Silver Star Area General Trails Map in the Mount St Helens Surrounding Area. Trails include: Bluff Mountain #172, Silver Star #180, Starway #175, Ed's Trail #180 A, Chinook Trail #180B, and Indian Pit #180E.
This trail leaves Silver Star Trail #180 and ends 0.5 mile beyond the Indian Pits. Please do not disturb any cultural or archaeological features in this area.
At a Glance
12/08/2014: Trails are not maintained in the winter and early spring. Trailheads are typically not accessible late fall through late spring due to snow. Please call the local Ranger District office for up-to-date information.
This trail leaves Silver Star Trail #180 2 miles from the trailhead on Forest Road 4109. It descends steeply through beargrass and huckleberries for 0.5 mile and then climbs the ridge to the site of the Indian Pits. The trail ends 0.5 mile beyond the Indian Pits. Archaeologists have three theories regarding the Indian Pits. One is that young Native Americans, during their spirit quest, built the pits. Seeking a spiritual vision, they would fast and sit isolated in the pits for days. Another theory is that the pits were used as hunting blinds. Until the 20th century, the Silver Star area was home to mountain sheep and goats. Both species used talus slopes to escape natural predators such as cougars or wolves. Native American hunters may have hidden in the pits waiting to ambush sheep or goats forced upslope by other hunters located in the brush and timber below. The third theory is that the pits were used as food storage areas. Similar features are commonly found throughout the Columbia River Gorge.