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.

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
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

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.

A splendid surprise! Great for my young grandchildren!

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
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

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!!!

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