Starvation Ridge and Warren Lake Trail

HARD 37 reviews

Starvation Ridge and Warren Lake Trail is a 11.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Cascade Locks, Oregon that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

11.3 miles
5,039 feet

dogs on leash


nature trips

trail running


bird watching



partially paved




wild flowers



Head east along Hwy 84 to Exit 55, Starvation Creek State Park & Rest Area.

6 days ago

Absolutely B-E-A-U-Tiful trail! did it with 3 kids and we loved every bit of it! Lots of water play and places to stop and eat lunch along the various waterfalls! We will do this one again and again!

15 days ago

This was a great hike but please please please don't use the cutoff trail! I took this trail down, after looping around from the Mt Defiance split, and the washout/rockslide was a little scary! I'm glad I had poles, and I still used my butt. Great views, though. I only saw three other people once I left the parking lot on 02/02/19

2 months ago

Visited 12/8/18. Beautiful area to stop at for hiking, sightseeing and a great lunch spot with a couple picnic tables next to Viento falls. Paved trails look very new. Bathrooms were flushing toilets and very clean inside, but only have air dryers, no paper towels for drying your hands. I've seen this place a bunch of other times while visiting the gorge and have always wanted to stop by and check it out. I came here to hike mt defiance trail. The trailheads are easy to find. Mt defiance, starvation ridge and a couple others are on the 14 going west when you walk on the paved path. Starvation ridge from historic trail paved path is closed but you can reach it on mt defiance trail. I did not complete trails because there were creek crossings on both mt defiance and starvation ridge that had no bridges, I was wearing my summer hiking boots (not wanting to get them wet in the water), it was cold out and I was hiking alone. This area is a must stop if you have the time to check it out. I will definitely be back to hike again. Counted 4 waterfalls.

The fire didn’t get to this one and the trail Is in real good shape. Except for a slight wash out almost as soon as you begin on the connector the route is great.

Monday, February 05, 2018

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.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Had to get very friendly with the forest on this trail with all the climbing over and under fallen trees, over rivers and rocks. Very challenging, was not prepared for the steep ascent, so just did the shorter loop around which was rewarding with great views and several waterfalls.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

This was an awesome hike, not for a beginner though. We have hiked several trails and this one was even a challenge but we would do it again.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Trail is marked as a loop, not clearly defined on the trail signs but a good hike.

trail running
Sunday, July 03, 2016


Monday, June 13, 2016

Tough. Good.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Starts out very steep, lots of slippery spots. USE A HIKING STICK. Great views, great waterfalls, and a great workout.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

This hike worked out to be about 7 miles the day we did it. The view of the Gorge, Dog Mountain, Wind Mountain and more. It was a good hike with good friends!

Friday, August 09, 2013

This trail will work you. It's a beast to go up and a pain descend. Recommend trekking poles to help save your knees on the way down. However, the hike does offer ok views of Mt. Adams and Dog Mountain. Great for conditioning for other peaks (I've heard this is frequented for those doing Hood, I'm using it for South Sister). Also recommend that, instead of going back down, one should continue to Warren Lake and the top of Mt. Defiance for some more views. In addition, if continues along the Mt. Defiance trail, the decent is much less steep.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Super steep at first, on parts. Okay views minus power lines. Snakes on the trail, nothing dangerous. The hike down might be though. Very steep, dry, pebbles beneath your feet make it easy to slide. Recommend poles unless your very sure-footed or have excellent shoes. It was nice and hot, first week of July. Partly shaded by forest.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

We just got back from this HIKE yes caps it deserves it. It starts off steep right from the beginning and just keeps on going. The views are just incredible, at one view point we had to say to heck with it and walk right through the poison oak to get the perfect photo op (watch out for the poison oak its everywhere). The trail was in pretty good shape but the fact that it was so steep made for a few slippery spots. I would not recommend taking small children on this hike at all. At one point we were taking a break at what I call the boulder field near crest enjoying an incredible view of Mt. Adams when a group came walking by and not a one looked over their shoulder to notice the view, they just kept on going. No way would you not stop for second to look at that if you knew it was there. Just remember to look around once in awhile. This thing is grueling all the way up, and down. My knee went out right after heading down so it was a very painful trip down but still worth it. I woulld give it a 5 star but my knee really hurts lol.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Very strenuous hike down Starvation Ridge. Makes a great loop with Mt. Defiance trail. A long steep walk down Starvation Ridge and then when you reach the end, a spectacular view awaits. Then you continue down a narrow exposed trail. I do not recommend Starvation Cutoff trail, due to lots of gravel/pebbles and steep exposure.

1 month ago

recorded Track - Aug 12, 01:04 PM

6 months ago

7 months ago

Sunday, February 11, 2018

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