Watch out for nails and glass in the parking lot because wood with nails gets burned in the parking lot from time to time.
From Portland, OR, take I-205 north to exit 30b to Battle Ground. Move over to the middle or left lane and proceed north on SR503 for about 10 miles to Battle Ground. Continue north on SR503 about 5 1/2 miles further and turn right on Rock Creek Road. Follow Rock Creek Roadfor about 8 1/2 miles just past Moulton Falls County Park, and turn right on Sunset Falls Road. Proceed 7.3 miles to Sunset Falls Campground.
Turn right just as you get into the campground and road 41 crosses Copper Creek. Turn left just after the bridge and drive 3.4 miles on FR 41. Forest Road 41 gets very rough near the junction of FR4109. Take a sharp right turn onto the narrow FR 4109 for 1.4 miles. Turn left at the junction and head uphill on FR 4109 for 2.6 miles to the parking lot. Low clearance vehicles will have challenges getting up this road with large erosion swales.
This trail is a companion to the Silver Star Mountain hike, trail 180.
There is no outhouse at this trailhead.
Length and Elevation:
1.5 Miles, Elevation gain 50 feet and loss 550 feet from the upper junction with Trail 180 to the lower trail junction with Trail 180. Upper junction elevation is 4,000 feet, the lower junction is 3,500 feet.
Gifford Pinchot National Forest Trail 180 and 180A with connections to Trails 180C, 180E, and 172.
Topo Map, National Forest Service Map, Download Garmin .gpx file
Review: June 5, September 10, 2005, August 28th, 2010
This trail is best hiked going downhill because of the two rock scrambles on the trail.
Experienced hikers access this trail from the trail signpost in the trees about ½ mile from the summit along trail 180. The trail soon comes out of the trees and goes above tall cliffs. The cliffs can be seen from the summit of Silver Star Mountain. Trail 180A is not a steady grade but goes up and down with views into Star Creek.
This narrow trail has a couple of very steep sections. You will probably need to use your hands to help you climb down this rocky section. The trail continues to traverse the slope and descends a second steep section.
The trail improves after the second steep seciton and passes through a natural rock arch. The arch looks like someone built it and that it could fall down at almost any time. After about .5 mile the trail crosses a rocky section then drops down to a sloping mountain meadow. Follow the trail down through the meadow to the lower junction for Ed’s Trail. Be sure to look south throught a notch in the terrain for Mt. Hood.
Back on the main trail, follow the old jeep trail all the way back to the parking lot and enjoy the view of the Columbia River and Vancouver Lake in the distance.
Enjoy the Photos!