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Trail Running Map

The most difficult aspect of this trail is that it is a pretty steep incline nearly the entire way. I saw many hikers with trekking poles and I think my knees/ankles would have thanked me if I had brought some. that being said, there aren't many scrambles or spots that require much agility, so the trail is not difficult in that regard. Hiked to the summit yesterday, the snow was melting quickly but still quite slick near the top (spikes would have been useful). Use caution with slick shoes and children in the snow.
It was quite warm and the views were astounding.
I would say this trail is popular but not overcrowded. I do advise going early if you plan to hike on a weekend though.

9 days ago

Beautiful hike! I would definitely do it again, but in the summer. My car could only make it within 2 miles of the trailhead, so we walked up the road to get there. We had to stamp through the snow the entire time, which made for an adventure! However, I definitely recommend snowshoes if you hike in the winter months. The views from the top were stunning and made the trudging worth it in the end.

9 days ago

First trekking this and I loved it! Snow was near the summit but made for a more difficult hike. We loved every second of it. There were parts I was thinking it is really this steep? Definitely would do it again.

Well maintained trail with continuous elevation gain. Very muddy even on a nice day after the rainy season. Lots of roots on this trail so watch your feet! Views from the top are nothing but breathtaking. Everyone I met on the trail was extremely friendly as well which is always a plus.

24 days ago

I did the south trail today!! It hailed, rained and snowed up there! I love it, easy hike if you're fit! Will totally do it in the spring again.

One of my favorite hikes! Done it many times and it's good in any season! Amazing views of Mt St Helen's, Mt Rainier, Mt Adam's, Mt Hood and Mt Bachelor from the top!!

28 days ago

Hiked today. Up to a foot and a half maybe more of snow at the half way point and up. Micro spikes/crampons would have been nice in a couple spots near the top. Trekking poles are a must, we shared a pair. Staying near powdered helped. Not too difficult just keep going.

We ended up hitting another trail and doing about 7 Miles. Going downhill wasn’t too bad in my knees in the snow, much nicer than gravel. No mud etc..

We saw three other groups on a Wednesday so you’ll have some people to share the trail with but not many.

1 month ago

In the summer time the views or close to unrivaled, but in the winter I am not sure I would attempt it again. Very muddy and slick, snow at the top, and all whited out so no coastal views or views at all.

Fresh snow today, but not deep enough to need snowshoes or microspikes. A really nice hike

Steep but so worth it!

1 month ago

Nice February day! Trail was dry. A few areas that need attention (fallen trees) had to climb through some downed trees, but manageable!

I've done this hike numerous times. Currently, the trail is closed. This hike is the most difficult in the Gorge, especially if you go past Warren Lake to the summit of Mt. Defiance. The first 400 vertical feet of the trail are a little exposed. There are some narrow spots and a partial washout of the trail that is dangerous. This section is very slippery in spots due to loose gravel in the summer. You should not do this first section without trekking poles for stability. After you get past the first section the trail enters a wooded area and intersects with a cutoff trail that heads west to the Mt. Defiance trail. Turn left here. The trail continues through the woods on several switchbacks until you come to a viewpoint adjacent to a power line tower at about 1,200'. At this point you have climbed to the base of the ridge that will take you all of the way to Warren Lake at 3,900' or, if you choose, all the way to the summit at 4,900'. Not long after you leave the viewpoint area you are again in a wooded area that begins to ascend the ridge. Very soon you encounter very steep conditions with numerous short switchbacks. The next 1,000' is the steepest part of the trail and it quickly gets your attention. At 2,400' you reach a short flat section with a viewpoint looking down at the Columbia River toward the west. The trail immediately begins a slightly less steep ascent through first a grassy somewhat open area and then through a rocky section that can be icy in the winter months. At 2,700' you reach a large fallen log in a level spot that is perfect for a break, richly deserved! The trail then descends slightly and crosses a lava field and immediately starts another ascent. The trail ascends steeply without any switchbacks until you finally reach a series of switchbacks at 3,000'. Following the last switchback the trail climbs very steeply for about 100' and then crosses a much larger lava field. Past the lava field you continue to climb through an open area of small trees that are only 5-10 years old. The trail switchbacks steeply back into the forest and then heads straight, although it continues to be moderately steep. After about 1/2 mile the trail actually levels out! You soon come to a viewpoint where you have a great view of Mt. Defiance. The trail actually descends at this point for most of the additional half mile to Warren Lake. Before you arrive at the lake you will reach a junction. Be sure to turn right here, NOT LEFT! In a quarter mile you will arrive at Warren Lake. There are a couple campsites at the lake and logs to sit on. If you continue past the campsites you will begin a steep, rocky ascent to the summit of Mt. Defiance, which is ANOTHER nearly 1,000' vertical feet! At the summit the view is spectacular to the West, North and East, including Adams, Ranier and Hood. Give yourself 7-10 hours to the summit and take lots of water and your trekking poles.

