From either direction off I-5, exit 9, take SR 502 (aka NE 10th Ave.) 2.0 miles north to 219th. Turn right and travel east to Hwy 503 (aka NW 10th Ave.) for 5.5 miles and turn left (north). Follow this road for 5.8 miles to and turn right on Rock Creek Rd. This highway turns into Lucia Falls Rd. Go 8.4 miles, and just past Moulton Falls, turn right on NE Sunset Falls Rd. There will be a sign pointing the way to Sunset Campground. 7.4 miles later, at Sunset Campground, cross the river on the one-lane bridge and go left up the hill on the gravel road. (Road 41). Go 8 ¾ miles on Rd. 41 and park at the large turnout. The trailhead is at the south end of the large parking area. The gravel road should be easily navigated by normal 2wd vehicles and is not in too bad a shape (except for a lot of potholes) as of this writing. It should take you less than an hour to travel from the I-5 exit to the trailhead.
The trailhead could also be gained from the east out of the Gorge via Carson and then through the town of Stabler on the Wind River but it's a circuitous path and a lot of gravel road I have yet to explore.
Road 41 will be closed by snow at some point in the winter and since the trailhead is at 3,549 feet elevation, expect it to stay closed until at least April or May in most years.
From the trailhead on road 41, hike 2.5 miles to the saddle on the brush covered north -northwest flank of the peak: (photo andmap
) From this obvious saddle, leave the main trail and take the path of least resistance up the ridge and traverse the cliffs and rock outcrops on their left. The relatively open summit is a fairly easy 8/10-mile climb up this huckleberry-carpeted hill. Total distance is 6.6 miles with 1,480' vertical gain, round trip.
The peak can be reached from any of the three principal trailheads to Silver Star Mountain: Grouse Creek Vista Trailhead, Tarbell Trailhead or the North Ridge Trailhead, and then following the Chinook Trail to the forested saddle and climbing the NW ridge or continuing on to the saddle on the north ridge. These other approaches would make the total distance, round trip, 11.5 miles (North Ridge), 13.3 miles (Grouse Creek Vista) or 21.5 miles (Tarbell).
Once at Bluff Mt.'s summit, if you wish to continue on to adjacent Little Baldy Mt.
or on to Silver Star Mountain you could continue bushwhacking down the northwest ridge and rejoin the Chinook Trail in the Silver Fir forest on the saddle between Bluff Mt. and Little Baldy. There's a nasty infestation of vine maple and slide alder but most of that can be avoided by staying to the left of the trees as you descend and once on the saddle and under the forest canopy, head north and rejoin the trail.
Good hiking gear and long pants for the bushwhack. Those huckleberry bushes look tame but they will scratch you up.
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