Training to climb Mount Hood? Looking to summit Mount Rainier? Or maybe you just love tough hikes like I do.
In any case, challenge yourself with a hike up Mount Defiance!
There are actually two ways to hike up Mount Defiance. You can follow Mount Defiance Trail or you can take the longer, more difficult Starvation Ridge Trail. I chose to take Starvation Ridge and was very pleased with the challenge.
But before you get started, be sure to check out Starvation Creek Falls. If you’re feeling adventurous (You are, right?), then you can climb up to the base of the falls for this spectacular view.
As you head out onto the trail, there’s also the easy to miss Cabin Creek Falls. You can enjoy it from pool below the falls or follow a small trail and stand behind the falls.
Hiking Mount Defiance in Oregon
There are numerous viewpoints along the way. You’ll be able to see Dog Mountain, Wind Mountain, and on a clear day you can see Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier, and Mount Adams. Once you reach the summit you’ll be treated more eye candy in the form of Mount Hood.
While not as abundant as on Dog Mountain, wild flowers will treat you along the way. They also make for a great excuse to stop and catch your breath.
It’s 6.6 miles up and 6.6 miles back. And worth every step.
Hang a right when Starvation Ridge Trail intersects with Mitchel Point Trail. This will lead you into the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness Area and you’re only minutes away from a gorgeous alpine lake called Warren Lake. It’s so clear and smooth that you can see fish swimming 30-feet away! This is a great spot to rest and eat lunch.
From here you make the final push to the summit of Mount Defiance.
Congratulations! You’ve summited the highest point in the Columbia River Gorge. Now for the long walk down…
Starvation Creek Parking & Trailhead
Thanks for reading!