2455 Hwy. 141
Trout Lake, WA 98650
- Forest Road 4109 and Silver Star Trail No. 180
- 0.6 miles (1.0 km)
- Elevation Range:
- 4200 feet to 4300 feet
- Elevation Change:
- 100 feet
- July to October
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.