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Bluff Mountain

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Bluff Mountain and Little Baldy along the Chinook Tail (Don Nelsen)
Bluff Mountain (David Koskamp)
Bluff Mountain bluffs - St. Helens in the distance (David Koskamp)

Description

Bluff Mountain is a partially exposed peak near Silver Star Mountain in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southwest Washington. It's named for the bluffs on its southern face, hidden to most hikers in the area. There is no 'trail' per se to the top of Bluff Mountain, but the areas surrounding it are so exposed and offer such great views on their own, that summiting Bluff Mountain itself could be left to the peak-baggers and list-crossers. On a clear day, you'll see Mount Saint Helens and Rainier to the north, Mount Adams to the east, Hood to the southeast and a hint of Mount Jefferson, seemingly directly south.

In the spring, this whole area is abundant with wildflowers, and especially rich in beargrass blooms if you get your timing right! Look for huckleberries all over this mountain in the early fall.

This whole area is sometimes referred to as the Yacolt Burn, after a devastating wildfire in 1902. The intense heat left little in the way of living remains. Trees still struggle to return now, over a hundred years later.

The Chinook Trail Organization has incorporated a number of trails in the area, with the eventual hope of connecting points west, like Lucia Falls and beyond to Lake Vancouver, with points east on the Columbia River Gorge, including Three Corner Rock, Table Mountain and as far east as Coyote Wall. Some of the plans got stalled in red-tape when the USGS refused trail building in a seven mile stretch near the Washougal River in Skamania County.

Bluff Mountain is not really a destination of its own. Your planning should include the aforementioned Silver Star Mt. and Little Baldy. You could also include a light bushwhack to the Silver Star Indian Pits, and if you still have energy, make a loop around Pyramid Rock and Sturgeon Rock. There is at least one good campsite just west, below the Silver Star summit, huddled in a rare forested section.

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Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.