At a little under three miles, the Talus Rocks Loop offers a secluded hike surrounded by the likes of more well-trafficked trails such as West Tiger 3. After a steady incline, you are rewarded with an interesting labyrinth of huge boulders complete with and blanketing of thick moss and green ferns.
This hike is off of I-90 and exit 20, High Point. We took a right at the stop sign and another right on SE 79th Street and went all the way to the parking lot. You do need a Discover Pass to park here, but it is also possible to park outside of the lot and hike in for free.
We chose to take West Tiger #3 up, then took a right onto the Talus Rock Trail, then we took the Nook Trail back down to the Bus Trail and back to the parking lot. Because of all the connector trails in West Tiger, it is possible to lengthen your hike, but this was the shortest route, estimated at about 2.5-3.0 miles total.
Due to yesterday’s rain, the trails were a little muddy in places. West Tiger #3 also had some slick rocks. The Talus Rock Trail had a couple downed trees from the windstorm a few weeks ago that you will need to navigate over or around, but nothing serious.
We headed out on West Tiger #3. It was a long, steady incline with plenty of room to hike side-by-side and for other people to pass easily. After gaining a little elevation, the trail offers some views of some trees beautifully covered in bright green moss. At about a mile up West Tiger #3, we approached the Talus Rock Trail and took a right.
The trail immediately became much narrower to where we were hiking in tandem. This is also where it became muddier. There was a nice little reprieve from the constant incline for a couple minutes before we began the final ascent to the rocks.
We finally got some views of the area below. We were quite impressed that we were looking down on the Issaquah Highlands! It was still a bit cloudy and foggy, but on a clear day you could likely see Lake Sammamish.
Soon after this point, we heard some running water. I had completely forgot that there is a waterfall along the trail as well. It isn’t impressive as far as volume of water, but the way that it slid down the dockside was really beautiful. The photo below doesn’t do justice to how high the waterfall truly is.
Not too far from the waterfall were the beginnings of the talus boulders. It is an interesting place. It reminded me of the nature trail by the Ape Caves area of Mount St Helens with the way the boulders created deep crevices. The moss hugged the boulders and ferns grew from the moss. It was enchanting.
The massive boulders are quite impressive. I can’t believe that there weren’t more people on this hike.
Immediately after leaving the boulder area, we hit the fork for the Nook Trail. You could still keep going and connect up with some of the other trails in the system if you want to increase your mileage or tack on another scenic route. The Nook Trail was a little steep and we encountered a couple small groups of people who were heading up to the talus this way. After about 15 minutes, we connected back to the Bus Trail and then back to the parking lot.
All in all, this was an excellent hike. While there weren’t many opportunities for sweeping views on this particular route, the talus and waterfall were plenty entertaining.
We were in such a rush to leave (to get a much coveted parking spot on a Saturday morning) that I forgot my Apple Watch. But I estimate that this was about 2.75 miles and took us an hour and a half or so.