Zooming down Interstate 84 eastbound, you might very well miss this tiny park. Nestled at the base of the sheer walls of the Columbia Gorge, Starvation Creek is much more than it appears. It is a feast for the eyes and feet. Trails spreading out from this day-use park lead onto adjacent National Forest Service land and connect to the Mt. Defiance and Starvation Ridge trails. Heading east, trek along a remnant of the Historic Columbia River Highway to Viento State Park and campground. The waterfall at Starvation Creek, one of the few in this area of the gorge, is an elegant cascade admired by gorge travelers for thousands of years.

This is right off 84. Gorgeous pit stop heading east.

was not closed and beautiful area, freeway noise aside the area is a great example of the magic in this area.

Cross the river and scramble up the left side of creek - worth the short hike to see the falls!

Overall a great hike- the waterfalls and views are great! It’s more like 2.6 Miles and feels longer due to the elevation gain and few challenging spots. A few tips:
1) Wear hiking shoes
2) Bring trekking poles
3) Take the first left you come to and do the loop clockwise. It’s steeper that way- gains 500ft in 0.6 Miles- but it would be much harder going down this way due to some washed out areas and the steep and narrow trail. Next time I may just do an out and back going counter clockwise to avoid that part
4) Go a little bit on the Mt Defiance Trail (maybe 0.2mi) to see Lancaster falls, then back track to complete the loop
5) Wear sunscreen and bring plenty of water... there are parts of the trail that have no cover at all
6) I wouldn’t take kids or dogs that aren’t experienced hikers on this trail due to the drop offs and loose trail surfaces

Good views, but lots of loose rock. Part of trail is washed out. I’d wait until it can be fixed.

I have dozens of favorite hikes along the Gorge but this is the only one would not do again. It starts and ends with hiking along Interstate 84 a few feet from the roar of traffic. There are several nice steep sections for good exercise and some nice forested sections with one beautiful tiny creek. The two more spectacular waterfalls are at the end of the hike if you are going clockwise around the loop. So if waterfalls are your goal just walk along 84 a short ways to see the falls.

The biggest issue is that large portions of the hike are in clear cut areas below power lines and large sections of the trail are overgrown with poison oak. There is one short side trail with an amazing view of the Gorge but other than that there are few view points. Be aware that the parking lot is jammed on summer weekends so go on a weekday. Better yet head to one of the many more attractive hikes along the Gorge.

hiking
Sunday, July 09, 2017

Great parking lot, easy paved trail to get started on. We headed up the ridge first (took the first left) and it was really steep with a few washed out places that make you take your time. We turned left at the next sign, took in the great view of the canyon, then went back to the sign and headed to the creek. We didn't have time to finish the loop so we headed back down the steep side. We'll definitely come back and finish the whole thing.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A splendid surprise! Great for my young grandchildren!

hiking
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Great short loop with a little of everything: viewpoint overlooking the river, wildflowers, stream crossings, waterfalls. Easy access from the freeway, parking, and not to far off the beaten path for those who aren't looking to go full-adventure. The hike is in close proximity to the I-84, so you can hear highway traffic. The trail winds around an older transmission line that also takes a bit away from the landscape. However the view was great, Lancaster Falls is practically ON the trail, and the alpine meadow was full of wildflowers. Be aware that the climb to get to Starvation Ridge Trail is steep. I strongly advise going up that trail rather than down.

hiking
Sunday, May 07, 2017

We may have taken the wrong trail and ended up with a mix of Starvation and Defiance trails. With 4 children under 7. A lot more challenging than we expected but the kids did great and we ended up with killer views.

I did this hike last week - Thought this was a great hike! Initial climb gets you up to the views fast and there are 2 opportunities for creative river crossing (due to no bridges present). Be careful to keep track of where you are on this trail, small exposure and tons of waterfalls!!!

hiking
Sunday, November 06, 2016

Nice waterfall, several trail heads here leading to challenging routes with additional falls and vistas. Parking fills fast, so come early. You don't need to pay a fee to park here. There is a paved path for biking along the highway.

hiking
Tuesday, November 24, 2015

This trail was a bit off from the directions in the link above in that just prior to reaching your 16 mile mark on Winberry Creek rd BEFORE the little bridge you will see a spur rd to your left. Take that and you will see the trail head straight ahead about 50 ft. The trail itself is a workout to say the least, not for a leisure hiker. It is easy to follow until you get about 1 mile in and it becomes very over grown and difficult to see. Not much for views, and the summit is less than impressive. There is one view almost to the summit that is nicer than the summit view. Other than that, you are pretty much in dense forest, very little old growth and lots of selal brush overgrowing the trail throughout. I wouldn't choose this hike again with all the other ones this area has to offer.

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