Tiger Mountain Update
Updated April 13th, 2020
The Department of Natural Resources has closed all DNR lands to the public though May 4th, which includes Tiger Mountain. Read more about this here.
We're blessed to be part of the Issaquah community and to be able to practice our beautiful sport here. Given the current global events surrounding COVID-19, we encourage everyone to do their part and fully support this effort.
If you have any questions, please contact the board at firstname.lastname@example.org
or reach out to me directly.
- Alex Leone (President) and the Board of the Northwest Paragliding Club
- Site Rating: P2 unless under instructor supervision
- Site Support: Site is paid for, managed and maintained by the Northwest Paragliding Club. All pilots are requested to have an NWPC membership or membership in a sister western Washington USHPA chapter. 60 day Visiting Pilot Memberships are available.
- Best months to fly: April - August, but flyable all year.
- Best times to fly: Given an 8:30 PM sunset, thermals are best from 1-4pm. Glass offs often run from 5 to 8:30 pm.
- Best winds: N through NNW winds for north launch and S - SSW winds for south launch. East winds are bad.
- Wind speed North and South launches: Min 0, Ideal 7 Max (12 PG, 15 HG)
- Glide ratio to LZ : North launch 1.9, South Launch 3.2
- Elevation: 1,830'. GPS Coordinates: 48°29'58"N 122°0'30"W
- North Launch Weather Station Updated Every 5min. Click Here
- LZ Weather Station Updated Every 1min. Click Here
- Elevation: 1,680'. GPS Coordinates: 47°29'48"N 122°0'38"W
- Elevation: 180'. GPS Coordinates: 47°30'01.6"N 122°01'19.1"W
- Helmets are required.
- Conditions at Tiger Mountain can be unpredictable and change rapidly. A site briefing is strongly advised. A NWPC visiting pilot membership includes a site briefing.
- Use extreme caution when East winds are present or possible.
- Pilots should follow all USHPA rules when flying at Tiger Mountain, including utilization of proper safety equipment (reserve parachute, radio, boots, back protection, speed bar, etc).
- All pilots are required to follow USHPA right-of-way rules and to maintain adequate separation from other pilots.
- Only top land when the launch is clear, yielding to traffic. Never top land if it presents a hazard for pilots or spectators.
- Motorized paragliders and motorized hang gliders are not permitted in the LZ.
- The minimum rating for hang pilots is H2 with instructor or H3 without.
- Top landings or launches from the upper north launch are prohibited when there are horses present.
- Pilots must follow FAA rules which include VFR separation from clouds. For more information, see Aeronautical Information Manual at www.faa.gov.
Tiger Mountain is a beautiful place to fly with majestic views of Mt. Rainier, the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, along with Puget Sound and the lakes and cities of the greater metropolitan area. The views, along with the easy access to launch, and great consistent flying have made Tiger Mountain one of the most popular flying sites in the United States.
Extensive work has been done at Tiger by the paragliding community, Northwest paragliding club and Team Chirico over the last 15 years. Trees have been cleared (in cooperation with DNR), grass planted, bathrooms installed, and more artificial turf laid on north launch to support an upper and lower launch, as well as a new 80' weather tower providing conditions every 5 minutes. The club also worked with DNR to build an access road for the shuttle service which eliminates a 300 yd hike through the woods to transfer into a 2nd shuttle, instead allowing the shuttle to drive from the LZ directly to launch. The city of Issaquah officially lists paragliding at Tiger Mountain as a community treasure.
Tiger is flyable with winds from the south, west and, preferably, the north. During peak season, Tiger Mt. provides prolific lift for beginner pilots to enjoy hour long flights. More advanced pilots will find ample cross country potential at Tiger. Flights from Tiger have gone as far North as the Canadian border, South past Mt. Rainier, and East through Snoqualmie pass into eastern Washington. A soaring flight over launch provides spectacular views of Mt. Rainier to the south, Mt. Si, to the east, Mt Baker and Lake Sammamish to the north, and Seattle’s skyline to the west. It’s beautiful. With extended daylight hours in the summer the last flights typically land around 9pm. If timed correctly one can launch, catch the glass off, and watch the sunset from the air. Complimenting the great flying are the many pilots who hang out at Tiger. A quick 30 minute drive from downtown Seattle make’s it possible to catch a quick flight after work, or even as an extended lunch flight. Local pilots often gather for good flying, post flying BBQs, and good company. The popularity of the site can make for somewhat crowded conditions on launch and in the air.
Standard ridge rules apply at Tiger:
- Pilot with the ridge on the right has the right of way.
- First one in the thermal determines direction.
- Gliders on top yield to gliders below.
- For safety, top landing is not allowed when it interferes with launching pilots or spectators.
- Top landing is not allowed when horses are present.
The Tiger LZ uses a standard aircraft approach of downwind to base leg to final. For safety, the downwind approach should be over the trees on the east side of the LZ. The west side of the LZ contains power lines, light poles and can distract traffic on the road.
No Landing Zones
Some folks around the Tiger area do not like us landing at their property. The google maps link shows you the no landing zones that the club is currently aware of near the sites that we fly.. please do not land in these area. The Openair text file allows you to load it into xcsoar, xctrack,lk8000 and Oudie if you convert it to cub format using SeeYou software. These areas will then be displayed as restricted airspace at ground level on your flying instruments.
Openair Airspace text file
Google maps no landing zones
Soaring and Airspace
Tiger Mountain is extremely soarable. Most XC pilots work Tiger up to cloudbase, and then, depending on wind direction, fly south to Enumclaw, east towards Mt. Si or north towards Duval. Due to airspace restrictions and the lack of LZs there is very little XC potential to the west. Controlled airspace directly over Tiger Mt. north and south launches is 5,000 and rises to 6,000' about 1/2 way between launches and the Tiger summit. Commercial jets can and do get vectored over Tiger. Do NOT break airspace. Commercial jets are also allowed to fly in below controlled airspace. If you find yourself above 4,000' above Tiger on a North day, keep your eyes open and head on a swivel.
Directions to the LZ
From Seattle take I-90 east to exit #17, Front Street exit in Issaquah. Head south on Front Street. It eventually turns into Issaquah-Hobart Road. After leaving downtown Issaquah, follow for about 2 more miles to where the road widens with a 2-way left turn lane. The LZ parking and grass field will be on your left. Parking is limited so you may find yourself parking on the street. There is also a $5 pay lot on the west side of the street about 50 yards before the LZ. - GPS Coordinates - 47º 30' 01.6"N 122º 01' 19.1"W
Directions to Launch
Hike The Chirico trail is a moderate 1 hour (+/- 20 minutes) hike directly from the LZ to south and north launches. The trail entrance is easily found on the east side of the LZ. The trail is moderately challenging with 1,500’ elevation gain over 2 miles.
The Tiger Shuttle leaves the LZ on a more or less regular schedule. You can pay to shuttle up on a per ride basis, purchase regular use or seasons passes for a discount, or even throw your wing in the trailer for a modest fee if you want to hike up and have your wing waiting for you at launch. For details about shuttle schedule and pricing, http://TigerShuttle.com