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You have the choice of taking either the, "difficult" route or the, "more difficult" route. I regret to tell you I took the, "more difficult" route. It. Kicked. My. Ass. It was relentless. Constant climbing. Zero breaks. I recommend taking the, "difficult" route. Some parts of the trail, especially towards the top, are rocky. Wear legit hiking boots/shoes. I saw quite a few people wearing tennis shoes, which seemed really dangerous and stupid. The views are gorgeous, and even though I felt like jello by the end of it, it was worth it. This hike took me just under four hours. There's a $5 fee and a bathroom at the start of the trail.

Amazing. Hard ascent but absolutely worth it

Up was hard, it keeps going up with very few breaks but worth the views. I stayed to the right which stays closer to thev river with a nice view point. When I got to the top I went off the back and looped around to the other trail. I wish I would have went back down the way I went up. The views were better going up. The down was much harder the the up, legs were jello when I got back to the car.

Just a heads up to everyone that the Starvation Creek cutoff is still closed as of Oct 13, 2018. Best approach for this loop is via the Mount Defiance trail UP and Starvation Creek DOWN. It's a tough trail and you really need to be in good shape to tackle this one. There's a reason this is rated as the most difficult trail in the Gorge. We went up Starvation Creek #414 and arrived at Warren Lake 1:30pm which was my turn around time. Will have to go up Mount defiance trail the next time.

hiking
9 days ago

Beautiful clear day, the views were spectacular!
Trek was steep but not too hard, well worth the hike!

Just okay. The hike is fun. A nice waterfall after 1 mile. Some cool view points to stop at on the way up, but the view from the top is not great. A lot of underbrush has grown y’all and block the view. No place to sit down and rest at the top. Also, SUPER crowded and if you don’t have a Discover Pass it’s $10 for a day pass.

It kicked my ass for sure but was fun. Tons of area to explore along the hike and off trail. Also tons of people doing just that. The waterfall was neat though there are some seeming well traveled side trails that lead to nowhere and no view - dont go downhill to the right just before the fall - not worth it! I was a little bummed once we reached the summit that there was no 360* view. It was pretty, it was nice to be out, it was nice and close to Portland - but for the effort there are better payoff trails.

Steep hike all the way but the views are definitely worth it. The first landing has amazing views overlooking the gorge. The second landing was completely surrounded by fog so we couldn’t see anything. It was also the steepest part of the hike. Probably could’ve just skipped that and looped down after the first overlook. We chose to go up the “difficult” way and down the “more difficult” side, which worked out well.

hiking
15 days ago

Beautiful trail!!! Tough to hike, but worth every second of it.

Really great Fall hike, the colors were amazing. Highly recommend for this time of year

on Dog Mountain Trail

hiking
16 days ago

This hike truly earns the difficult rating.

The "more difficult" route is hilariously steep, and, for much of the hike, your heels won't be on the ground. Each time it briefly leveled out, 50 feet later it was back to being straight up.

This has to be the most difficult hike I've done to date - I haven't hiked many, but this amount of elevation gain over only 3 miles was honestly insane.

The trail is very well kept going up and down, though there are some rocky areas near the summit that deserve a little caution.

The views at the top are incredible - I can't imagine how beautiful it would be in summer with the flowers in bloom.

My wife, our Beagle and Vizsla, and I started this awesome but grueling ascent around 9am. We reached the top by 1030am. Don’t shy away from the “more difficult” route, pretty sure either way will be tough and require several stops. Despite the fact that there aren’t any waterfalls, the views of the winding Columbia are hard to beat. Very rewarding and the way down isn’t too rough. Good luck!

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful views of the gorge! Great food in Hood River after!

Terrifying. We made it to the windy top but I cut my hand on a jagged loose rock on the way. Poison oak is everywhere. Wear climbing gloves if you have them. Yes, quite a view

Probably one of my favorite hikes ever! We did the full loop. The waterfall was really beautiful as well! Will definitely be back!

I climbed up the steep side first and looped around to hardy falls trail and pool of the winds. I suggest poles and be prepared for using your hands a few times. the best views ever. super awesome work out!

