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The Chinook Trail is a vision and work in progress. Once completed it will be a 300+ mile rim-to-rim loop encircling the Columbia River Gorge across both southern Washington and Oregon. To date the Chinook Trail Association (CTA) has completed a 30 mile stretch northeast of Vancouver that received National Recreation Trail status in 2005.

On the Oregon side many existing trails between Angels Rest and Starvation Creek approximate the vision for the Chinook Trail. However, the original route proposed by co-founders Ed Robertson and Don Cannard, would stick to the highest ground following the rim top east all the way to the crossing at Hwy 97 near Maryhill, WA.

The following trails comprise a 30 mile segment beginning near Yacolt, continuing over the summit of Silver Star Mt. and ending approximately 8 miles from the the juncition of the Three Corner Rock and Pacific Crest Trail:
-Lucia Falls
-Bells Mt.
-Kloochman Butte
-Ed's Trail
-Bluff Mt.
-Bluff Mt.

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Tarbell Trail, Chinook, Silver Star Mountain - Ed's Trail, Kloochman Butte Trail 180B, Grouse Vista Trail 180F — Oct 31, 2010 — Ryan Ojerio
Day hike
Features: Fall foliage
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This is a great loop hike with a waterfall, open meadows, a rock arch, scenic vista's and a great su...
This is a great loop hike with a waterfall, open meadows, a rock arch, scenic vista's and a great summit view. In all I think it was around 12 miles.

I set out to see how some of the views would be affected by the BPA proposal to put high transmission lines through a new corridor just west of Silver Star Mountain. Although you would see the lines along the section of the Tarbell Trail that I did, they would be very present in the views from the Kloochman Butte, Silver Star mt. and Grouse Vista trails.

I started at the Grouse Vista Trailhead and took the Tarbell Trail (DNR) for about 5 miles to Hidden Falls. Along the way you pass through a new clear-cut which is a stark contrast to the lush forest at the falls. Then I continued on to the jct of with the Kloochman Butte Trail which is also part of the Chinook Trail system.

The Kloochman Butte Trail climbs through some very pretty meadows to the north ridge of Silver Star Mountain. If you stay straight at the junction wit the Silver Star Mt. Trail, you'll end up on Ed's Trail just before the memorial to the visionary trail builder and co-founder of the Chinook Trail Association.

I followed Ed's Trail south through some patches of snow, up the rocky scramble and to the jct with the Bluff Mt. Trail. From there it is a little tricky since there are a couple of confusing intersections. I continued south past the jct for the Indian Pits spur (180E) and went on to the Grouse Vista Trail.

The Grouse Vista Trail is really an old road so it is very rocky were it has been eroded. Where the trail traverses across the ridge it is not bad, but the steeper rocky sections are not very fun. I almost slipped on looks rocks covered by wet leaves several times.

Just south west of Pyramid Rock I wandered off trail about 100 yards to the grassy ridge top to look out to the east and got a great view of Mt. Hood!

The fall colors were really nice although I missed their peak by a couple weeks I think. Along the way I met some deer hunters on Ed's Trail, I was glad to have my orange vest on!
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Chinook Trail Map.jpg
Chinook Trail (#)
South Cascades
Roundtrip 300.0 miles

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