I decided on a last-minute conditioner hike up to West Tiger 3 via the cable route. As usual, this is an endless step master grind. Upon reaching the summit West Tiger 2 was in view and seemed so close. Upon consulting Gaia, and figuring I had about 3 hours of daylight remaining, I headed East to West Tiger 2. The trail drops a couple of hundred feet in elevation and then climbs up to the summit in about 15 minutes of walking. There is a radio tower there.
I opted to push on to West Tiger 1. The path is via an access road down, then forks to the left up a gravel road to West Tiger 1. There is a wonderful view of Mount Rainier and parts of the Puget Sound. There is also a hikers hut that resembles a metal dome – not sure the use or history of the structure, but have been researching online. I decided to make a loop on the way down with the destination of my car at the trailhead of the cable route. My path took me on Preston Way, West Tiger RR Grade, Tiger Mountain Trail (TMT), K3, TMT, and back to the Cable Route, passing Fred’s Corner along the way.
This trail and route were much more interesting than the Cable Route – I highly recommend it. There are several bridges over creeks, lots of variation in the forest – new and old clear cuts, lots of salmonberry bushes near the water sources along with massive devils glove patches. I was surprised at the volume of water flow down several creeks as there are no visible signs of snow or other sources – must be from springs at a higher elevation.