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Silver Star Mountain Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Revision as of 22:21, 23 March 2007 by SasquatchBot (Talk | contribs)

Looking back at the Silver Star trail. Saint Helens and Rainier in the distance. Jeff Statt
The trail follows an abandoned lookout access road. One of the false summits in the background. Jeff Statt)
One of the many spine-line ridgelines in the Silver Star area. Jeff Statt
Mount Hood from the Silver Star summit. Jeff Statt
USGS Silver Star network map
  • Start point: Silver Star TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Silver Star Mountain
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 6 miles (round trip)
  • Elevation gain: 1200 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: March through November
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes
  • Family Friendly: Yes (8 and older)


Hike Description

Silver Star Mountain is one of the best 360 degree summits within a day's drive of Portland, boasting a rocky, exposed viewpoint of five major cascade volcanoes. It is also a great wildflower area in the spring, and features huckleberries in the fall. Further, there are enough unique and sometimes fanciful rock outcrops along your journey that you'll wish you brought a geologist along!

Of the many hike options in the Silver Star area, three are most established: The Grouse Vista Trail, Silver Star Trail #180 and the Bluff Mountain Trail.

The Silver Star Hike using trail #180 is the shortest and most direct route. It is also also the best for wildflower lovers. In late spring the meadows here are abundant with avalanche lily and beargrass blooms.

The trail itself follow an old lookout access road. In fact, the road -- although rocky -- remains in good enough shape for a 4x4 pickup to drive it even now. The trail is also exposed just about the whole way up. Bring a hat and sun protection in the summer months.

After passing a couple of false summits, the trail eventually dips into the forest near the junction with Ed's Trail and the Bluff Mountain trail. As you approach the summit, you get your first views of Mount Hood and the gorge near Washougal, Washington. The trail basically ends at the middle of a saddle. This is a dual-summit of sorts. Take the left spur to the "true" summit which has the remnants of an old lookout tower. Then turn back and hike up the short 'south summit' (called Star 2 on the USGS maps) for the great photo-op of the north summit with Mount Rainier and Mount Saint Helens at its side.

You can return the way you came, but many people will return using Ed's Trail. Ed's trail parallels trail #180 for a few miles and shows off a few more interesting geologic formations - including an impressive rock arch.


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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.