Bluff Mountain Trail

HARD 16 reviews

Bluff Mountain Trail is a 10.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Washougal, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
10.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,748 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

no dogs

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.

hiking
9 days ago

A great hike through a beautiful section of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. There are some steady ascents and descents, but nothing dramatic except for the last small part right before you reach the Silver Star Mountain trail. At the meeting point with Silver Star there is a small campground and a short trail leading up to Silver Star Mountain. In August 2018 there was NO WATER TO BE FOUND anywhere on the trail or at the campsite, so bring more water than you think you'll need, especially if you will be camping.

Make sure to go up the Silver Star trail to the top to get amazing 360º views of Washington and Oregon, where on a clear day you can see Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Hood, as well as the Columbia River Gorge and Portland off in the distance. The entire trail is flanked by wild berry bushes and beautiful vistas. If you don't want to get your legs scraped up, be sure to wear full-length pants. And, if you are going, please consider taking a machete to do some trail maintenance, as there is a lot of growth right into the trail that makes walking difficult.

As others have noted in the comments, the trail starts about 2 miles down a fire road, so if you have a high-clearance 4WD you can get right to the trail head, otherwise you will be parking at the turn around on NF-41.
(This was written 2018-08-07)

backpacking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike with a good level of ascent and descent to keep it interesting but not super challenging. There are a few possible small camping spots along the hike out there, but mostly they're all at or near the summit (which is where the best source of running water is anyway). The sunset at the summit was amazing!

The road out to the TH (NF-41) is a little rough. I was driving a Ford Eco-sport with 4WD and decent clearance and didn't have much of a problem, but a car with average clearance would probably not be able to make it. And 4WD probably isn't completely necessary to make it out there, but I would recommend it. The road conditions were also probably as good as it gets when we went, hadn't rained in quite a while so everything was dry, if it was muddy or snowy at all it would've been a lot more difficult. Also seems like NF-41 is a bit better than the NF-4109 road you take to get to Ed's Trail. Also, its already been said, but don't trust google maps to get you there. It kept trying to take us down the "jeep roads" which can hardly be called roads at all.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike, some edges are hazardous. Bring lots of water. Road towards hike has a lot of potholes and your vehicle needs about a 4-5in. of clearance to pass some of the bumps.

2 months ago

I’d definitely do it again but I would forget about Bluff Mountain and just summit Little Baldy and be happy!

hiking
7 months ago

Couldn’t make it to the TH due to the terrible condition of the road. We bailed halfway to the “parking lot”. Too many potholes, ridges, and ditches for a standard passenger car. You will need AWD and a high clearance vehicle to make it all the way up! There was also snow in the higher elevations. Would try again with a better car in better weather.

backpacking
Sunday, May 21, 2017

A vehicle with 4WD and clearance make a huge difference to get to the TH. The area is gorgeous, but I opted out of hiking yesterday due to the amount of snow still on the trail (feet). It was maybe doable, but the snow was really wet/had tunnels running under it. I had microspikes on but was alone and didn't want to fall through and twist an ankle. Will definitely be back in a month to try again!

hiking
Sunday, November 13, 2016

Great hike. Saw only two groups of hikers the entire time. My biggest complaint was Google Maps gave me really bad directions to the trailhead. Use directions to Sunset Falls Campground. Then cross the bridge and turn left (East). The roads are a lot better and it will literally shave off 30 minutes of travel time. https://goo.gl/bYdDQU

hiking
Monday, September 26, 2016

Such a great trail with breathtaking views. The worst part was the road to the trail, countless monster potholes. But it's doable with the right rig. Highly recommend this trail, especially on a clear day. You can see soooo much. Plus if you're feeling more ambitious the trail keeps going along the ridge, not sure how far though.

hiking
Sunday, June 23, 2013

This is the longest route to get to Silver Star Mountain but it has so much to offer. Fewer people use this trail so you'll never feel crowded even when there is quite a crowd of hikers at the summit. Odds are that they came in from a different trail. The views are outstanding, especially those from the side of Little Baldy and the long open ridgeline that connects Little Baldy to the flank of Silver Star Mtn. Lots of wildflowers to see along the way and some years, like this year, the bear-grass blooms are an incredible display to witness. I wouldn't recommend doing this hike in really hot weather because of the lack of opportunities to get out of the sun but, other than that, this is an amazing hike that I have done many times and highly recommend to others.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
Saturday, August 12, 2017

hiking
Monday, June 26, 2017

Sunday, June 18, 2017

hiking
Thursday, February 12, 2015

hiking
Saturday, September 29, 2012