Elevation: 422 ft - 2,522 ft (summit of West Tiger)
Elevation Gain: 2,100 ft
Bathrooms at the trailhead: Yes
Dogs: Leash only
|A walk through the Tiger Mountain State Forest |
is a unique treat for a Coloradoan
We decided to head for a 4-mile loop off of I-90 (exit 20), since there was a map to the area in our house. Once you exit the freeway, the trailhead is a short distance up a dirt road on the south side of the highway.
When we arrived there were only two cars in the parking lot. Given this area's reputation for over crowding, we were quite surprised. Perhaps the steady down pour was deterring the hardy locals or perhaps [hee hee] they were all working. There were signs all over saying you needed a Discovery Pass to park there. There were no kiosks to purchase any parking so I decided to ask two gals who suddenly appeared from the woods what this Discovery thing was. They told me it was a new thing that Washington was instigating and that you had to buy the pass at select stores in town but that no one was getting thrown in jail just yet for not having one. They told that a week long pass was almost as much as a yearly pass. Washington is definitely targeting tourists there.
Since these gals seemed to be in the know, I also asked them what the best trail in the park was. They said that Tiger Mountain #3 would take us to the summit but that it was over 2,000 feet elevation gain. 2,000 feet in Colorado is a borderline death march but these gals were smiling and happy so I really thought I had misheard them. Turns out I had not. Armed with this info, and daring the parking patrol to nab us, we set out to see what Tiger Mountain was like.
|The signage in the park was decent. Some signs were missing, however and there were a few unmarked trails.|
|The lower part of the trail is hardwoods and underbrush.|
|The upper portion of the trail is shrouded in dense Douglas Firs|
|Close up of a fern|