For the past four years there's been a place that has kept Josh and I coming back; Silver Star Mountain. Every January we make a list of places we want to visit that year and Silver Star is always the first one I write down. Located in Washington State, Silver Star Mountain is an extinct volcano whose name was coined in 1874 when E.A Dole struck silver and built a mine in hopes of finding more. Believe me when I say that here are the most spectacular views I have EVER witnessed. When at the top, the 360 view showcases all of the greats around the area. The peaks of Mt. hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Rainier, are all on display and with an elevation of 4,364 feet, you'll be well above the clouds making a clear vision possible even in gloomy weather. The picture is one straight out of a fantasy movie, I once turned to Josh and told him that I'm waiting for a dragon to soar across the sky right in front of me. Visiting late May to early June is ,in my opinion, an absolute must due to the dramatic display of wildflowers fully in bloom and covering the landscape and ridges. My favorite wildflower, the Columbia tiger lily, can be found in abundance here. A neon orange lily with numerous dark brown beauty spots. We always like to backpack overnight when visiting Silver Star, there are no developed sites but when almost at the summit you can make a turn into a small trail which lead you into a dense forrest that'll reveal a fire ring and comfortable ground perfect for a couple of tents. This forrest gives way to a grand opening and a giant field of more wildflowers, where you can sit and enjoy the sun setting over the shimmering ocean in the far distance. Parking is available at the trailhead, where you'll begin the easy to moderate four mile lollipop loop. Now, with all of its glorious splendor and short distance hike it may come as a surprise to you that Silver Star is not a popular destination. The reason being a pretty treacherous four-ish mile road that ascents to the start of the hike. I'm talking giant potholes and rocks, we would definitely recommend a high clearance vehicle and patience with taking your time getting up there, but heck yes it is so worth it! Remember that a tricky start means you can count on solitude and peace at the top.
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