The Yacolt Burn State Forest is a 90,000-acre working forest in SW Washington. The forest is named after 1902 wildfires that ravaged parts of Clark, Cowlitz, and Skamania counties. It is still the largest forest fire in Washington State history. The Yacolt Burn Forest is managed by DNR and recreational users will need a Discover Pass.
The Yacolt Burn Forest has 49 miles of recreation trail including the Tarbell trail, a 24.75-mile loop that winds its way around the forest. The Tarbell trailhead is only 10 miles from Battle Ground, WA and about an hour drive from downtown Portland. Tarbell trail is part of the Chinook trail system, a 300-plus mile rim-to-rim loop encircling the Columbia River Gorge between Vancouver and Maryhill. The trails are shared with mountain bikers and horseback riders. There are also ORV trails and forest roads open to target shooting in the area. Managed logging can sometimes cover trails. Email the DNR to find the latest timber harvest near the trails at firstname.lastname@example.org
At 4390 ft., Silver Star Mountain is the tallest peak in the Yacolt Burn State Forest. On a clear day, Silver Star offers views of nearby towns, the Cascade Mountains, and the Columbia River Gorge. Snow covers the trails near Silver Star until spring. The best time for wildflowers is late June. The fall also offers various shades of red, yellow, purple, black, orange, magenta, and brown in the landscape.
According to Ted Klump, the Chinook Trail Association will soon be building a trail extending Bluff Mountain to the Pacific Crest Trail and on to Grassy Knoll. There are also plans to build an 11-mile trail West of Tarbell and several other connector trails making 17 miles of new trails. If you would like to volunteer or donate to the Chinook Trail Association, please visit the website or Facebook page. Subscribe to the newsletter for more updates on the trail development.
PCT to Three Corner Rock– An out and back from Red Bluff Rd. just North of Stevenson, WA.
Bells Mountain– An out and back from Moulton Falls State Park minutes from Battle Ground, WA.
Summer SolstAss 50k– A fat ass race from Grouse Vista trailhead.
Three Corner Rock PCT 50k- Formerly the Bunker to Bonneville 50k. This point to point race is a fun, low-key event run mostly on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Vantucky Fat Ass– A challenging 12-mile fat-ass hosted by Vantucky Trail Runners on Jones Creek ORV trails.
Summer SolstAss 50k and 25k– This fat ass is held on summer solstice weekend and donations go to North Country EMS and Volcano Rescue Team.
Vantucky Trail Runners– This group meets for trails on the weekends and at ActiveNW in Vancouver on Tuesday nights.
Tarbell Trail Runners is a Facebook page that keeps runners with updates on weather and logging in the area. It’s also a great way to grab a partner for a run in Yacolt Burn.
Clark County Trail Runners– A Facebook group that specializes in trails in the Vancouver, WA area.
Vancouver Run, Grub, and Chug– This MeetUp group mostly runs on roads, but will occasionally hit the trails.
Blue Castle; Battle Ground- Great coffee and pastries for pre or post run
Bigfoot Coffee Roasters; Stevenson- A must stop for heading to the east side of Yacolt Burn. The coffee is almost as good as the views.
Barrell Mountain Brewery; Battle Ground- Great beer, even greater food. The beers are named after trails in the area and the logos are national forest trail signs. There’s a great patio in the back for warm days.
Ben’s Bottle Shop– Owner Ben Christy is an ultrarunner, so he knows what trail runners like for beer. While you’re there, check out ActiveNW, his new running store next door.
Walking Man Brewery; Stevenson- Small town brewery with big flavored beers. The brewery strives to be the town meeting point but also welcomes those travelling through the gorge.
Backwoods Brewing; Carson – You may have visited Backwoods in Portland’s Pearl. Now drive a little out of the way from the East side of the Yacolt Burn area to get its well-known pizza and beer.
Loowit Brewing; Vancouver- Loowit may be a little out of the way in downtown Vancouver, but they have partnered with Chinook Trails Association for trail maintenance parties in the Yacolt Burn.