Natalie had researched Silver Star Mountain hike for a little while. Silver Star is outside of Battle Ground Washington and with traffic I think it is about a two hour drive from Portland. We knew it was something we wanted to do for sure, but there was a challenge just getting to the trail head. Road #4109 was in bad shape and required a high clearance vehicle to get to the trailhead. But how bad could it be?? It isn’t always smart to go alone on a challenged road incase you run into an issue. But nothing ventured, nothing gained and we had beer and each other.
This was a hike I wanted explore later in the day to perhaps catch a sunset. We picked a day during the middle of the week and planned to leave early to get to the trailhead around 3pm or so. After battling Portland traffic we arrived at the high clearance road. As we climbed we saw someone in a Honda Accord trying it. Seemed odd to me based on what everyone was saying on social media. Wasn’t long and I realized he was going to get very far at all. The road was washed out, big boulders and certainly took patience to climb in my Tacoma. The road was just 4 miles long, but it felt like it took forever to get to the top.
We arrived at the parking lot and found only one other vehicle, so we knew we would have the mountain to ourselves. The hike to the top has two routes. One is a steady climb and is on the west side of the mountain. Almost like a fire service road all the way to the top. The more eastern route is probably the best route. It took us through some beautiful wild flowers and green grass to a rock arch we passed through. We also had a view or Mt. Hood as we traveled. There were a couple of steep traverses that required all 4 appendages and some focus, but nothing too bad - it was a long way down.
Once out to the clearing you think you must be near the summit, but you still have some trail ahead of you. The trail takes you around the mountain and back into the trees for a short stint. You then climb up a fire service looking road to the top. Once at the top you have 360 views and you can see all the mountain peaks. My mistake was just hiking in a tee-shirt and not bringing a coat. There was a cold wind blowing that day, plus a cold Citrus Mistress I was shivering a bit. We knocked out our photos and dropped down in elevation just a little and the breeze was gone and I was perfect temp.
As we got down to more of a plateau and the west facing trail I launched the drone to get some aerial shots of the mountain. The sun was starting it’s sunset show at this time and the video and stills from the drone were amazing. I felt like we were on some Austrian mountain and not in Battleground Washington.
We sat and enjoyed the sunset with a little Fireball, but now it was time to beat feet and get back to the truck. I did come prepared with a flashlight and headlamp, but we did have some thick overgrowth to walk through. Flashlights were not going to show if something was lurking in the trees. I certainly had a quick pace back to the truck and when we arrived at the truck we still had a band of sunset glow and city lights on the horizon to watch.
Silver Star Mountain is an excellent hike and only about 50mi from Beaverton. There are two routes to get there and one is vehicle friendly and the other one is not. Bring supplies and notify friends if you take the high clearance trail to the top. There are no services around for some distance if you should have a problem. Try to get a sunset hike in and enjoy the views as they are outstanding.