Bluff Mountain Trail is a 10.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Carson, Washington that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from May until October.

Length10.2 miElevation gain1,771 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingForestViewsRocky
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Washington State Tourism, P.O. Box 42500 , Olympia, WA, 98504-2500, Phone: 360-586-2088, tobyg@tourism.wa.gov

Directions from Yacolt: Travel southeast on NE Railroad Avenue for 2.4 miles to NE Sunset Falls Road. Follow NE Sunset Falls Road to the forest boundary. At the boundary, follow Forest Route 41 southeast past Forest Routes 4104 and 4109. There is parking for the trail on 41 that is two miles from the trail. Visitors with four-wheel drive vehicles can access the trailhead by continuing on Forest Route 502.

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Reviews (46)
Photos (110)
Recordings (27)
Completed (114)
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James Breen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 10, 2021
HikingSnow

Roads are rough. You'll need high clearance vehicle to get to the trailhead. 4x4 if you feel uncomfortable driving on snow. The trails are snowy varying from ankle to knee deep snow. The ridgelines were windy like every high elevation trail around Silverstar mountain. Some sections were difficult to navigate due to the snow and low foot traffic. Overall a good trail & scenery.

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Kevin Terlep
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 31, 2020
Hiking

The road going in really sucks, 14 miles on gravel. Most is pretty easy going but you will need 4WD and there are some rough spots. It’s more annoying than treacherous though. Road aside, this is one amazing hike. The first 2 miles are on a road but even here there are some fantastic views of Mt. Hood, Adams and even a peak at Jefferson. Once you leave the road the view opens up and it’s almost constant views and rocky peaks. The trail is super rocky from there on and can be slow going if you’re not in good shape. The trail is pretty narrow and there’s lots of drop offs into oblivion (hope you’re not afraid of heights). It is also exposed for the majority of the trail so sun protection is essential, Halloween was the perfect day for this hike. Sunny but chilly :) Amazing hike.

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Suzie Anikin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 24, 2020
Hiking

The trail was fantastic only for one thing, me not bringing my coat, had to end it earlier than I wanted to. The clouds killed some of the views but thankfully not all!. Getting cold!

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Charyl Beard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 2, 2020
HikingOver grownRocky

Not a fan. It just wasn’t worth it to drive that far, for this hike. The trail was so rocky and overgrown. Ed’s Trail or Silver Star Trail is much closer and if you want to can hike to Bluff Mt. from there. Well, at least it’s finally off my list of hikes to do.

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Hunter Breckenridge
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 27, 2020
HikingMuddyOver grownRocky
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Chris Anderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 23, 2020
Hiking
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Cassie Sanchez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
HikingNo shadeOver grownRocky

My husband and I hiked from Bluff Mountain Trailhead to Silver Star Mountain. The trek is 13 miles. We did it, with breaks in 6 hours. We are accustomed to long hikes. The hike was an adventure in a really great way and the views were incredible! Do it and have a great time! A few things to know about this hike: 1. You need 4WD/ AWD and high clearance to be best prepared for the drive. 13 miles (50+ minutes) of gravel road. 80% of the route is good, there are many washouts, and the road is rocky. It is reasonably wide. It should not pose a problem with the right vehicle. Our Outback performed great! 2. The hike is rocky 65% of the miles (although it feels like more). You have to move slow on the rocks (would not recommend this to trail runners). I also recommend your more serious hiking boots, with ankle support. I did not bring, but wished I had. We didn’t find poles were necessary. 3. The trail starts out along a road . You could continue on the road if you have a very high clearance vehicle. Because we have a Subaru, we started at the true trail head. You are on the road for 2.6 miles (going down hill so this part feels much longer on the way back!), and then you descend down a more narrow, and very overgrown path. 4. The day we went, there were more bear hunters (yes, that’s what I said) than hikers on this trail. They were friendly, but it made more sense that this was a hunting trail. It did make we wish we had brought our bear spray.

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Daniel Vermillion
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 22, 2020
Hiking

The road in is very rough but functional. I would not recommend vehicles without much clearance. The hike was beautiful though! I made it past Bluff Mountain not quite to Silver Star Mountain. 11 miles out and back.

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Kellin Stein
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 10, 2020
HikingBugsRocky

SW WA hike for the win!

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Alli Homs
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 29, 2020
Hiking

Great trail! Would 100% recommend coming in from dole valley/L-1100 road. Took 41 in from Sunset Falls Campground and it was awful. Lots of washout/potholes and slow going. Took L-1100 out and WAY better. Some snow left on trail near Silverstar summit, but easily traversed.

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Joe Mannor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 5, 2020
HikingSnow

Went late March 2020. Long unpaved road is full of snow and potholes and we still had to park 2 miles back from the Trailhead. Trail itself is fully covered in snow. GPS was needed to keep on path. I recommend microspikes. The views were second to none.

