Quick Hiking Fixes from Seattle: Cougar, Squak and Tiger

A lot of hikers in the Seattle area tend to ignore the Issaquah Alps peaks — Tiger, Squak and Cougar mountains.

Until this year, the SkiZer was one of them. He thought, “Too close to the city. Not challenging enough. Boring.” It’s hard to admit, but the SkiZer was wrong.

In recent weeks, SkiZer has summited all three peaks and found things to love about each of them. And that thing about being close to the city is actually quite a benefit: A hiker from Seattle can get to the trailhead within minutes, pound out a great hike, and be finished in a couple of hours.

That kind of access is pretty amazing.

Here’s a look at those big three peaks looming above the city of Issaquah:

TigerView
The summit of West Tiger No. 3.
TigerHiker
Hiking the Section Line Trail on Tiger Mountain.
CougarTop
Near the summit of Cougar Mountain.
Creek
Lovely Wilderness Creek on Cougar Mountain.
MaggiesWay
Climbing “Maggie’s Way” trail on Squak Mountain.

Quick Escapes for Excellent Views Along I-90

What makes a great hike in the Washington Cascades? For most people, it involves climbing a mountain for a view or to see a waterfall.

That has been a challenge so far this spring. Cold temps, rain, snowy and muddy trails have delayed the start of hiking season for most people. But the SkiZer has been hitting it, going on a few lower-elevation hikes along I-90 east.

Here are a few excellent quick hits in the North Bend area to get that view fix:

LilSiSummit
Summit of Little Si near North Bend.
Mailbox4
Mailbox Peak: Checking for delivery after a 4,000-foot vertical climb.
RattlesnakeLedge
Rattlesnake Ledge on a cold day.
AsahelCurtis2
Asahel Curtis nature walk.
Cedar Butte
Looking at Mount Si from the Cedar Butte summit near North Bend.
GatewayBridge1
Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River.
SnoqualmieFAlls
A big plume at Snoqualmie Falls.
Talus2
The Talus Loop Trail on Mount Si
RattlesnakeMountain
Heading up the trail at Rattlesnake Mountain.

Great Early Season Hikes from East of the Cascades

Over the last few weeks, the SkiZer has shifted over to hiking for his mountain fix.

During a recent trip to the Methow and Leavenworth, the early season hiking was fantastic. Here are some of the highlights from the east side of the Cascades:

Peshastin3
Peshastin Pinnacles near Wenatchee.
SnowLakes2
Snow Lakes Trail in Leavenworth.
RedBridge1
The Penstock Trail in Tumwater Canyon near Leavenworth.
Patterson2
Patterson Mountain near Winthrop.
Blackbird1
Blackbird Island in Leavenworth.
IcicleRidge3
Icicle Ridge near Leavenworth.
Sun6
Sun Mountain trails in the Methow.