Silver Star Hike

The Silver Star hike follows a high ridgeline that can be sen from Vancouver, WA and Portland.  The  hike is pretty moderate and goes along some high rock outcrops and large boulders.  Scree and talus creep at your heels along the first two miles after you break onto a high ridge post that looks out at St Helens and Mt Hood in the distance.  This is a great walk to enjoy mountain vistas and sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can hike above foggy mists and enjoy the cloudlayer far below you.

One of the best things about this hike is that you don’t have any bad hill climbing, but when you reach the end of the hike you are perched extremely high above the valley with amazing views of Sturgeon rock and Table Mountain across from you as well as many Volcanoes.  The end of the hike feels like you are in Colorado or remote Sierras.  This trail is a truly amazing gem with accents of  remote wilderness only 40 minutes from “the Couve”/Portland metro.

Hike Details

This hike begins and ends at Grouse Vista above Washougal WA in Gifford Pinchot Forest at the crest of RD1200.  Park at the kiosk on Grouse vista and there is signage and trail maps on the board here.

Begin: Hike east on the ridge following the tarbell trail. walk up a hill that is an old road and follow the road (better trail) and make all rights in the first mile.  Keep following the main and most worn trail uphill and at just over one mile you will break out of tree cover.

After one mile you will hike along a nice ridge with long drops to the valley floor several miles away.  You can see logging damage and pine forest in the valleys below and afar.  You will  approach a high cliff and large boulders to your right.

At 1.4 miles you will pass under the large cliff.  This area is a remote bouldering area for rock climbers.  Some technical rock climbs are done fofthe cliff from time to time.  You can take teh trails to the cliff to see views of hood and enjoy the tall grassy meadows above but this will add substantial time onto your hike.

After about a half mile after passing the cliff continue east and slightly north following the trail slightly under the ridge.  Continue on one more mile and take a sharp right that will lead to a knife-edge ridge that you can see many miles away into the top rim of the Columbia River Gorge.  Continue to a thrilling perch with 360 degree vviews of the steep ridge hikes that plunge downward on the steep craggy ridges.

Hike back the same way you came in and enjoy the view of Sturgeon Rock across form you as you start back.

 

 

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