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Indian Pit Trail - No. 180E

Contact Info
Gifford Pinchot National Forest
2455 Hwy. 141
Trout Lake, WA 98650

Phone:
509-395-3400
Basics
Location:
Forest Road 4109 and Silver Star Trail No. 180
Length:
0.6 miles (1.0 km)
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Elevation Range:
4200 feet to 4300 feet
Elevation Change:
100 feet
Usage:
Medium
Season:
July to October

Description

Indian Pit Trail splits off Silver Star Trail No. 180 about 2 miles from the trailhead on Road 4109. The trail descends steeply through beargrass and huckleberries for about 0.5 mile and then climbs the ridge to the site of the Indian Pits. The trail ends about 0.5 mile beyond that.

Wildflowers are abundant along this trail from mid-June to early July. Views include the western portion of the Columbia River Gorge, ridge lines, scree landslides, and mountain peaks.

Archaeologists have three basic theories regarding the Indian Pits. One is that the pits were built by young Native Americans who traveled to the mountain for their guardian spirit quest. 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 mountain goats. Both of these 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 uphill by other hunters located in the brush and timber below.

The third theory is that the pits were used as food caches, or food storage areas. These types of features are commonly found throughout the Columbia River Gorge.

Wildflowers, huckleberries and beargrass blanket the surrounding hillside. Views of Columbia River Gorge, ridge lines, scree landslides, and mountain peaks.

Details

Location:
Forest Road 4109 and Silver Star Trail No. 180
Length:
0.6 miles (1.0 km)
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Elevation Range:
4200 feet to 4300
Elevation Change:
100
Usage:
Medium
Season:
July to October

Map + Directions


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