The trail is in good shape but with snow in the trees. It was a dramatic days of alternating snowy clouds and bright sunshine. The clearest skies did not quite coincide with the best views, but still a great day.
Nice hike on a sunny day with Brian Jenkins and Anette.
First trip I've ever done with a dog in my party. I did this hike with a long time friend, first time hiking partner and his dog, a young great dane (HUGE dog) who behaved very well for his first hike. We took the south ridge and didn't run across anyone untill the last half mile which was littered with people. The views from the top were some of the best views of the cascade volcanos I've ever seen. Some good scrambling was found on a rock (pyramid rock?) a couple of miles into the trail on the right. Good rock, and lots of options! Next time I gotta try surugeon rock via the sturgeon stairway. Great hike, highly recommended.
Went up today with a couple of friends; we went in from the north off County 12, which is a really horrible drive. The first segment of gravel road is smooth but with enormous potholes; the remainder is rough and rocky. As for the hike itself: we forked off to the left at Ed's Trail, rejoined the main road/trail at the five-way junction with the Tarbell Trail and the fun-looking Bluff Mountain Trail, and continued on to the main summit. We returned down the main trail. (By the way, some joker had turned a sign at that 5-way junction 90 degrees counter-clockwise; we fixed it, but it's not pounded in, so it could move again. And speaking of weird signs, there's one right after the trailhead that has bizarre distances on it; apparently it was installed in the wrong place.)
There were still a few patches of snow above 3000 feet, including one we had to traverse near the rock arch; but on the whole, everything was very GREEN from the valleys right up to the peaks. Lots and lots of beargrass, golden pea, paintbrush, and avalanche lilies; a fair number of lupines, irises, and salmonberries; and countless other wildflowers. The views of the surrounding hills and rock formations were amazing; unfortunately, the big volcanoes stayed hidden under a scattered cloud deck, but on a clear day the views of the local Big Four would be stunning, I'm sure. (We could see the bottom edge of the snow on Adams, St. Helens, and Hood, so we could tell how close they were.) It was about 55-60 degrees F with calm winds, except at the very top of the mountain where the wind made it a little chilly. Overall, a fanastic day trip.
The day I went up this mountain, there was a ton of fog that completely obscured the view. There might have been 10' of visibility. "Old baldy" was a crow that greeted us at the top and followed us (hoping for a meal?) for quite a while as we descended.
Set off early afternoon Saturday with some sun breaks. Arrived at a point to the south nearly even with Pyramid Rock soon after hearing there may be a mountain goat living there. Started down, didn't see anything. Just as I was rounding the corner, there it stands atop the lower rocks of Pyramid Rock. (Another summitposter discovered the goat in February) I left there to summit in whiteout. I felt a bit scared not being able to see the cornices near the summit until I was on top of them, but I have been up there many times to know where the safe areas are. It was a bit windy at the top, not too cold, and a great workout.
I lived in Battle Ground and spent a lot of time biking and hiking the trails that surround this mountain.
One of my favorite hikes close to Portland.
Hiked up here with a few friends. Our trucks barely made it up to the trailhead with all the snow. We post-holed to the summit, hugging the ridgecrest because of the lack of a trail, and the clouds blowing over the top reducing the visibility. It's beautiful up there in Winter, but with the windchill, we didn't stick around to enjoy the view for very long. Lots of fun though! Ran into a porcupine on the trail too.
This climb was connected with my first on-purpose county highpoint - the nearby "Sturgeon Fin" which is the highpoint of my home county. Wonder of wonders, my wife did this one with me, and even enjoyed the scramble up onto Sturgeon Rock. If only she would go with me more often!
Fun little scramble on Sturgeon Fin plus the chance to visit an old lookout site on the summit proper. The flowers were very impressive. For this modest elevation they were still decent in August and would have been glorious in July.
snow prevented use of the trail on the west side, so I just scrambled up the rocky NE side.
Forecast said "definite rain" but we enjoyed mostly clear skies and views of Adams, St. Helens, Ranier, and part of Hood. About a foot of crusty snow on top, and lots of running streams at the bottom. Scrambled around on Sturgeon Rock a bit and found some possibilities for top-roped climbing.
On this beautiful fall day (except for the annoying inversion layer) I pushed my bike to the summit of Silver Star (proof) in 1.5 hours. I then went over to Sturgeon Rock to do a route on the north side. After that, it took me 45 minutes to ride down. Pretty nice, actually, except for the steep rocky bit in the last 800 vertical back to the car. Note: you must have good brakes on your bike if you wish to ride down the South Ridge Route.
Great weather! After summitting Silver Star, walked west and summitted Sturgeon Rock (Clark County highpoint).
Beautiful day with varying layers of clouds but no rain. Saw the very tip of Mt. Hood, but no other volcanoes. Already some very nice fall colors. Saw not a soul, but plenty of wildlife, including 3 elk.
I was on the main South Ridge trail by 8:30 am or so with heavy clouds veiling any sort of view on the way up. I walked right under Pyramid Rock and didn't know it due to the thick stuff. There was lots of scat on the trail.
I had the summit to myself and all I could see was the sloping meadows just below the peak. As I was eating my cold pizza (canadian bacon and pinapple), I looked down to see a bear abling through the rocky meadow below. Wow, now that was a first!
I returned the same way, with a side trip to see the Indian Pits, though I only went halfway due to the conditions. The clouds lifted just enough to let me see a little of the valley and other neat rock formations in the immediate area. I saw one other hiker on the way down.
I will be back on a blue sky day.
June, 2004 - Started out on a cloudy day. I did the side trail to the Native American meditation pits and had a nice view of the Columbia River and Portland/Vancouver, but couldn't see any of the cascades. It was definitely neat to see the buildings of downtown Portland though. Then the rain hit, and i couldn't see anything. Summited in the clouds with no views. Rain began again and even turned to hail for a few minutes at the beginning of my hike down. About halfway down I heard thunder and saw lightning in the distance, but thankfully I wasn't endangered by it. finished this trip up with the sounds of gunshots for background. A lot of beargrass and indian paintbrush in bloom. I was surprised to see quite a few patches of snow remaining in the shadier areas. Saw some tracks near the top from 4X4 vehicles.
August, 2006 - Hiked up via the Tarbell Trail stopping to scramble up Sturgeon Rock along the way. The old road from the Tarbell trail up the Mountain was pretty uninteresting.
Windy day, took a tough route and got stopped in our tracks.... literally by the wind. Had a snack just a little southeast of the summit and decided not to brave the exposed saddle. probably would have gotten blown off.....
got some great pictures though!!
Started out cloudy but as the day progressed, the sky cleared out. I left Grouse Creek Vista at 11:00 a.m. with snowshoes and a light pack. Tarbell trail was my choice of the many trails to the summit of Silver Star. It doesn't gain much elevation for the first 3 miles, then it intersects a road and shoots up fast passing right along Sturgeon Rock. The snow was light on the Tarbell but when I hit the road, I was faced with one to two feet. It was melting fast from the tree limbs as the temperature warmed. An average 1 and 1/2 hour trip took me 3 and 1/2 hours this trip (one way). I struggled to the summit with a strained hip flexor, had lunch, and forced myself to descend the shorter way (down the South Ridge). Fell many times wading through the soft snow, and then there was the hard crusty snow that would catch my snowshoes and send me to my knees. Nice and quiet hike with only the birds and falling snow from the tree branches making the noise. The view (at 3pm on the summit with not a cloud in the sky) and experience were awesome and I will do it again (especially winter time).