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Silver Star Mountain via Bluff Mountain Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Revision as of 10:42, 10 February 2007 by Jeffstatt (Talk | contribs)

Looking back at the trail as it passes Little Baldy
Silver Star Mountain from the Bluff Mountain Trail
Map, GPS track in jpeg format
Hike profile from National Geograhic Topo!
  • Start point: Bluff Mountain Trailhead
  • End point: Silver Star Mountain
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 7.6 (round trip)
  • Elevation Gain: 997
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: May through November
  • Backpackable: Yes
    • (camp site options are limited)
  • Crowded: No
  • Family Friendly: Yes
    • (using shorter option only to Little Baldy)

Contents

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 volcanos. It is also a great wildflower area in the spring, and huckleberries in the fall. Further, there are enough unique and sometimes fanciful rock outcrops along your journey to you brough a geologist along!

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

The Bluff Mountain trail option is exceptional for a few reasons: 1) it tends to be much quieter, 2) you can "climb" three mountains in a day! and 3) you hike atop a spineline, exposed ridgeline for half your distance.

The Bluff Mountain trail (#172) starts at the Bluff Mountain Trailhead and follows along an abandonned road for two miles. Despite this non-aesthetic, rocky footpath, the view all around you is fantastic right from the start. You peer down wide open valleys and across the horizon out to the Columbia River Gorge. Soon you you'll approach Bluff Mountain

After 2 miles, the trail narrows as it descends into a saddle, then up onto the northeast flank of Bluff Mountain. It skirts under towering, wildflower laced cliffs and offers spectacular views of the rugged canyons and ridges to the north. The trail then meanders through a Silver and Noble Fir forest before emerging into a meadow at the base of Little Baldy, a talus sloped peak. Here are offered sweeping views of the Columbia River, several miles to the south. After the trail traverses the barren slopes of Little Baldy, it climbs through rugged outcrops of basalt rock, some left as pinnacles as the trail was blasted through the solid rock. The trail continues to climb as it nears Silver Star Mountain, passing beneath the north flank. Looking up here, one can often see a natural rock arch in the cliffs of Sliver Star. The Bluff Mountain Trail continues on for 1/4 mile where it intersects with Ed's Trail and Trail 180. From this intersection, follow an abandoned road continuing up to the summit of Silver Star Mountain for breathtaking views of over 100 miles in all directions.


Maps

  • See clickable image to the right

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Trip Reports

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Related Discussions / Q&A

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Guidebooks that cover this hike

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Contributors

The approximate path of the Bluff Mountain Trail (from David Koskamp)
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.