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Silver Star Mountain Hike

Silver Star Mountain via Grouse Vista Hike

Silver Star Mountain is one of Southern Washington's most exciting summits with views to nearly every local cascade peak. This trail takes the "moderate" way up coming from the South with nearly twice the elevation gain of the traditional route but still much shorter than some of the extended loops. Silver Star Mountain via Grouse Vista Trail is a 6.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Washougal, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult.
Silver Star Mountain Hike
Grouse Vista Trail head Silver Mountain
Silver Star Mountain via Grouse Vista Hike
SilverStarTrail Network - Grouse Vista
At over 4,000' in elevation, Silver Star Mountain gives great views by nearly anything else in the Columbia River Gorge save perhaps for Larch Mountain's summit. The hike to the top can be made a number of different ways -- all starting considerably high up the mountain via dirt access roads.  The Grouse Vista trailhead is located on the south side of the mountain outside of Washington's Washougal and takes just over an hour to reach from downtown Portland.

·         Silver Star Mountain via Grouse Vista Hike
·         Start point: Grouse Vista Trail head
·         End point: Silver Star Mountain Submit
·         Distance: 6.8 miles (round trip)
·         Elevation gain: 2040 feet
·         Difficulty: Difficult
·         Seasons: May through November
·         Parking Fee : Discovery Pass Required

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 huckleberries abound 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!
The Silver Star area, three are most established trails:
·         The Grouse Vista Trail,
·         The Silver Star Trail #180 and
·         The Bluff Mountain Trail

The Grouse Vista Trail option, from the south, is a little longer and more elevation gain than Silver Star from the north, but the Grouse Vista Trail road is easier. The Bluff Mountain trail is somewhat longer. The Grouse Vista trail is also the option with the most diverse terrain - alternating between exposure and shade, passing by large geologic formations, and keeping most of panoramic views available from the Silver Star summit under wraps until the final approach.

Mt Hood View from Silver Star Mountain

Silver Star Mountain 360 Panoramic View

Silver Star Mountain Cascades View

Silver Star Mountain Panoramic View

The hike can probably be divided in three sections: 1) Steep and forested, 2) Exposed and flat, then 3) Very steep and in-and-out of the trees. Each section is just about a mile long.
Starting from the Grouse Vista Trailhead head due north. (There is a trail leading south with a trailhead sign for Larch Mountain. As you continue straight, you notice the trail is full of loose rocks - so you'll want good boots and trekking poles. You are following the path of an old forest road, but the road's condition is so eroded and grown over that you almost wouldn't know. The ascent here is a bit steep in some places. At just over a mile the forest will open up to a massive meadow. In spring this is a gorgeous field of wildflowers, and in the fall, it's filled with ripe huckleberries. You'll also be treated to two unique geologic formations: Pyramid Rock to your right and Sturgeon Rock in the distance to the north.
Silver Star Mountain Washington
Silver Star Mountain Submit Hike
Silver Star Mountain Submit

As you approach the summit, the views to the north, east and south open up wide to you with Mount Adams, Mount Hood, Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens sitting respectfully at their benches along the horizon. On a clear day you can see Mount Jefferson due south.

How to Reach : Take highway 14 east to Washougal via Washougal River Road. Turn left onto Hughes Road (marked as the scenic area) and follow the roads to Forest Road 1200.
The last 8 or so miles are on a dirt road. Most cars should make it when there isn't snow, but high clearance is highly beneficial for potholes and flying rocks.

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