Have you ever used the stair climber at your local gym? Well this is the real world version... It took us 3 hours total to finish and my legs were toast (I also hadn't hiked in about 3 weeks prior). Views of the gorge are incredible, but the wind at the top was pestering.

hiking
27 days ago

Views are awesome and the climb is hard, for real, but doable. Took us about 4 hours but that was because our old dog couldn’t make it the entire way so for the last 1.5 Miles I had to carry my 70lbs 10 year old Pitbull down. Don’t worry we took lots of water breaks and brought food for him too, but his legs were just giving out and shaking so bad. He stopped several times on his own and he didn’t want to move. Poor guy. The decent was really hard on him. I didn’t think it would be that bad, but it was clearly uncomfortable for him and my wife and I on our knees. FYI he is a very spry and energetic dog. Still has a ton of play in him. Didn’t think this would take it out of him like that. We loaded up some packs for us so we had unnecessary weight on to help us train but it was very hard on the knees. We also took the “more difficult” path. Maybe it really is more difficult, I don’t know it was our first time doing this trail, so maybe that added to it. So keep the old pouches off this trail, and prepare to beat your knees up a little but it is definitely a workout with great views. I felt my legs more after this hike than I did on Mt St Helens on a summer hike, mostly due to the decent. Enjoy it.

hiking
27 days ago

really kicks your butt, relentlessly. but worth it for the view. downhills harder than uphill. I know that now for sure.

My absolute, hands down, FAVORITE hike I’ve ever been on. It is so incredibly beautiful at the top. My friend and I packed some snacks and found a nice nook at the top to sit in and took in the views for about 45 minutes. Go early so you don’t have to share the space because there’s not much room up there. It’s more on the moderate side, it’s not quite as hard as some of the reviews make it seem, it does have some rocks, just wear your hiking boots and be careful!

I did this Hike today, very beautiful hike. The trail head is easy to get to. The trail head and trail are well maintained. You get a perfect view of Mt. Hood when you reach the summit.

hiking
29 days ago

Amazing hike.

Did the loop that goes up Hamilton Mtn Trail to the summit -> ridgeline -> equestrian trail -> hardy -> Hamilton Mtn Trail.

It is super steep and most of the people I saw had poles. There were a lot of people with their dogs and women carrying babies in backpacks, so it wasn't TOO crazy. It is definitely steep, though. Especially near the summit (some hands required..).. and for that reason I wouldn't recommend going up the reverse route, because you'll have to come back down the hamilton side which I think is more dangerous than going up. Either way, breathtaking views, challenging hike. Worth it!

My favorite hike in The Gorge.

Amazing views, hard workout! I love that it’s a loop. We climbed up the hardy creek trail and then looped around to Hamilton Mountain. I think a lot of people hike up the other way straight up to the view point, but that would have been too steep of a climb for me. The long way around through hardy creek is much more gradual. Going down the mountain was a bit hard on my knees, but besides that, the trail was in excellent condition.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views of the gorge, but best views are at turn offs prior to reaching Hamilton Mountain summit (which actually doesn’t have a view bc it’s blocked by shrubs). The waterfall at the beginning of the trail has a great swimming hole too - will definitely try it out on a warmer day.

Awesome hike with beautiful views.... 9.5 miles if you make the loop.

I hiked it last week. Amazing hike! Pretty steep at some points, a great workout for the heart.
My Fitbit recorded 6.75 miles in 3.5 hours round trip. Gorgeous views halfway up and towards the top. It got rainy and windy toward to the summit so bring layers as you’ll never know what awaits you. -:)
Even if you don’t see much because the clouds roll in it feels very rewarding to hike to the top.
I will keep hiking it to keep me in shape.

Happy hiking! Cheers!

nice area. well marked trail with reasonable view points and water features early on.

note:
-$10 parking for a day hike...
-the horses statement is incorrect, that is another trail

Hiked Sept 3. Well-marked, easy to find TH. You need a Discovery Pass permit. Beautiful scenic views of Gorge. This trail should be rated hard, not moderate....

hiking
1 month ago

Having on two previous occasions hiked Mount Defiance and Dog Mountain each on the same day, I decided to attempt a triple ... Defiance once and Dog twice.
August 31, 2018
7:20 a.m. start up Mount Defiance (Trail #413 out and back)
10:19 a.m. summit 1
12:57 p.m. down
1:44 p.m. start up Dog Mountain (1st loop, Augspurger Trail to Dog Mt Trail)
3:24 p.m. summit 2
4:31 p.m. down
4:48 p.m. start up Dog Mountain (2nd loop, Augspurger Trail to Dog Mt Trail)
6:43 p.m. summit 3
7:53 p.m. down and done
25.4 miles, 10,440 elevation gain/loss, 11 hours, 6 minutes total hike time
23rd time up Mount Defiance, 95th & 96th time up Dog Mountain

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