Mount Defiance–Starvation Ridge Loop

The highest point in the Columbia River Gorge, this is a very strenuous, 13 mile round trip day hike with about 5,000 ft in elevation gain. The Starvation Ridge portion is extremely steep, offers nice Gorge views at exposed viewpoints, and goes through some old growth forest. The Mount Defiance trail is also very steep with views north from the upper slopes. An interesting summit on the Oregon side of the gorge gives a good look at Mount Hood's north side.

driving directions

Traveling eastbound on I-84 in Oregon, take Exit 55 to the Starvation Creek State Park and Rest Area.

on the trail

Take the Mount Defiance Trail (No. 413) west from the Starvation Creek State Park and Rest Area.  Turn left on the Starvation Ridge Trail (No. 414) and continue past Warren Lake up to Defiance.  Descend Mount Defiance Trail (No. 413) back to the state park.


  • Fun Fact: The local joke is that people climb Mount Hood to get in shape for Mount Defiance.
  • Suitable Activities: Day Hiking
  • Seasons: May, June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Very Strenuous
  • Length: 12.9 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,890 ft
  • 4,960 ft
  • Green Trails Columbia River Gorge West No. 428S
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