Getting Our Butts Kicked at Poo Poo Point

Getting Our Butts Kicked at Poo Poo Point

By: Shelby April 24, 2015 10:14 am 5 comments

Holy crap. The Chirico Trail to Poo Poo Point. What a hike. I’ve always wanted to do this one, but never wanted to commit to making it our big weekend hike. It’s always seemed interesting to me, but, being a busy trail in Issaquah, it didn’t seem like the grand wilderness adventure that you dedicate a day or weekend too. Well, finally, something clicked in me recently (maybe the fact that I just finished reading and watching the movie rendition of Wild) that got me thinking about getting in really good hiking shape, and I decided that we should do this as a sunset hike after work. Of course, as soon as I made this decision, the rain filled up the forecast and beautiful evening hikes were kind of out of the question for a while.

Poo Poo Point-header

But no! It was an Earth Day miracle! The Greater Seattle area was blessed with beautiful blue skies and warm temperatures and general miscellaneous glorious weather. It would be a crime to not go outside and enjoy this beautiful day! So, after work, we headed out to Issaquah and parked just a few miles away from our future wedding venue (which always makes me happy!!), and started hiking below paragliders coming down off the mountain.

The trail starts out innocently enough, but quickly climbs up and up and around the mountain. We climbed and climbed. At first it was easy and I felt like I was bounding right up, especially compared to how I’ve felt on similar hikes in the past (thanks for the help E*Train Fitness!). The large rocks on the trail are almost like flagstones, acting like stairs up the incline. The trail got less rocky, and I felt less like a gazelle and more like a person who mostly does river hikes with little elevation gain, and then eventually like a person who was really tired.
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After what felt like an eternity (but was of course only about an hour) we reached the first runway clearing, and were graced with a glorious view to the south east of the Cascades. After a short sit, we followed a prospective paraglider who was hauling his 45 pound pack up to the main launching area.

We sat at the picnic table at the top, ate my leftover sandwich from lunch (yay free lunch at work!), and watched our new paragliding friend launch himself off the mountain and into the air.

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There's an awesome view of Rainier behind the clouds

There's an awesome view of Rainier behind the clouds

Throughout the hike, I kept thinking about how this wasn’t the wild wonderland I was used to exploring. It was certainly beautiful, but we never were out of earshot of the many roads below, and it was clear we were in Issaquah’s backyard. Girls in fluorescent tennis shoes hiked up and down, blasting music on their phones. There was even astroturf covering the clearing at the top to serve as a runway. There was a weather station, picnic table, and men shouting into radios at the top. The exceptional view was of the I-90 corridor towards Bellevue and Seattle.

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There was no pretense of wilderness here. Normally, that would bother me. Hikes are where I get away from the hustle and bustle and disconnect from the world for a while, but on this day after work, I was content with it just being nature’s Stairmaster. I’m not sure why that is, but it was okay.

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Poo Poo Point Paraglider takeoff from Spenser Pothier on Vimeo.

So now we’ve conquered Poo Poo. Next up: Mailbox Peak.

Total time: 1hr 42 minutes
Total mileage / elevation gain: 4.16 miles / 1710 feet

No Permit required
Driving directions: From Seattle, take I-90 to exit 17, then head south on Front Street. Follow this road (which becomes Issaquah Hobart Road) for 3 miles, and then park in the gravel lot on the left.


  • I love Poo Poo! The sunsets can be magnificent, from up there, especially when the Mountain is out. It’s definitely not wilderness, but it’s oh so much better than the gym.

  • Rick Buitrago

    Your posts make me believe I’m there, beautiful narrative! Kudos, keep it up guys!

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