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Silver Star Mountain, w/ a little scrambling and opps for fun with map & compass

  • Jun 30, 2012 · 9:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

This event is co-organized by Portland Hiking Meetup Group and Wilderness Skills PDX. (Total event size includes the spaces from both listings.)

Silver Star Mountain is one of the best 360 degree summits within a day's drive of Portland, offering views of five major Cascade volcanoes. Lots of rocky outcrops too. This moderate hike takes us up the more difficult route, but also the most scenic. It entails a couple of short stretches of scrambling (i.e., requiring hands), so it's not recommended for children, dogs, or those uncomfortable with some climbing. With such great views, we'll play at identifying our location and features in the landscape with our compasses, maybe even opting for some off-trail and practice following bearings. Given that, a stop for food/beverages on the way back, and an overall relaxed approach, we won't have a target return time.

For this hike, you should be in good hiking shape, be able to picture what the mileage and elevation gain is like and be comfortable with it, be properly geared, have some experience with hands-required hiking, and not have tickets to the Boy George world tour comeback extravaganza.

RSVP note: I've opened an initial number of spaces right away. I'll open more and the wait list at 6 p.m. on Friday the 8th, so that those particularly interested in the trip have a good shot at getting a spot by checking the page at that time.


Total mileage: 5.7 mi.
Elevation gain: ~1240 ft.
Pace: ~2-3 mph
Difficulty: Moderate, but note scrambles per above
Dogs: No
Weather: Will update closer to date
Estimated return: ?
Maps: Will be provided
Round-trip driving mileage: ~84 miles (suggested $8 donation per person to drivers, but no one turned away for inability to contribute)
Permits: None
4WD: Not essential, but the last 8 miles is on a rough road notorious for potholes, channels, and washboards. The last 3 may be very difficult--will get up-to-date information closer to the event.
Suggested gear: 10 essentials*, layers, lunch, snacks, at least 2 liters of water, hiking poles, cash for drivers (exact change helps), post-hike change of clothes/shoes.

Electronics: Feel free to bring a GPS or phone, but only for emergency use or to quietly gather data, make maps and such. We're in the wilderness! This hike is for those who can roll with being independent in and experiencing the relative isolation of the backcountry.

Wilderness ethic: Leave No Trace**

Please arrive on time. We'll shoot for hitting the road in about 10 minutes. Call me at[masked] if you are cutting it close and we'll wait for ya!

Late cancellations/No shows/Surprise shows

OK, there are generally a lot of people on the waiting list for our hikes! And we have a lot of too-late-to-fill late cancellations and no-shows. That's a bummer. So here's the deal:

If you cancel late, or no-show, you'll get on the Late Cancellation/No-show List. You can cancel up to 11:59 p.m. on the day that is TWO DAYS before the trip without it being considered a late cancel. (For example, if the trip is Saturday morning, you can cancel before the very end of Thursday.) A couple of entries on the Late Cancellation/No-show List and you may get bumped from future trips. Yes, explanations may help. Sorry to have to have a policy like this!

If you don't get a spot, please do not just show up, unless you are willing to take a chance that there is a spot and will not be mad at me for sticking to the planned group size limit.

My trip style

Let's have a good time while keeping our act together and working as a team. Unless stated otherwise, we'll use an informal point and sweep system. Whoever is hiking in front is "point" and should wait at the next trail junction or other designated spot to regroup. You don't have to remain point. If you are hiking last, you're "sweep" and should maintain awareness that no one in the group is behind you. You don't have to remain sweep, but it's good to offer support for any group member you come upon who may need help.

I will guide the group, but won't make decisions for you. All participants are ultimately responsible for themselves in the backcountry. If you disagree with what the group is doing, you can break with the group (but holy hiking boots do not do that without letting me know!).

* The "ten essentials" include: compass, map, sun protection, extra food, extra water, extra clothing, headlamp or flashlight, first aid, fire starter, and a knife. The idea is to be able to comfortably handle basic emergencies and at least one unexpected night out. In my view, one of the most important pieces of safety gear, which is not included in the ten, is a whistle, an effective signaling device. Many hiking incidents begin with getting separated, either by getting a little lost or becoming injured. In both cases you want to be able to get help before your comrades are out of reach.

** For more on Leave No Trace principles see my summary in the Files section.

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  • Cindy

    This was a great hike, thanks Skip! Rating 4 stars only cuz I was really looking forward to the 360 degree views which were completely blocked by clouds. Food and folks afterward were great!

    July 1, 2012

  • Skip

    Challenging weather for vista hike, but a lovely forest, sweet folks, and good beer made this a fun trip anyway. Additional pix at

    July 1, 2012

  • Skip

    if you think you may drive, download directions at this route should minimize the roughness.

    June 29, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    David...You are still listed as one of the seven there a glitch in the system?

    June 29, 2012

  • Skip

    Point forecast: Rain likely, mainly after 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 59. Southwest wind between 3 and 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

    June 29, 2012

  • Marcella

    See you guys at the meetup point! I would like to ride with someone else.

    June 28, 2012

  • Skip

    hi folks, since the road in is really rough, it would be great if we IDed our carpool vehicles ahead of time. please let us know if you can drive and have a high-clearance vehicle (and if so how many people can fit). will post this to the wilderness skills pdx event page too--the other "half" of our group is from there.

    June 26, 2012

  • Skip

    @jodi, thx!

    @chris, great info! thank you.

    June 26, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Jodi! Thanks for the info! I just signed up recently and haven't how things are done here. I didn't see an RSVP so I guess it's been filled. I appreciate the explanation though. :)

    June 26, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, Kae :) I think all 30 of us on the waitlist get that message at once and whoever gets the message first and returns here will see (I think) an RSVP option to attend. You have to add yourself as attending while an opening exists.

    June 26, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just received an email saying that there's one spot opening. I'm on the wait list and would really like to go.

    June 25, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I've gone on that hike once before but didn't get to the top. I'm a new member and am not familiar with the wait list system but I'd really like to go with your group if there's room. Please let me know. Thanks!

    June 10, 2012

  • Rick L. J.

    Good to see you teaching the hikers some skills on finding the way. Being aware of where your going and of where you have been is a very good thing.

    June 7, 2012

  • David

    Have always wanted to get to the top of Silver Star and the approach seems confusing so happy to make it on this one...if space opens up. David

    June 7, 2012

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