Area Status: Open
This trail is in the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness. Mt Defiance (4,960') is the highest point in the Columbia Gorge. This challenging 7.2 mile trail begins at Starvation Creek Rest Area (55 miles east of Portland, OR on I-84) and ends at Mt Defiance south trailhead (south of Mt Defiance). There are views of the Cascade Range and the Columbia River Gorge. Visitors can combine this trail with Mitchell Point Trail #417 and Starvation Ridge Trail #414 for a demanding 8.7 mile day hike or backpack loop. There are several established campsites at Warren Lake.
Leaving from the Starvation Creek Trailhead, head west along US Hwy I-84 on an asphalt trail that quickly becomes gravel. The trail will soon enter the trees and the steep and sustained climb begins. The trail stays mainly in the trees but at the 4100’ mark there is a breathtaking view to the north of the Cascade Range, the Columbia River Gorge. After 4.1 miles, the trail intersects with Mitchell Point Trail #417 just west of Warren Lake at 4240’. The trail continues uphill heading southwest 0.4 mile to Mount Defiance. At the summit of Mount Defiance (4,920’) there is a large radio tower along with an unobstructed view of Mount Hood to the south. From the summit of Mount Defiance, start downhill continuing southwest for 1.8 miles to the junction with Bear Lake Trail #413A. This 0.7 mile trail is a nice side trip to a beautiful small lake. From the junction the trail continues downhill 0.5 mile to the trailhead at Forest Road 2820 (Dead Point Road).
Link to Trail Description and Map (PDF File)
At a Glance
From Portland, take US Hwy I-84 east of Cascade Locks 10 miles to Starvation Creek Trailhead exit 55. From Hood River, take I-84 west to Wyeth exit 51, turn around, and drive back on the US Hwy I-84 east 3 miles to access Starvation Creek Trailhead exit 55. See: Starvation Creek State Park.
To access to south end of this trail, see Mt Defiance South Trailhead.