The first time I tried to do this hike, my friend and I couldn’t find it.
What we did come across was a group of Corrections Officers supervising a work group (chain gang?).
We asked if they knew where the trailhead was but neither one really knew. They directed us to a different set of trails and we ended up hiking there. I call it the Random Hike.
The Search For Silver Star Mountain
A couple of weeks after the failed attempt to find Silver Star Mountain, I decided to give it another go. I was alone but determined to find the damn trail so my friend and I could hike it.
After driving back and forth a few times along a winding two-lane road, I finally spotted the itty bitty wood sign with the Forest Service road number on it.
Armed with my trail book, I started down the gravel road toward the trailhead. The road stretches for miles with gravel size ranging from marble to fist. It was slow going.
Various other Forest Service roads intersect with the main road and if I didn’t have the guidebook for this first trip it would have been easy to get lost. The road winds around hills, clear cuts, over a stream and up a few hills.
The last stretch is the most interesting as far as the driving goes. Every 50 feet or so there are these huge lumps in the road, like giant dirt speed bumps, to divert rain water and protect the road from getting washed out.
This would be nothing in a Jeep or even an SUV. But the car I had was a 2001 Ford ZX2. Although, I was a little worried I might get high centered and stranded in the woods. I said, “What the hell?” and went for it. Worst case scenario, I hike back to the road and call for help from a friend.
Oh and lets not forget the snow.
That made things even more interesting. No biggie though.
Adapt and overcome.
Silver Star Mountain Trailhead
Finally, I arrived!
The sky was overcast with rambunctious blasts of wind that cast an eerie feeling over me.
It was cold. I was wearing shorts.
The wind was loud. I was alone.
The hike itself is not particularly difficult and it’s only about 4 miles round-trip. Although there are several possible routes, I couldn’t tell where the trail was because it was snowy, so I made my own way up the mountain.
After hiking the area a few times, I decided I liked the trail that breaks left – it’s rockier and has a lot of neat places to climb around. Also, after hiking the mountain several times, I even took my Mom there.
Silver Star trail connects with others in the area including Bluff Mountain (which I have yet to do), Sturgeon Rock Loop and Grouse Vista.
The Gifford Pinchot National Forest is a lovely area to hike with so many possibilities. If you’re in Southwest Washington, be sure to hit one of the many trails.
Trailhead Coordinates: 45.7682,-122.2428