Poo Poo Point

Taking advantage of a great weather forecast, Grace Bou (my mother), James Bou (my nephew), William Bou (my brother) and I hiked up Poo Poo Point near Issaquah, Washington on 21 November 2019.  The unofficial and quirky name of this subsidiary summit of West Tiger Mountain is supposedly derived from the sound of whistles used during logging operations.  The two clearings at Poo Poo Point are the result of those logging operations, and as such, they are attractive to both hikers and paragliders.  A restricted access road runs up to both clearings, but most hikers climb up one of two trails.  Chirico Trail is the shorter of the two but is a steeper ascent climbing nearly 500 metres over a distance of about 3 kilometres.

From I-90, turn off Exit 17 and head south through downtown Issaquah on Front Street.  Continue south past the junction with 2nd Avenue SE (access for the alternate trailhead on the south side of Issaquah High School) and drive for another 2.2 kilometres to reach the Chirico Trailhead parking lot on the left.

Chirico Trail makes a long traverse southward before winding up a forested ridge to reach the first of two clearings.  The second clearing (Poo Poo Point) is about 400 metres further to the north and can be accessed from the first clearing by a connector trail or the restricted access road.  Despite it being the middle of a work week, the trail was incredibly busy on this day, and we saw plenty of paragliders humping massive packs as well as the usual assortment of hikers and accompanying dogs.  Although we spent most of the time hiking up through somewhat monotonous forest, the views from both clearings on this day really made the drudgery worthwhile.  After reaching Poo Poo Point, we basically retraced our steps back to the trailhead.  The descent was a bit more challenging for my 82-year old mother as she struggled a bit with a sore waist, but she eventually made it back down, slowly but surely, with a little help from the rest of us (round-trip time of 4.5 hours).  Overall, this was a really gratifying hike for me mainly because I was able to share the experience with my closest family.  As far as I know, this is the first hike I have ever done with both my mother and my brother.  I have high hopes that there will be other occasions in the future for us to share the trail together.
America, F**k Yeah! The trailhead for Poo Poo Point is unmistakably American.
My mom might have a different opinion!

Although Chirico Trail is the steeper (but shorter) approach to Poo Poo Point, it is well-maintained, and the grade is never too steep.

Here comes the sun! The sun makes its first appearance along the trail.
Bushwhacking would suck a lot here! A tangle of branches hangs over the trail.
Buns anyone? James, William and Grace take a snack break on a bench at a clearing near trail's end.

Totally worth the long climb through mostly viewless forest!

Mount Rainier stands out on the southern horizon in this view from the clearing.


Almost there...for real! Grace heads back into forest for the final climb to Poo Poo Point.
The AstroTurf might also be good for practicing golf putting! William, Grace and James enjoy the view of Lake Sammamish from Poo Poo Point.  Visible on the horizon at far right is Mount Baker.  The artificial turf in the foreground is used by paragliders who use Poo Poo Point as a launch site.
Bon voyage! A paraglider has taken off from Poo Poo Point with Squak Mountain in the background.

We are family!

Sonny, James, Grace and William stand near the top of Poo Poo Point (~560 metres).  This is the second time that James has been up here.


I never tire of seeing Mount Rainier on a clear day! On their way down, William, James and Grace take another look at Mount Rainier.
Not sure what the smoke at far left is all about... Another paraglider takes off from the first clearing.
Maybe one day I will climb it! Here is one last look at Mount Rainier.