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Silver Star Mountain - Ed's Trail

Southwest Washington

Location

Southwest Washington -- Lewis River Region
View map below

Length

5.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1240 ft.
Highest Point: 4390 ft.

Rating

4.40 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2016
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

There are two routes up the north side of Silver Star Mountain that in good conditions can be combined to form a sort of loop. Along the way, hikers will be delighted with a diverse array of wildflowers, a natural arch, volcanic views and fine hiking. Spring brings colorful wildflower displays, but also crowds, especially on the weekends. Fall colors are another popular attraction. The best months to hike are May through November.

Ed's Trail is the more scenic and more rugged of the two paths up Silver Star, which can be hiked in a sort of loop. A popular way to visit the summit is to ascend on Ed's Trail and return via the Silver Star Trail. With rocky outcrops and a natural rock archway and meadows that burst with wildflowers in the spring, this trail highlights the high country that inspired the late Ed Robertson who co-founded the Chinook Trail Association. The trail was completed in 1996 by volunteers as part of the proposed Chinook Trail, a bi-state route that encircles the rim of the Columbia River Gorge.

Start on the Silver Star Trail (180) - an old road grade that climbs fairly steeply out of the parking area. Ed's Trail is a 1.5 mile segment, but is part of a popular 5 mile hike to the Silver Star Summit, when joined with other trails in the area. From the Silver Star Trailhead, hike south for about 1 mile and stay right to begin Ed's Trail (180A), which climbs the east side of the ridge.

Ed's Trail (180A) is a foot path that takes a slightly less steep route and follows along the east side of the ridge, while the Silver Star Trail traverses the west side of the ridge. The two trails meet again about 1/4 mile from the summit at the junction with the Bluff Mt. Trail. There is a short steep section on Ed's trail that requires a bit of scrambling where a slip could be very dangerous. Avoid this route when wet or icy.

From the junction, continue uphill on the Silver Star Trail for another 1/4 mile and head left up a rocky road bed - the Silver Star Summit Trail (#180D). On a clear day, the views from the summit are sublime - Mounts Hood, Rainier and St. Helens, as well as the forested hills of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the Yacolt Burn State Forest.

On the return you can retrace your route or stay on the west side of the ridge on the Silver Star Trail (#180) to get back to the trailhead. You can also keep hiking from here. Several trails meet near the Silver Star summit. Hikers can follow the Chinook Trail to the Kloochman Butte Trail (#180B) to the west or the Bluff Mountain Trail (#172) to the east.

 

Silver Star Mountain - Ed's Trail

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 45.7673, -122.2433 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Southwest Washington -- Lewis River Region

Silver Star Mountain (#180), Ed's Trail (#180A)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount Adams Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking Columbia River Gorge (Mountaineers Book) by Craig Romano

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_MEDIA/stelprdb5160926.pdf

Getting There

NOTE: In 2013 the road to the trailhead became so degraded that a high clearance vehicle is required.

From Battle Ground: drive north on Highway 503 for 5.6 miles then turn right on Rock Creek Road. Drive 9 miles down this road to Moulton Falls. Continue past this parking area and a quarter mile beyond Moulton Falls, turn right on NE Sunset Falls Road. Continue for 2 miles, and then turn right across a bridge onto NE Dole Valley Road. Continue for 2.4 miles, and arrive at a fork in the road. Take the road branching to the left. This is a DNR logging road, also known as the L1100 Road. Drive it for for 6.6 miles. At a clearing with a small parking area to your left, there is an intersection with a road heading uphill to the right. This is Road 4109. It is extremely rough -- high clearance vehicles are a must to proceed to the trailhead from here. Turn onto Road 4109 and drive 2.7 miles to the trailhead.

ALTERNATE ROUTE (when logging operations close the L1100 Road). Note that these use a longer section of Road 4109, which is extremely rough. Drive north on State Route 503 for 5.6 miles. Turn right on onto Rock Creek Road. Continue 9 miles to the Moulton Falls County Park. Just past the park, turn right on Sunset Falls Road. Continue 7 miles to the Sunset Falls Campground. Turn right into the campground. Continue past the bathrooms on your left and cross the East Fork Lewis River on FS 41. Go 3.5 miles and turn right on FR 4109, it is a sharp hairpin turn going down. Continue on FR 4109 (it is a rugged road not suitable for low clearance cars). About a mile past turning off of FS 41, stay on 4109 at the intersection where Road 1100 veers off to the right. Continue 2.7 miles to the trailhead.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Silver Star Mountain - Ed's Trail

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