Bluff Mtn Trail to Silver Star 5-Sept-08

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VanMarmot
Posts: 1923
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Bluff Mtn Trail to Silver Star 5-Sept-08

Post by VanMarmot » September 6th, 2008, 10:45 am

This was my first hike on this trail and it certainly lived up to its promise of HUGE VIEWS!! It was a near perfect day for seeing the views this trail is capable of providing - it would be disappointing if there were clouds. The drive to the trailhead is the only drawback - not hard or 4WD - but nevertheless long and tedious. The trail itself gains 1700' and loses 500' out-and-back to Silver Star and is in generally good condition and easy to follow. Its first part is along an old road that runs along the top of the ridge toward Silver Star (which is to the right in this picture).
First 2 Miles.JPG
After 2 miles or so, the road ends and a trail begins, which, after descending 350' to a saddle, passes below the cliffs of Bluff Mtn,
Bluff Mtn.JPG
and then thru some nice forested areas (which would be welcome on a hot day).
Trail in Forest.JPG
It then comes around Bald Mtn and continues along the ridge to Silver Star.
Baldy Mtn.JPG
After about 5 miles, you reach a junction with the Stairway Trail, a steep trail requiring stamina and x-country nav skills.
Trail Junction.JPG
This view, from the summit of Silver Star, shows the entire Bluff Mtn Trail (the TH is the little pale speck on the ridge to the far left) as it passes below Bluff and around Bald.
Bluff Mtn Trail from Silver Star.JPG
Aboyt 95% of the trail is open and there are expansive views of all the major NW volcanos (I could see Jefferson but it was too hazy for a photo).
Mt Adams.JPG
Hood from Silver Star.JPG
Helens and Rainier.JPG
Although it hardly feels like we got our fair share of summer this year, fall colors were already starting to show.
Early Fall.JPG
For the quality and variety of the trail, the great views available along the way, and a pleasant summit as a goal, I would have to rate this as one of the best trails close to Portland. It reaching the TH weren't a pain, it would probably be more heavily used. As it was, I had it to myself the whole day.

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fettster
Posts: 1720
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Hillsboro, OR

Re: Bluff Mtn Trail to Silver Star 5-Sept-08

Post by fettster » September 8th, 2008, 8:34 pm

What a great trail. I had a similar experience when I did it having the whole trail to myself. I'm a bit taken aback by the fall colors, too soon!

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