Silver Star Mountain, named for the five ridges that extend outward from the summit that resembles a star, is an extinct volcano near Vancouver that was the site of a silver find in the late 19th century. The iconic peak dominates the skyline west of Vancouver and provides excellent 360-degree views of the Columbia River Gorge, Portland, the Pacific Coast Range, Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount Hood, and Mount Jefferson.
The unique appearance of the landscape is due to the largest Washington fire prior to 2014, which took 38 lives and burned almost 240,000 acres. The denuded landscape around the mountain became prone to landslides, which led to the formation of a rocky area that has resisted reforestation for over a century. As a result, many flowers and flora that thrive above the tree line that is normally at a 2,000 feet higher elevation have done quite well on the exposed ridges stemming from the summit.
Many choose to hike via the Silver Star Trail. Accessing the trailhead for the Bluff Mountain Trail is difficult and requires a car with some clearance and good directions. For those who are able to make it, a wonderful ridge walk from east of the mountain rewards with great views and several possible scrambles for extra challenge and views of the area. The trail itself is mostly a rolling ridge walk with a final push over about 1.5 miles for the summit. Return the way you came, and be glad you made the drive.