Explore the most popular hiking trails near Washougal with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

One of the best viewpoints around. Smoky time of year, but when we reached summit of Silver Star, we had clear views above the smoke layer of St. Helens, Rainier, Adams, Hood, and a bit of Jefferson. Lots of trail offshoots - use the map. We extended our hike to include scramble up Sturgeon Rock (awesome) then a loop back via Tarbell Trail. Warning on Tarbell - new logging roads have been cut through trail...again, use map w/Phone/GPS and you’ll find trail. Also, after parking at Grouse Vista, trailhead starts *across* parking lot from pit toilet (not the other way, which is continuation of Tarbell).

The upper Cape Horn hike is great, not too difficult but also a good workout. Lower Cape Horn is ok, the rocky part is a tad tedious and the final portion which is about 1.5 miles of paved road is a slog.

Beautiful hike that’s not too crowded. We hiked it on a partly cloudy day and the views were still super pretty. If you don’t have an 4 wheel/AWD car I wouldn’t recommend it. I didn’t feel comfortable driving my car over the bridge at the bottom so we parked and hiked to the trailhead for extra 4 miles each way. Worth it though!

7 days ago

I really like all but 1 mile of this hike. The last mile for us was on a road and it was unclear if you walked on the road or if there was a trail we missed. Other than that last mile the hike is really pretty, seems like most folks do an out and back so after the viewpoint at 2ish miles there was hardly anyone out there.

Great spot, not crowded, a little too smokey for any views this time, but Ill be going back on a clear day!

Tougher than moderate and longer too. Views are incredible.

Instead of the TH marked here I came from the north, hitting the pct and made in with RT 5.2 miles or so. If you'd like details just message me.

trail running
9 days ago

Yes a bridge is out, currently the stream is a trickle and can be crossed super easy. I ran this and liked the view of St. Helens around 2miles in, you can also see Mt Hood on the trail up.

10 days ago

About 8 miles. Took us almost 3 hours. I’d say moderate is a good description if you are in shape. We started with the upper trail and did the loop. Glad it wasn’t any hotter or we would have really suffered. Not crowded. People were nice. I would not take small children or dogs. Lots of loose rocks and narrow passages.

still killer views even though we couldn't see the mountains this time through the smoke. one of my top favorites. this trail is hard on dog paws.

Nice trail! Beautiful look out!

13 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)

15 days ago

The trail was about 7.2 miles total. Some really great switchbacks, views, and different terrains. You can stay a pretty steady pace, as the trail isn’t too difficult.

Wow, this kicked my butt. Much harder than moderate! The rock scramble was pretty scary but a fun adventure. I’d totally start going up then do the whole loop. Bring extra water as I’d say half is not covered. It’s a beautiful butt kicker!

Nice scenery , easy ride

I really enjoyed this one.
I started with the upper trail, and I'm glad I did.

18 days ago

The upper Trail is a moderate though continuous upward climb with a beautiful full gorge view as your capstone. It was 95 degrees and the tree canopy was a delight BUT the lower trail that had just reopened (July 16) was NOT moderate. The last 2-3 miles is full-on rock in full-sun with difficult footing- this is followed by a closing loop along an asphalt road. Hot hot hot! Very little water in the waterfall. I was told by a regular user it is actually 8.2 miles. I would not do the lower trail again.

Great view at the top! Fairly steep on the last half and if you ignore most of the trails off the main trail it’s fairly easy to stay on track to the top. Turning right at the pile of rocks at the fork keeps you on the main trail. Lots of water in the summer, sturdy hiking boots and wouldn’t recommend taking dogs in the summer.

As some of the others noted any car can probably make it, but AWD or larger vehicle would be better if you have the option. Trail has some long rocky/gravel stretches but one of the BEST views from the top on a clear day.

Gravel road with occasional potholes for the last 5 miles. The trail is fairly steep with tons of rocks but relatively easy if you go at a moderate pace. Amazing view at the top with all five mountains visible.

Bring bug spray if you don’t like flies diving into you.

busy, lots of thistles and blackberry brambles. beautiful views

29 days ago

Beautiful hike. Started on upper trail which left the waterfall for our lunch break.

30 days ago

I'm glad I started early since it got 96 degrees later on. But then I defeated that purpose by doing Hamilton Mountain at the hottest part of the day! Cape Horn is a beautiful hike with many viewpoints of the gorge and pretty vegetation along the way. I should have read the signs at the trailhead better because I still don't know what Cape Horn is. I didn't see anything that looked like a cape. I told two people about the hike so far, and both asked, "Oh, is it at the beach?" Fair question, since it does sound like a beach feature.

1 month ago

Absolutely gorgeous! We started on the lower part of the trail which proved to be a steady climb on a single trail. Most hikers came from the other direction. Plenty of tree cover with a cool breeze. The views were outstanding. There were lots of beautiful flowers as you reach the top. Enjoyed thimbleberries most of the way. Lots of uneven, rocky steps and tree trunks.

This is one of my favorite hikes. A little over grown on the lower half. I am sure that will be gone soon! Amazing views.

1 month ago

This was such an amazing hike! The Upper Trail has absolutely stunning viewpoints and the incline to get there isn't too bad. If you're feeling like you're up for a long hike, the lower trail is open now, it took 3 hours to finish the whole thing. I recommend doing the Upper Trail first because there is a small waterfall about 3/4 of the way through the hike to help cool you down.

The Lower Trail is now open.
The start from Upper Trail is steep and takes some stamina but the views are worth it. The hike to viewpoint is less than halfway around the loop. Lower Trail/2nd portion of loop starts out ok but gets tricky with lots of narrow pathway, loose rocks, and slippery ground. After walking over lava rocks in summer you want to jump in the waterfall but the waterfall itself is rather skimpy right now.
Overall, an interesting hike with varied terrain but footing on lower trail is challenging (hiking shoes suggested) and total loop is def closer to 7.5 miles, as other reviewers have stated.

One of the best views I have seen so far. In around 120 degree , we can see 5 mountains, and if weather and luck permits, we can see sisters mountain too.
It was like a mountain view overload. Definitely recommend to anyone who wants to have a spectacular view of oregon/washington mountains.

1 month ago

UPDATE 8/8/18
We actually got to hike the entire loop today. Loved it. It’s just over 6 1/2 miles. There are two huge outcroppings of rock that you really need to pay attention to. The views are beautiful (of course bc it’s the Gorge) but we never tire of them. Lots of switchbacks to keep it interesting. Great maintenance on the trail as well.

Beautiful hike but a little disappointed that about half of the trail is closed due to falcon mating season and a fire. We went about 2 miles one way then turned around and came back. Looking forward to the entire loop being open. Didn’t pass that many hikers and the silence is golden.

This is a great hike, amazing views at the top. It is very rocky, and could be hard on your dogs feet, so I recommend putting boots on their feet or leaving them at home.

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