Silver Star-Chinook-Tarbell Loop 07-28-20

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bobcat
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Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Location: SW Portland

Silver Star-Chinook-Tarbell Loop 07-28-20

Post by bobcat » July 30th, 2020, 2:15 pm

As usual, Grouse Vista was busy, a lot of cars at the trailhead, some getting there early to avoid the predicted heat, one assumes. I eschewed a visit to the summit as I had been there the week before and it was already crowded. From the junction with the summit trail onward, I had the trails to myself.

View to Surgeon Rock and Pyramid Rock, Grouse Vista Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Tiger lily, Grouse Vista Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Mountain spiraea, Grouse Vista Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Sturgeon Rock from the Grouse Vista Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Wildflowers, Silver Star Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg

I took the Silver Star Trail along the north ridge, getting good views of the Washington volcanoes and the East Fork Lewis River valley. Flowers are still out in force, dominated in all the open areas by a sea of bright yellow (and non-native) smooth hawksbeard (Crepis capillaris).

Mt. St. Helens from Silver Star Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Looking north, Silver Star Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Round-leafed bluebell (Campanula rotundifolia), Silver Star Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Mt. Adams from the Silver Star Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Heading north, Silver Star Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
View to East Fork Lewis River, Silver Star Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Looking at Ed's Trail, Silver Star Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Helens, Rainier, and King Creek Bowl, Silver Star Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg

The Chinook Trail junction is not signposted. I had not hiked this trail since it was first developed, about 15 years ago. My favorite part is right at the beginning, looking down into the cliff-lined bowl at the headwaters of King Creek. The trail is mostly in the open, descending two miles to its junction with the Tarbell Trail.

Rainier across King Creek bowl, Chinook Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Gentians, Chinook Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Tatoosh Hills from the Chinook Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Junction with Tarbell Trail, Chinook Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg

The junction is near a logging road in a clearcut. Fifteen years ago, there were no roads between this point and Grouse Vista and there was a continuous canopy. Now the Tarbell heads through several large clearcuts and crosses a number of roads. Logging landings, with their piles of slash (branches, roots, etc.) stand out on the ridges and slopes. I suppose the forest has come of age and must be harvested. It’s about 6 ½ miles back to the Grouse Vista Trailhead, and the first stop is Hidden Falls, tucked into a cool lush valley.

Trail art, Tarbell Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Hidden Falls on the Tarbell Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Bridge over South Fork Coyote Creek, Tarbell Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg

Then there are more clearcuts before you pass over the Sturgeon Rock ridge and cross Rock Creek. From the bridge there, it was a nice shady ramble back to the trailhead.

Clodius parnassian (Parnassius clodius), Tarbell Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Logger art, Tarbell Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Silver Star's north ridge from the Tarbell Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Fireweed and St. Helens, Tarbell Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg
Pyramid Rock from the Tarbell Trail, Silver Star Mountain.jpg

wnshall
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Joined: July 17th, 2009, 10:31 am

Re: Silver Star-Chinook-Tarbell Loop 07-28-20

Post by wnshall » August 5th, 2020, 10:55 am

What a beautiful hike. I'm not sure I could pass up on going to the top, but I guess with all the people around it's smart.

Earlier this year when trails were just starting to re-open, I hiked a loop on the Tarbell trail from Rock Creek campground and got intrigued with the Chinook trail up to SS. Looking at the maps it seems it's possible to drive on forest roads and access the Chinook/Tarbell close to their junction. Is this possible? Seems like it would be a nice alternate route up to SS.

The Tarbell trail was nice, but passes through many clearcuts -- not exactly pristine forest, although interesting in its own way. Kinda wonder why they built a trail through actively logged forest, but I guess it's nice to have it. And the clearcut on the portion of the Tarbell that runs from the Sturgeon rock ridge back to the Grouse TH is criminal.

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Chip Down
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Re: Silver Star-Chinook-Tarbell Loop 07-28-20

Post by Chip Down » August 5th, 2020, 12:21 pm

wnshall wrote:
August 5th, 2020, 10:55 am
Earlier this year when trails were just starting to re-open, I hiked a loop on the Tarbell trail from Rock Creek campground and got intrigued with the Chinook trail up to SS. Looking at the maps it seems it's possible to drive on forest roads and access the Chinook/Tarbell close to their junction. Is this possible? Seems like it would be a nice alternate route up to SS.
Aha! I noticed that too, maybe a couple months ago. Gated. But you could bring a bike.

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dmthomas49
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Re: Silver Star-Chinook-Tarbell Loop 07-28-20

Post by dmthomas49 » August 5th, 2020, 5:27 pm

We have been parking on a small spot at the beginning of the Chinook trail right near the Tarbell trail for the last 3 years. Maybe 3 cars can park here.
"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."
— John Muir

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bobcat
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Location: SW Portland

Re: Silver Star-Chinook-Tarbell Loop 07-28-20

Post by bobcat » August 7th, 2020, 3:06 pm

dmthomas49 wrote:
August 5th, 2020, 5:27 pm
We have been parking on a small spot at the beginning of the Chinook trail right near the Tarbell trail for the last 3 years.
I assume then you're using that connector trail that runs across the rocky bald of a meadow to join the Chinook somewhat east of its junction with the Tarbell (it shows on Caltopo)? I did think all those roads were gated though.
wnshall wrote:
August 5th, 2020, 10:55 am
Kinda wonder why they built a trail through actively logged forest, but I guess it's nice to have it.
Well, that's DNR forest for you. That stretch of forest between Kloochman Butte and Grouse Vista was entirely unlogged 12 years ago. The clearcut areas won't get logged again for 50 - 60 years. Before there were no views - now there are plenty!

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dmthomas49
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Re: Silver Star-Chinook-Tarbell Loop 07-28-20

Post by dmthomas49 » August 7th, 2020, 5:26 pm

bobcat wrote:
August 7th, 2020, 3:06 pm
dmthomas49 wrote:
August 5th, 2020, 5:27 pm
We have been parking on a small spot at the beginning of the Chinook trail right near the Tarbell trail for the last 3 years.

I assume then you're using that connector trail that runs across the rocky bald of a meadow to join the Chinook somewhat east of its junction with the Tarbell (it shows on Caltopo)? I did think all those roads were gated though.
I think this is the location. We were just there in July with no gates.
87994AF0-5E7E-493B-BD07-F6FB0376C9A3.png
"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."
— John Muir

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