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Trip Report: Hiking Silver Star Mountain
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Trip Report: Hiking Silver Star Mountain

Trip Report: Hiking Silver Star Mountain

When: 9/23/2018
Location:
Silver Star Mountain, Washington

Conditions:
Varied, it’s a mountain! Started partly sunny and near 75, but as the fog rolled in to hide the summit we dropped quickly to 55.

Duration:
Shy of three hours thanks to fantastic snack and scramble sessions.

Difficulty: 
Moderate. Pace yourself if you haven’t prepared with proper footwear (the rocky trail might be wide but simply means there are that many more rocks to step on).

Kid Friendly:
Yes! Albeit they should be old enough to say the alphabet backward. Being bigger than knee-high to a grasshopper would also help.

Pet Friendly:
Yes! Your goat might be Billy and find the side path. Our pup loved it! Technically whatever pet you have should be leashed. Not horse friendly, sorry broncos.

Usefull links:
www.wta.org
www.oregonhikers.org
www.nwhiker.com

Overview:
4.7-9.7 mile hike
1.5 hours from Portland
Southwest Washington
1,200+ elevation change
No fees
Bring a camera

Silver Star Mountain

The Full Report:
What a great way to spend a lovely autumn day in the Pacific Northwest. Then again, I suppose there aren’t many bad ways.

Driving to Silver Start Mountain from Portland offers the sweeping vistas you’d expect from the heart of the Chinook Trail System in the Columbia Gorge. If we weren’t already anxious for the leaves to change, this sure made us ready. I found myself wishing that I had brought along a camp stove to warm some cider and celebrate the beginning of fall!

It wouldn’t hurt to have a printed map en route. The road to the trailhead can be rough and is poorly marked in places and the last couple of miles are NOT suited for low clearance vehicles. Be prepared to walk the last mile or two. This ol’ forest road was historically a lookout road and is said to get worse every year. The conditions of the road are naturally variable and not advisable outside of March-November, even for the souped-up off roading fanatics.

Silver Star Mountain

There are various ways to reach the summit with Ed’s Trail being a local favorite, however, we decided to stick to trail #180. This trail offers ample opportunity for easy conversation with its wide footpath through much of the rocky terrain.

If you like geology, you’ll love the assortment of pumice, granite and such as you climb up to see five prominent skyline peaks (Rainer, St. Helens, Adams, Hood, Jefferson)...on a clear day. We, unfortunately, missed these views and found ourselves cloaked in a heavy blanket of fog. After having exposed ridgeline views on either side of us, the fog gave us a break from the hot afternoon and was appreciated. As we traversed the last bit of rocky footpath, we ventured into a fog-drenched second growth forest. It was delightful!

Silver Star Mountain

Maybe this doesn’t need saying, I mean you’ve read this far. But an extra dose of preparedness makes any trip more enjoyable. Please, please, please - always be prepared for sudden changes in the mountains! Despite having the right gear (thanks to Next Adventure!!) we were bummed to miss our window at seeing the expansive panoramic views we knew awaited us. Is it unjust to blame my pup who loves to strike a pose every rock and log he can climb?

Despite the hype on being a destination for springtime wonders, this is a spot that has made our list of “places to take friends”. We headed back down the path to find people hopping around on boulders much like we had done just an hour before. I swear, no matter the weather when you’re outside, what a beautiful chance to see the first snap of autumn’s color. Leave No Trace! And I hope to see you out there soon.

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