Starvation Ridge Loop
Central Gorge, Oregon
View of the Columbia River from Starvation Ridge trail. (photographer: Micheal Drewry)
Hike Details
Type:
Loop
Distance:
2.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:
700 feet
Difficulty:
Moderate
Trail Features
Family Friendly:
No
Restrooms:
Yes
Trailhead Pass:
No
Trail Details
WaterfallWaterfall

COVID-19 advisory from our partner Ready, Set, GOrge! (readysetgorge.com): 

Increased visitation puts increased pressure on the Gorge’s limited resources.  If you’re planning a trip to our region, please help keep our communities safe by following CDC and local health guidelines and respecting the requests of individual businesses. Please plan before you go and always have a Plan B in case your destination is too crowded or closed. When recreating on trails, maintain at least 6 feet of distance from other hikers and bikers.

Fire Impacts

This trail was impacted by the 2017 Eagle Creek fire. We encourage hikers to be extra alert when hiking in burned areas in the Gorge. Falling trees, landslides, and debris flows are more likely in the burned areas because of unstable soil due to less vegetation to hold it in place.
 



Creating a World-Class Trekking Network Encircling the Gorge

Learn more about the initiative to create a 200-mile loop trail network in the Gorge.

On the Trail

This 2.5-mile loop is a quintessential Gorge hike: high cliffs yielding fantastic views, with waterfalls dropping off their sheer edges. The route gains and loses 700 feet of elevation, and has one very steep, 0.4-mile ascent.

Permits & Pets

The Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail and Starvation Creek State Park are managed by Oregon State Parks. Dogs must be on a leash no more than 6 feet long. Above the State Trail, the area is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Dogs may be off leash. No passes are required.

Trail Notes

  • From the parking area, walk west on the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. In 0.2 mile, turn left onto the Starvation Cutoff Trail (Trail 414B). If you come to Cabin Creek Falls on the State Trail, you’ve gone too far.
  • Trail 414B climbs extremely steeply for 0.4 mile. At the top, turn right onto the Starvation Ridge Trail (Trail 414) and cross Cabin Creek. Climb from here to the Starvation Ridge viewpoint, just off the trail after the trail passes under power lines. From the viewpoint, continue on the trail downhill through meadows thick with spring wildflowers to a crossing of Warren Creek.
  • Come to the Mount Defiance Trail. For a look at Lancaster Falls, turn left, heading uphill a short way. The 303-foot falls are not all visible, but the lower tier practically splashes onto the trail.
  • After viewing Lancaster Falls, come back to the trail junction and head downhill. Cross Warren Creek again and pass Hole-in-the-Wall Falls, which drops 96 feet in two tiers. It has an unusual story: In 1939, debris carried by Warren Creek had damaged the Columbia River Highway bridge over the creek. Rather than move or reinforce the bridge, highway engineers decided to move Warren Creek Falls, which was located upstream of the bridge. A tunnel to divert Warren Creek was blasted into the cliff, Hole-in-the-Wall Falls was born, and Warren Creek Falls went dry, thousands of years after it began dropping off the cliff.
  • From Hole in the Wall Falls, continue on Trail 414 to the paved State Trail. Turn right and pass Cabin Creek Falls, which drops 220 feet in two tiers. Continue on the State Trail back to the start.
  • Please always stay on the trail and clean your boots before and after you hike. Hikers are a common vector for spreading invasive seeds.
  • Restrooms are at the east end of the parking area.

Post-Hike Explorations

Visit Viento State Park’s beach to watch kiteboarders, wade or take a swim. From Starvation Creek, drive I-84 for 1 mile, taking exit 56/Viento. Cross over I-84 to the park’s north side, and drive past its campground to the river access parking lot. An Oregon State Parks Pass is required. Views are spectacular: across the river is 2,948-foot Dog Mountain and to its east 3,014-foot Cook Hill. From here, Hood River’s brewpubs are just another 7 miles further east, off I-84, at exit 63.

Nearby Hikes



Directions & Travel Tips

Starvation Creek Trailhead:  From eastbound I-84: Take exit 55/Starvation Creek State Park and drive to the parking area. Westbound I-84: take exit 51/Wyeth and return to eastbound I-84, and take exit 55 as described above. Restrooms are at the east end of the parking area.