Stairway to the Stars Trail

Yacolt, Washington 98675

Stairway to the Stars Trail

Stairway to the Stars Trail Professional Review and Guide

"The road to this trailhead is atrocious; the only justification for forcing the car upward is that you avoid having to walk it, and that once reached, the trail to the site of an old lookout on Silver Star Mountain is a delight. Parkland extends in every direction, with the white torches of beargrass dominant in May and June. Children will want to know what happened to the forest that used to stand here. A few ancient gray snags hint at a long-ago disaster.

The truth is that this is what remains of the famous Yacolt Burn of 1902, the largest and most destructive forest fire in state history. Two hundred thirty-eight thousand acres of forest were destroyed before rains finally contained the fire. “Why haven’t the trees come back?” the kids ask. The soil still isn’t ready for them, according to foresters who make studies of these beautiful meadows. But almost a century after the holocaust, kids can fly kites and run and play in the flowery meadows that are the legacy of the Yacolt Burn."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
1,200 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Day hike
June to October
3,200 feet
Trailhead Elevation
4,400 feet
Top Elevation
Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Local Contacts
Green Trails No. 396 Lookout Mountain, No. 428 Bridal Veil; USFS Gifford Pinchot
Local Maps