On a sunny afternoon as I turn onto the exit 18 on-ramp off I-90, I can almost guarantee that I’ll see paragliders in the sky. They climb up (with their packs) or get a ride up to the top of Poo Poo Point to launch off. This happens to be a great spot to hike up to. The view spans over Issaquah, Lake Sammamish, Bellevue, and Lake Washington.
There are two ways to hike up to Poo Poo Point: Chirico Trail (the short and very popular option), and the Poo Poo Point Trail (the longer, and less crowded option).
The Chirico Trail is right outside the town of Issaquah, along Issaquah-Hobart road. You can’t miss it because there are usually cars everywhere. The parking lot is small, and people park on the side of the road. The field is the landing zone for the paragliders, so watch out for people above you. The hike is about 4.5 miles round trip, and is pretty steep most of the way. It’s a great workout. If you are going on the weekend, you’ll want to hit the trail by 9:00 at the a latest. Because this hike is right off I-90 and pretty short, it is really popular with people in the area.
If you have a few extra hours. the Poo Poo Point trail (which starts on the High School Trail), is a better option. It is a total of 7.4 miles, but it isn’t as steep. The trail is also wide because it used to be a road. When I hiked this trail a few years ago, I only saw one or two other hikers. When hiking up to Poo Poo Point, it is definitely the road less traveled.
Both trails are mostly shaded, and can be hiked almost year round. I’m sure the fall foliage is gorgeous right now on the trails.