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This is one of my favorite hikes. A little over grown on the lower half. I am sure that will be gone soon! Amazing views.

A tough climb but worth it! An excellent challenge for body, mind, and spirit. I suggest taking as many breaks as you feel you need; your legs will thank you on the descent. Bring plenty of water, and more than you think you'll need on hot days. It took me about 4 hours to reach the summit, and 3.5 hours to hike back down. I did soak in the views of the gorge and mountains in Washington along the way, and spent about an hour on the summit gazing at Mt. Hood.

This was such an amazing hike! The Upper Trail has absolutely stunning viewpoints and the incline to get there isn't too bad. If you're feeling like you're up for a long hike, the lower trail is open now, it took 3 hours to finish the whole thing. I recommend doing the Upper Trail first because there is a small waterfall about 3/4 of the way through the hike to help cool you down.

hiking
1 day ago

Went on a Wednesday and only passed a few hikers and bikers. The bugs we're out but as long as I was moving and had my windbreaker zipped up they we're tolerable. (but literally no stopping allowed) once you get out of the trees (~4miles) the bugs are gone and there are wide open plains to walk through with spectacular mountain views. around mile 5 the trail intersects the loowit River trail. I believe you are "supposed" to take the right fork as far as you want. There is a good stopping place around 5.25 miles but I wanted to make it an even 6 so I continued on through the planes. the incline was very mild and even though you climb quite a bit, it is spread out evenly through the whole hike so it is never too much of an ass burner! I could do without the bugs but all in all and great hike. (finished 12 miles in 4.5 hours- a PR for me!)

The Lower Trail is now open.
The start from Upper Trail is steep and takes some stamina but the views are worth it. The hike to viewpoint is less than halfway around the loop. Lower Trail/2nd portion of loop starts out ok but gets tricky with lots of narrow pathway, loose rocks, and slippery ground. After walking over lava rocks in summer you want to jump in the waterfall but the waterfall itself is rather skimpy right now.
Overall, an interesting hike with varied terrain but footing on lower trail is challenging (hiking shoes suggested) and total loop is def closer to 7.5 miles, as other reviewers have stated.

hiking
2 days ago

On the way up we stayed right to Bald Mountain and could see all of Mt Hood before taking the shortcut trail back to the main trail. Did the loop at the end clockwise up to the point. The descent from the peak is quite steep for the first 1/2 mile as the elevation drop is 1000ft, with a little scree. Phenomenal views all around.

hiking
3 days ago

this hike was spectacular, by far the most rewarding hike i’ve done in oregon. was a bit of an ass kicker though! have to go all the way to the top and do the little loop. the views are unreal. only down side was the flies were REALLY bad at the bottom portion, but they don’t bite. enjoy!

backpacking
4 days ago

Started from the Top Spur trailhead Saturday afternoon around 2PM and started hiking to McNeil point to camp for the night as our goal. We soon encountered the worst swarming of »BITING« flies I have ever experienced in my life. They were unrelenting and unphased by bug repellent. The entirety of the Top Spur trail and the short section of the PCT you hike for a second and the Timberline Trail as well was completely plagued by the pests. It wasn’t until we got above tree line on the McNeil Point trail did we find any respite. If not, we would’ve definitely bailed. The flies didn’t seem as bad coming back down which could’ve been due to our faster pace because they still did swarm if we stopped or slowed down at all.

Oh! And to top it all off when we got back to the trailhead we discovered our car had been broken into and everything, even just stupid stuff had been ripped off— yay...

Really too bad about the flies and the theft because McNeil Point is beautiful and we enjoyed a rather spectacular sunset and time above treeline. However, I don’t think I’ll be coming back to do this trail again anytime soon because of the flies on the approach and the criminal acts of others.

Incredible hike except for flies on lower part. Views were amazing and you must go to the end up to McNeil Point. So close to Mt. Hood.

Did this October 2017. Exposed. Great views of Columbia River. Extreme wind. More mountain bikers than hikers, except at top of ridge where it is extremely steep. Had to descend quickly due to storm, but it did bring a rainbow in addition to cold rain.

walking
4 days ago

Beautiful trail! The waterfall is absolutely beautiful! I’d rate this trail as moderate. Make sure that you have a good pair of hiking boots with a good grip. There’re a several sports that are a bit steep and some of the spots might have smooth, slippery rocks.
Make sure to bring a bug spray.
The hike is not that long but pretty exiting! If you’re still full of energy there’s Ape Canyon trail right next to it with gorgeous views of Mt St Helens.

