Beginning at the Alpine Trailhead #3, the trail to Tire Mountain zigzags its way into well-shaded woods, quickly transitioning from second growth to old-growth forest. After a gradual ascent over the first mile, the forest gives way to the first of several steeply sloped meadows. Incredible views of snowcapped mountains in the distance, including Diamond Peak and Mount Bachelor, can be found here. While this trail might not be too difficult for children to hike, parents will want to keep them close as the slopes are quite steep in the meadow sections.
After a clearly marked trail junction at mile 1.3, the trail alternates between shaded patches of forest and further sloped meadows strewn with a rainbow of wildflowers and impressive rock outcroppings. At the 2.5-mile mark you will come to the most expansive of the meadows. Often blanketed in wildflowers in June and July, this is a great highlight to end the hike if you would prefer to avoid an ascent to the summit.
Those who wish to push on to the summit of Tire Mountain will continue on for another mile before coming to another juncture. Continue uphill along series of switchbacks, some quite steep and blocked by fallen trees. After a moderate effort you'll come to a flat and spacious summit. Unfortunately, the summit lacks a rewarding view due to the overgrowth of surrounding trees.
At one time a lookout tower stood atop the summit here, but all that remains is scattered rubble. While the summit itself is less than memorable, the journey itself is more than worth the trek.