Just did this today, great hike, real butt kicker. Stick with it to the top and you’ll get amazing views.

Fun trail. Hiked on 1/20/18. Needed snow shoes to get to the top.

hiked 1/21

smooth sailing, a little rain and some snow at the top.

microspikes would help at the very top but I didn't find them to be necessary.

1 month ago

Oh my goodness it is quite the difficult hike. Steep mostly all the way. but when you get to King Mountain Summit it is just so rewarding. We went on a rainy and cloudy day but the trees kept you dry. You can hear the Wilson River almost the entire hike. When we finally made it to the top there was snow. we didn't get a view because of the clouds nonetheless it was amazing. the way down is hard on your knees so be prepared, 64oz of water is not enough. trekking poles are must. we didn't take any and that could have saved us some energy. You will be starving at the end of the hike. Enjoy don't get discouraged.

Went on a cloudy light rain day. Fun hike, challenging but really enjoyable. Didn’t make it to the summit (improper shoes and a lot of snow) so I turned back at the picnic table. Still great, will be back on a clear day in a few months.

Great hike. Challenging

Went 1/12/18 Road is currently closed

2 months ago

Brutal. That’s about how I’ll describe this hike! Just keep climbing... and when I say climbing I mean actually climbing. I saw people puke and I saw people turn around on this trail! I had a goal of conquering this beast in 3 hours and beat it by about 45 minutes due to trail running down it. Legs = Jello! Have fun and be safe!!

perfect short, but long enough hike. Very muddy in winter. One switchback is a bit confusing. Downed tree hides the switchback and people just go straight and walk down the other trail away from the peak.
otherwise some light rock climbing (no trail, just rock type steps) to summit. Great view if no clouds. so so if rainy and foggy. Nice flowers in spring and summer.

Good hike trail is easy to follow and there are signs every mile so you can't get lost. I tracked my hike with Strava it casme out to be 10.6 miles not the 11.2 All trails says it to be . First 2 miles has the clear cut areas but then after that lots of tall trees and moss .

Hiked on 01/05/18. I love this hike. Getting up to the ridge from the Siouxon Trail is pretty challenging. The entire ridge is prime cougar habitat so be on the lookout especially around the many rock outcrops along the ridge. Many poops and paw prints in the snow were observed the day we went. Enjoy and always pack it out.

My dog and I hiked this mid week, parking lot was empty when we arrived and we only saw one other person on our way back down. The hike took us 3 hours including sitting at the top for 15 minutes or so. I fancy myself as “in shape” but this hike had me huffing and puffing. The view at the top was definitely “worth it” and I might have felt some disappointment if the weather had been crummy. I was glad that I brought my trekking poles and highly recommend hiking boots for the ankle support on the way down.

Crowded parking lot if you get here late. Very steep especially at the top, wishing I had trekking poles for the way down. Only minimal frost on the trail towards the top today. A real leg buster but well worth it for the views of the ocean and Mt Hood.

Completed 12/30/17; knew from friends who had hiked it that it would be extremely challenging and it was! Uphill and super steep almost the whole way with boulder/rocky patches. View was well worth it, trail is very well maintained. Trekking poles would have been very helpful!

Wow it is difficult. I was expecting switch backs with somewhat varying elevation gains, but it seems to climb steeply then go to a easier assent then back to steep. Thank you to the group who keeps this up! It is VERY WELL made and maintained trail

3 months ago

Couldn’t make it to the TH due to the terrible condition of the road. We bailed halfway to the “parking lot”. Too many potholes, ridges, and ditches for a standard passenger car. You will need AWD and a high clearance vehicle to make it all the way up! There was also snow in the higher elevations. Would try again with a better car in better weather.

Definitely slightly more challenging that we were expecting. The views are insane if there isn’t any cloud coverage.

on Lava Canyon Trail

3 months ago

Beautiful fall day hike! Would’ve given this trip 5 stars had we been able to do the full hike, but like others have indicated, the Smith Creek portion had been washed out. What we did hike though was amazing. The trail was rocky, wet and slick on some portions of the cliff side. Take your time! You most certainly DO NOT want to slip! Doing so will either give you a good scare or.....☠️

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