Hike Silver Star Mountain via Grouse Vista

Grouse Vista Trailhead

Silver Star Mountain is one of Southern Washington's must-do adventures offering 360-degree views from both of its two summits. On a clear day, you will have views across to Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier and Mount Adams.

The Grouse Vista Trailhead is located through the town of Washougal off of highway 14 just past Camas. Once you leave the city, the road will turn to gravel and dirt though it is fairly well maintained until snow arrive and accessible by most cars so long as you're willing to get drive over loose rocks and dirt (moderate clearance makes for a much more enjoyable ride). Map apps can navigate to the trailhead by name.

From the trailhead (sign post only, there are no facilities), head North (right) to immediately start climbing up and into the mountain. The initial stretch of the trail is steep but soon eases back as you leave the forest and traverse across the hills with clear views of Pyramid Rock in front & to the right with Southern Washington's foothills below you & to the left (stay to the left / follow the hillside at the the first trail fork).

After passing directly under Pyramid Rock, the trail picks back up in steepness as it makes its way behind the mountain until it again breaks free from the forest along another hillside ridge. In winter this can be a fairly narrow snow crossing while in spring the slope is alive with flowers.

Continue on the trail back into the forest for the third and steepest of the climbing section again staying to the left as you pass the Indian Pit Trail fork (marked). After just a few more minutes of walking, you will meet up with the main trails from the Northside, turn right at the fork (there's usually a large stone pile marking the junction but just keep heading uphill if you're uncertain) and hike the final stretch.

For overnight adventurers, as you near the summit, you'll pass a few common camping areas to your left before emerging out of the trees at the top.

There are two summit points on Silver Star, the one to your left has a concrete platform left from an old tower which makes for a good lunch spot while the one to the right has a closer view of Mount Hood and some great rock structure to explore below.

Plan for a 2-4 hour outing with food, water and essentials to match. There is no cell signal, water or other services at or around the trailhead or on the hike.

A Washington State Discover Pass is required to park at the trailhead. This is not the same as a NW Forest Pass Permit and is not covered by National Park Passes.

In winter expect significant snow along the trail and a completely covered summit. Snowshoes and traction devices are often ideal.

Find details for the North Route / Ed's Trail.

Pack List

  • Permit
  • Snowshoes/traction devices
  • 10 Essentials
Show More
RT Distance 6 Miles
Elevation Gain 2000 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Good Vista, Mediocre Hike

The vista is worth the hike, but this is definitely a hike that's more about the destination than the journey. Not a bad thing, of course, but not my preference and something to note. When you reach the end, you have a pretty epic view--not quite 360 but maybe 270 :) The last 3/4 mile of the trail is pretty rocky and the rocks, about the size of pin pong balls, slip around a lot. No major threat but be alert and wear ankle supportive boots if you have weak/injured ankles. The trailhead was tricky to find. Make sure you have mapped directions prior to arriving as your gps will go out. When you hit the spot in the road allowing you to go only right (to Camus) or left, the correct move is left. You will end up passing a corrections facility and then be on a gravel road for 25 minutes or so. Heads up: you also need a discover pass. You can buy one on your phone at the trailhead if you have service.

Endless views with minimal crowds

As this trail becomes more and more popular you would expect to see more people on the trail as well, however once you begin the hike you are secluded enough to make it feel as though you are the only one hiking. The rock outcroppings prove to be great places to stop and eat a snack or get a view of the volcanoes as you make your way towards the top of Silver Star. Wildflowers are in full bloom and show no signs of stopping!

Hills, Hills, Hills And Some More Hills

If you love going uphill the entire time this is the hike for you! It's strenuous(in my opinion), but every sweat drop is worth it. I could see five mountain tops and I ended up falling asleep at the top while looking out. I can't wait to come back here and camp to watch the sunrise and sunset.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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