This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
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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).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, and then thru some nice forested areas (which would be welcome on a hot day). It then comes around Bald Mtn and continues along the ridge to Silver Star. After about 5 miles, you reach a junction with the Stairway Trail, a steep trail requiring stamina and x-country nav skills. 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. 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). Although it hardly feels like we got our fair share of summer this year, fall colors were already starting to show. 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.