The sun decided to come out this weekend so it was the perfect opportunity for some more hiking. I decided to give the Silver Star Grand Tour a shot, which I can easily say is my favorite hike so far. The hike was guided by the Mazamas, which is a Mountaineering organization here in Portland.
Distance: 15 Miles
Elevation Gain: 5,250 Feet
The hike started off at the Starway trailhead, which is not the easiest place to find. It requires driving down dirt roads for about 4 miles. From there, we followed an unofficial trail that’s being developed by the guy who lead the hike.
The trail was a bit rugged but a lot of fun. We crossed a creek by walking across a log with some rope. From there, we had to climb an extremely steep talus field that made my legs burn. Once we finished the climbing, we took a nice break on a cliff overlooking a waterfall.
We eventually hit the main Silver Star parking lot and followed the main trail up to the summit. The snow is still pretty deep in a lot of places but we made it to the top without any issues. There were a lot of people on the summit when we got up there.
Here’s a view looking South towards Mt. Hood:
Once we finished our lunch, we headed down the North side of Silver Star and then connected up with the trail that leads to Little Baldy. This is where we hit the deepest snow of the trip.
Here’s a nice shot of Silver Star behind us as we were heading towards Little Baldy:
We weren’t able to summit it due to snow but we did make our way to the top of Bluff Mountain, which had a great view of Mt. St Helens, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Adams:
This is where the hike got really interesting. Since the main trail was snow covered, we decided to make our way down the North Ridge of Bluff Mountain. It was really steep and rocky but a ton of fun at the same time. There were a few spots with some large drop-offs but everyone made it without any issues.
After making our way down the ridge, we then met up with the main trail that took us to a forest road. We followed the road down to the creek, where we had to do a tough stream crossing. Everyone tried using garbage bags over our shoes but no luck, all of our shoes were soaked. A few people fell in since the current was so strong from the creek being really high due to snow melt.
The last half mile was not much fun since my boots were filled with water but it sure felt great to take them off when we got to the cars.
Overall, it was a great hike with some of the best views I’ve seen so far. It was also one of the toughest I’ve done this year and it left me feeling pretty sore the next day.
You can check out more photos in my Silver Star gallery.