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Joe Mannor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 4, 2020
HikingSnow

Went late March 2020. Long unpaved road is full of snow and potholes and we still had to park 2 miles back from the Trailhead. Trail itself is fully covered in snow. GPS was needed to keep on path. I recommend microspikes. The views were second to none.

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Katelynn Hatcher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 23, 2019
HikingNo shadeOver grownRocky

While there’s minimal shade and some of the trail is a bit overgrown, this hike is quite spectacular! The views are well-worth it. The wildflowers were out of this world. On clear days, you can see mt hood, mt St. Helens, mt Jefferson, mt Adams, and mt rainier all throughout the hike. To get all the way to silver star and back, it’s ~13 miles. Would highly recommend starting early on hot days, so you don’t get scorched by the sun on the way back.

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Christina Markin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 9, 2019
HikingBugsNo shadeOver grownRocky

Visited 7/1/19 bluff mountain road walk 3.6 miles, 284ft elevation gain 1.24hrs total time. Came here to scout out the entrance by larch correctional area. After reading other reviews. The road is definitely sketch for say a stock Honda crv, but may be doable. Would not recommend for sedans. The road going torwards the gorge was in much better condition but can be overgrown with shrubbery in areas and potholes. Did a short hike on the road with my dad, but did not get to the single track as t-storms were in the forecast that day. There are no bathrooms here and no trail kiosk. Will definitely be back to do this one in full length maybe as point to point with a shuttle car at bluff mountain TH and starting at grouse or something.

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John M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 22, 2019
HikingOver grownRocky

Yes, the road stinks. But 4WD isn't necessary, despite what the description says... heck, upon arrival I even saw a pair of sedans parked (although I wouldn't recommend those). Not that you'd get stuck; there's just a ton of potholes on the first half of dirt road after Sunset Falls Campground, and some speed bumps the last few miles on FR 41. Without high clearance you may scrape. The potholes mostly disappear during the final stretch (yay!)... instead it gets rough, rocky, and narrow, with some steep drops (yay?). If it's your first time on this kind of road, it could be nerve-wracking. As someone else mentioned, you can also get here from the same road that passes Ed's Trail and the Tarbell trailhead ("NE Dnr 1100 Rd" to NF-4109 to NF-41, as labeled on Google Maps). NE Dnr 1100 Rd is a much better dirt road, it's true, but the stretch between Ed's Trail to NF-41 is still awful imho. But the awfulness IS much shorter than the crappy section between Sunset Falls campground and NF-41... so pick your poison. I also saw SUVs approach on NF-41 from the east (ie. towards Carson?) but have no idea what the road conditions are like - I'd be interested to know! The trail itself is also not the best constructed - the first section is a rocky abandoned jeep track (just before it ends, look for a turn off on your right), which becomes a brushy narrow trail. Wear pants! You do cross past some rocky slopes as well, but very little of it approached "iffy" territory for me (a short steep section over a rock slide, and a tiny rocky "chute" you kinda hop over). And yes, there is very little shade. So is it worth it? If it's a clear day, that's a big yes. The scenery is spectacular, even from the trailhead. A lot of the trail is open ridges. The wildflowers are countless. And depending on your destination, you can see... pretty much EVERYTHING (see my recommendation below). All the volcanoes, the gorge (even the river), and the Silver Star mountains themselves are very photogenic. It's like a magical slice of the North Cascades. If it sounds like a lot of trouble just to summit Silver Star from a different trail, there is an alternative turnaround point - if you're up for some adventure and an awesome viewpoint, try summiting Little Baldy. You can't miss it - it's the pointy gray peak, like a giant pile of gravel. Be forewarned it is a steep, off-trail scramble to the top. Once you're near (after a nice flat section through a tall pine forest), you'll see it above and to your right. You can start making your way up here, working through the grassy section to reach the ridgeline, or you can try from the far side of the mountain after continuing along the regular trail, but that side seems more brushy (which you'll learn to avoid as much as possible - you can power through, but it's a slog). No matter where you start, you'll eventually be climbing loose rock, but it's grippy and very doable with care. Stick to smaller, more compacted jumbles of rock when possible. You'll even see cairns vaguely guiding the way!

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Kihyon Sohn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 17, 2019
Hiking

Wonderful hiking on a beautiful day. Road 41 had so many potholes. My poor Prius had a tough time. Google map guided me to the trail head on a different road that passed the road leading to Ed’s trail. That was better than Road 41. Make sure of wearing long pants and carrying enough water. It took me about four and a half hours except resting time.

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Bob Maczko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 2, 2019
HikingNo shadeOver grownRockyScramble
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