The Bluff Mountain Trail (#172) starts out as an old roadbed for about three miles then continues as single-track, dipping into a saddle before climbing the ridge. It then follows the ridge skirting Bluff Mountain and Little Baldy on its way to Silver Star Mountain. Along the way the route passes numerous rocky outcrops and open talus slopes where the rocky subsoil and repeated fires since the Yacolt Burn of 1902 have limited forest regeneration. Approximately five miles from the trailhead, continue another 0.8 miles past the junction with the Starway Trail (#172) to an unmarked junction. Turn left and ascend a short trail that joins an old road bed leading to the Silver Star Mountain summit.
Aside from the scenic vistas of Portland, the Columbia River and Mount Hood, the route is also decorated with an abundance of wildflowers many of which linger into the fall. For the trail maintenance aficionado, you’ll notice some impressive trail building through the talus fields and a few fine rock retaining walls. Lastly, if you forgot your lunch, you’ll be able to feast on huckleberries if the season is right.
For a more adventurous loop, consider linking the Starway Trail #175, Bluff Mountain Trail #172 and FS Road 41 in a counterclockwise loop. With two cars you can organize a shuttle to avoid walking on the road. Or if you want to save gas, bring a mountain bike and park your car at the Bluff Mountain Trailhead then ride to the Starway Trailhead to start your hike ending up back at your car at the end of the loop. Just don’t forget to pick up your bicycle on the way home!.
The Bluff Mountain Trail is part of the Chinook Trail, a proposed 300 mile, bi-state loop circling the rim of the Columbia River Gorge. From Bluff Mountain, the proposed connection will one day link to Three Corner Rock to the east. To the west, the Chinook Trail route follow's Ed's Trail from Silver Star's summit to the Klochman Butte Trail.
- 12.0 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 890 feet
- Highest Point
- 4,390 feet
Hiking Bluff Mountain
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 45.7423, -122.1910 Open in Google Maps