Did this on Mother’s Day. Great hike, beautiful views. Not great for our big dog—hike has no shade and rocks were too hot for his paws. Take care with dogs.

hiking
6 days ago

I wanted so bad to enjoy this hike, but the bugs were completely unbearable. We made it a little over halfway, but anytime we stopped along the trail to let mountain bikes pass, or take a water break, our bodies were covered head to toe in what appeared to be flies. They would not let up. I was fully covered, and still, my ears and face were covered in bugs.There was no serenity to this hike at all whatsoever.
If you’re thinking you’re prepared for bugs, think again. We got to the point we were spraying bug spray as we walked. We doused ourselves in spray prior to the hike, and had little OFF fans. Still, nothing. I envy anyone that could get past these critters.

hiking
6 days ago

BUGS... BUGS... BUGS... BUGS. Terrible bugs - despite all of us using spray and wrist bands - didn't matter. Would be a nice hike to try when the bugs are off season (when is that?).

on Table Rock Trail

hiking
7 days ago

If you’re obsessed with mountains, go on this hike! You will get the most beautiful view of multiple peaks if you go on a blue sky day. My husband and I hiked with our toddler in a framed pack. It was a moderate hike, but some areas felt hard with a kiddo in tow. Bees were Everywhere, but the wildflowers were so pretty. We really enjoyed it!

hiking
7 days ago

Hiked July 11. Well marked trail (except near the rock falls) with 2 waterfalls, a lake and views all along the trail. Went up Defiance, down Starvation. Because of the closed Wash out trail at the end we had to take on another steep ridge and cross over a log on the creek- added about 2-3 miles onto the hike. Total hike time was 9 hours and 20 minutes with 2 hours of stopping time for pics and lunch. The summit is a huge ugly power station but u can sit on the rocks that has a view of Mt Hood (too cloudy for us to see it) with the power Station at your back.

hiking
7 days ago

Just did this trail for the first time on 7/7/18 and we thought we were prepared for the clouds of angry bugs... We weren't. But once you get up out of the woods they thin out to mostly just chill honey bees just doing their thing with the wildflowers. Bring a jacket in case it's pretty windy up top.

Awesome hike. Probably my favorite to date.

Beautiful hike but a little disappointed that about half of the trail is closed due to falcon mating season and a fire. We went about 2 miles one way then turned around and came back. Looking forward to the entire loop being open. Didn’t pass that many hikers and the silence is golden.

Great view! A bit of walking in the trees but ends with a perfect view worth the walk.

hiking
10 days ago

Previous reviewer got confused. The Starvation ridge trail #414 is very much open, it's the short Starvation ridge cut-off trail that is closed. Starvation ridge trail #414 can be taken from the Mount Defiance trail #413 instead of from the cut-off trail until it reopens. Hope this helps.

Worth the view, many different paths to choose from. Wasn’t too busy on a Sunday.

hiking
10 days ago

Hiked 07/07/18

Fun hike. The south side trail on the river is still closed but the north side of the river is open however somewhat primitive. There are some risky spots with sheer ledges. There is a spot with a 32’ steel ladder to traverse into the bottom of one of the canyons. Might not be good for kiddos but with that said I would have taken mine.

The first part of the trail is all paved and it has a suspension bridge that was fun. This is a loop that is surely easy to navigate. Once you hike off the pavement and onto the dirt trail it gets challenging. Have fun and be careful.

Consider yourself a champion after completing this hike! I've seen several folks say they used the Starvation Ridge Trail to either ascend or descend, but that trail is still closed, clearly marked as such. You need to do the full hike on the Mt. Defiance Trail, only. Excellent views of Mt. Adams, Hood & St. Helens. Bring lots of water, as portions are exposed in the burn area.

Highly recommend this hike! Elevation gain wasn’t too bad, the views of Mt. Hood were incredible! Not highly trafficked, there was a little traffic at the 4 trail junction but not terrible. The 4 trail junction was a little tricky but there is a large map that shows you the way. Great trail, I will definitely do again!

hiking
12 days ago

This might be my new favorite hike ever. St. Helens is gorgeous. It is a gradual incline I would say for the most part. We encountered two mountain goats! Not busy at all. I would definitely do this again!!!

12 days ago

Brutal hike! I did to the top 12miles back and out w 5k elevation gain

on Lava Canyon Trail

hiking
12 days ago

We hiked Lava Canyon last week 7/3/18. Love this hike! The upper loop is moderate, and safe for most healthy people. If you don't like heights this isn't for you.

Hiking down into the canyon should be rated difficult. There are 90 ft cliffs. People have died in this canyon. There is alot of loose rock which makes narrow stretches slick, and sketchy! A family with small child behind us turned around and left at the first one of those sections. Good idea!

There is a rock formation in the middle of the canyon that people call "The Ship". Climbing it reminds my wife of Hobbits climbing Mt Mordor, so we call it Mordor rock. The view from the top is beautiful. You can look back at the Lava Canyon waterfalls from it. Well worth the climb.

hiking
13 days ago

Amazing view of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and North, Middle, South Sister! Will be doing this hike again!

hiking
13 days ago

Amazing hike!! Some of the most majestic views of Mt. Hood I’ve seen yet! Total trail was over ten miles and it was an ass kicker but so worth it.

Trail is open, went on the hike on Saturday. Nice small hike and good for family

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