Mount Defiance Trail

HARD 37 reviews
#4 of 15 trails in

Mount Defiance Trail is a 11.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Cascade Locks, OR that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

11.1 miles 4783 feet Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

old growth

rocky

Hike to the highest point of the Columbia Gorge with amazing views of Mt. Hood, Mt. St Helens, and Mt. Adams Many consider this hike Oregon's hardest trail. As you climb this six million year old shield volcano, you will find breathtaking views of the Columbia Gorge, Mt. Adams, and Mt. St Helens. While the top is marred by a bunch of communication equipment, you will still find one of the best views of Mt Hood.


17 days ago

hiking

Closed until September 2016 as is Starvation Ridge


1 month ago

hiking

Challenging and a bit rough on the knees on the way down. I couldn't have done this without poles! Pretty fun though!


1 month ago

hiking

This is one of the toughest hikes I have completed. went on a Saturday and hardly another soul around. the trail map states 11.1 mile, my fitbit claimed 17! I felt like it was 17 lol. good shoes are a must, trekking poles would be very helpful!! extremely steep climb, and the descent offers no relief as its just as tough. the beautiful views are well worth the soreness you'll feel the next day.


1 month ago

hiking

Closed M-F. Only open on weekends and holidays until Aug 2016. Trail head is down to the right of the Parking lot. Didn't get to hike this one because we didn't know it was closed. Not a lot of signage letting you know.


2 months ago


2 months ago

hiking

Fantastic physical and mental test. Toughest hike I've done, but amazing at the top.


2 months ago

hiking

Great conditioning hike taking the Defiance trail up and the Starvation Ridge trail down. I took up a 35lb pack just to make it a little more fun. Coming down Starvation is fun and can run down most of it, if you still have the energy. You have to make it all the way to the top and around the corner to get a great view of Hood. On the way back down you can hit up the lake.


2 months ago

hiking

Mt. Defiance was am incredible hike! It took about 6 1/2 with a break at the top and my legs were pretty dead, but the view and the experience were well worth it! I highly recommend this hike! I also recommend taking Defiance Trail up and Starvation Ridge Trail down. :)


3 months ago

My legs are dead. But it was beautiful took me 6 hours


3 months ago

2 hr 28 min to the top 1 hr 45 min down its long and kinda steep don't let the comments bug you if you can hike Dog or Ruckle Ridge with little problem you'll be just fine at least Hike Nesmith Point its like 800 ' shorter but its a tad steeper and a longer round trip but not very rewarding either but will help you hike Mt. Defiance with ease


4 months ago

Mount Defiance and Dog Mountain in Washington one day with snow!

This is a awesome hike to test yourself on. some spot 700 EG in a quarter mile!


9 months ago

hiking

It about killed my hiking friend John but later he found out he had a clogged artery so now he is good and had gone on to do Saint Helens.
I myself enjoyed the adversity and will do it again for I do Hood.


11 months ago

hiking

Tough hike for this old dude, but i have to say i got a tremendous amount of satisfaction conquering this beast. Allocate more time than you anticipate. The trek down is as bad (if not worse) than the 5k climb.


11 months ago


1 year ago

The first part of the hike you are walking along the freeway. Then the switchbacks start up the mountain, but up the face that is closest to the freeway. Guess what you hear for the next hour? Cars and trucks. The trail gets much better once up the first ridge, and it is a good challenging incline. The top is nothing really spectacular the views of the other mountains are the best part, so don't go on anything but a bluebird day. The lake at the top is small, shallow, and green with algae. I don't like walking under power lines or along freeways, so I wouldn't recommend this hike. There are better in the area.


1 year ago

hiking

We are preparing to hike Half Dome in Yosemite....so this hike was GREAT training for that. It is a very strenuous hike, be sure and take about 3 liters of water on a warm day. Also, packing hiking sticks would be a good idea. I picked up a tree limb and used for a hiking stick for the trek down as it can be a bit treacherous. Harder coming down it all, than going up it. Also, plan to take a decent amount of food with you for energy. Definitely great views from the top, this took us 10 hours. Longer than most people who have done the trail, but, we had several rest periods. The view on the cliff at about 5 miles in up awesome, as you can see several of the mountains from there on a clear day. We had a GPS with us tracking our hike and to the top it actually said it was more than 6 miles. So, be prepared for that...as a lot of websites on this trail say 4-5 miles up....awesome trek, but pretty tough...not sure I will do this one again unless I am training for something.


1 year ago

Obviously I am out of shape. This hike kicked my butt - that's good, right? Next time I'll be in better shape.


1 year ago

hiking

This was one of the most difficult hikes in the Gorge. I highly recommend that you either go up and back down Mt. Defiance only. If you are going to do Starvation Ridge, it's best to go up and not down. It is very steep, loose gravel and narrow.
It's a grueling hike no matter, but it is definately a great training ground for Mt. St. Helens.


1 year ago

hiking

Updating for 2015: This a great though evil conditioning trail / prove you can do it hike if you're training up. The views at the top are cool as well but if that's all you want, you can absolutely find better options closer to Hood and the Gorge. Several routes up, the Defiance trail is the fastest way, mostly covered in trees though you do get three waterfalls at the start. The Starvation Ridge will push you even harder and adds a few more miles but gets the steep stuff out of the way with a great mid-stop at the lake (camping option). If you want the loop, I would definitely do Starvation up, it's brutal coming down. The last half mile or so also has two options: easier and harder though there's nothing that "hard" about harder (relative to the trail below) and it's much shorter while easier has more views (and also boulder fields to navigate). Either way, prepare to be stoked to make it up, bummed to see the buildings at the top and have a nice, most-of-the-day adventure regardless. And oh, the parking lot is small, so show up early people.


1 year ago

hiking

awesome hike, but is very challenging.
this is not for beginners. I usually only have 1 trekking pole with me, I should have had 2. mostly for the decent down.