Saturday, June 15, 2019
While I much prefer the trails on the north side of Silver Star Mountain, the trailhead access via Road 4109 is now impassible for my Outback. So today we hiked up from the Grouse Vista Trailhead with Greg’s friend who was visiting from out of town.
As we started hiking up the rough rocky trail at 8am we were totally socked-in:
When we reached the open stretches, it was pea soup with no views:
Two-thirds of this trail is in the forest:
The flowers were looking nice:
Someone had come along and snipped off branches crowding the trail, then left them in the middle of the trail instead of tossing them to the side:
The same person had also strung dozens of pieces of yellow flagging along the trail:
There is some kind of race up here every June and we suspected that this person was readying the route for that race. I have NO IDEA why the very obvious trail needed what amounted to dozens of pieces of litter. We saw the guy on the summit later, with a roll of yellow flagging and clippers.
At 9:30 we ran into some people hiking down and they reported that the summit was above the clouds. Great news! And soon enough we started seeing evidence that we were emerging from the clouds into the sunshine:
Indeed, when we reached the summit we discovered that we were above the inversion and it looked INCREDIBLE. Mt Hood:
Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier:
Here is an iPhone panorama with Mt. St. Helens just barely visible left of center, and Mt. Adams right of center:
And another panorama showing Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood:
After enjoying the warm and beautiful conditions at the summit we finally tore ourselves. Before heading back we dropped down the north side for half a mile to check out the wildflowers:
Then we turned around and headed back down the south side to our trailhead. As we hiked down the clouds started clearing up and we now had views, albeit of clearcuts:
I’m still disappointed that the Forest Service has decided to limit access to the north due to their lack of road maintenance. That’s such a better hike. The steep rocky route on the south side that we did today is pretty treacherous in spots. I fell once and almost fell a few other times. But I’m glad we got up there to see the views and the flowers. This is definitely one of my favorite spots in the Pacific Northwest.