In the nature, with some good elevation, it can be a good training run, especially the day after running the Baker Lake 25K.
When searching what trail I can run the night before, I found out that you need a pass to park. This is a good initiative: if you are using the trail, you have to pay a fee (so, people that does not use the trail does not pay this tax). More fair than a tax system (where both users and non-users pay), it was unfortunately too late for me to get a pass: being in my bedroom at 10pm and as I wanted to run in the morning at 7am, I had no way to print it before I get there. But the start of the Tiger Mountain Trail does not require a pass, so, I was safe on that front. If you plan to run in the area, consider taking a pass – I will definitively take one when coming back, especially if I use the trail for few days.
The trail is well maintained and well marked. Getting lost is very unlikely. Prepare ahead of time, look the course on google maps, this is pretty easy to follow. The route is mostly single track with some roots and rocks here and there. Nothing really crazy. I ran the first 6.5 miles and take some good climb, having a 2000 feet of total elevation. Not so sure about the total mileage and elevation since the garmin lost the GPS reception several times during the run.
If you are running it early in the morning, you will get also a lot of fog as you climb. Also, the temperature can be very cold – after climbing 2000 ft, I stopped for a while and was feeling very cold – it was time to move again and avoid to get lost. Finally, if you do it, get some shoes with good traction – as it often rains in the area, rocks can get very slippery.
If you want to do it …
- if you do not have a pass, you can park at the start of the trail
- get shoes with traction – the rain and make the terrain slippery
- be careful of the temperature: as you climb, it can be pretty steep
- the wta website good the direction to the start and a good description of the tail