Mount Defiance Trail

#1 of 1 trails in Viento State Park

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Mount Defiance Trail is a 12 mile out and back trail located near Cascade Locks, Oregon that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced outdoorsmen. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from May until October.

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Ted S (1272)

36 Completed21 Reviews

What an epic day. The elevation gain speaks for the difficulty and those calling it one of Oregon's hardest hikes seem spot on, it is certainly of the same ilk as the Elk / Kings Mountain Loop, Camp Muir and such. However it's not so much steep as a long climb, at least if you take the suggested Defiance trail route. Aside from the two almost immediate waterfalls, of the trail is covered or fairly typical Oregon sights but above 4000' the views are absolutely spectacular both of major peaks (mainly Hood) and the Gorge in general. The summit with it's buildings, roads and lack of cool accomplishment markers is a bit disappointing though the look out over Hood makes up for it. Overall the trail is well marked and maintained along the way (watch the forks, there are several pulling you away) and a fairly decent condition with just a few soft dirt / hard scramble spots. Coming back down Starvation Ridge is a brutal decent and would certainly be the same as an ascent with a knee crushing, 3800' in 3 miles or close to it. I'd skip the loop unless you want to train up from that side. Restrooms and water at the start only. Took me 5:30 + an hour summit stop / breaks for the full loop.

TJ R. (128)

Audrey S. (162)

Best hike I've been on since I moved from Colorado. It's like a 14er with more oxygen + a steeper climb. Brought my dog and he did great on all of it. He drank 3 liters of water plus we stopped by the lake around mile 9. Started at 8AM but should have started earlier cause it was warm. Glad I brought a map, read a lot of reviews and that I print out the Portlandhikingguide.com description.

Carrie Duranceau (507)

14 Completed3 Reviews

I went up the Starvation Ridge Trail and down Mt Defiance. It took me about 7 1/2 hours total and was definitely the most grueling hike I've completed to date. The hike up had beautiful views of the gorge with lots of switchbacks. I was glad I had my iphone w/google maps since I started going the wrong way once when I was getting close to Warren Lake. (No guides I read mentioned the Mitchell Point Trail) There were also some areas where the trail was just large rocks and it was somewhat of a guessing game and a relief when I met up with a more clearly cut trail eventually. One other area that I wish the guide books would have warned me about was at the very end of the Mt Defiance trail when you come to the Lancaster waterfall - no where did it state that you had to cross the waterfall and find the trail on the other side (and it didn't look like there was a trail to pick up on the other side!) I don't know if the link I've provided to my Garmin will work, but if it does you can view the elevation gain and timing, etc. I'm proud I completed this hike, but there are many more to check off my list before I tackle this one again. http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/550934012

todd heath (63)

1 Completed1 Reviews

I will have to say that was the best 8.2 miles I've done in some time, The Oregon beauty is unbelievable. I just came back to Oregon a week ago from Pennsylvania, it has it's own beauty but it is no comparison.

Don Schaefer (104)

4 Completed3 Reviews

Great training hike for other peaks. Mostly enclosed in the timber with few viewpoints. Once on top you have great views in all directions. Have climbed this twice, once at fast pace in 5.5 hours, the second at slower pace in 7. Not a favorite cuz of boring accent, but certainly a trail you must check off your Gorge list.

Hayley R. (919)

22 Completed11 Reviews

Awesome trail! I have done it twice and plan on doing it again! First time took probably 6 hours, 2nd time I somewhat rushed it and it only took about 4 hours. It is a tough hike. The views at the top are gorgeous! The only sucky things is that at the top there are a bunch of ugly man made towers and buildings and lots of gravel and fences. Still worth it though. I prefer loops, so I went up on the starvation creek trail and went past Warren lake, then went down on the normal Mt defiance trail. The 2nd time, I did the same loop, but did it backwards. It is one STEEP trail! The loop adds on another mile or two, but it is nice to get more scenery and also the lake.

Matt kirk (107)

0 Completed3 Reviews

ouch. this is one of the most challenging trails I've done. all up, shale, skree, not a drop of water. did it, done!!

AJ Ruiz (5474)

96 Completed56 Reviews

Did this hike while the White Salmon fire was still going. Luckily the Gorge wind kept things clear for most the day. Overall, this is a challenging hike and, based on length and elevation, I would agree this is strenuous. You'll definitely feel it at the end. The route we chose was actually the loop option, with the beginning ascent being up Starvation Ridge (via Starvation Ridge cut off trail...a beast of 0.4 mi), past Warren lake, back down the west slope (as outlined this map), and back to the Starvation Creek parking lot. Most the trail issues did stay on this western approach, as the trail was in poorer condition and there were several washout spots. Overall view was ok. I would argue that other peaks (Larch, Dog, Table, for example) offer similar views, if not better. So, based on the amount of effort one must use to get to it may not justify the journey. Accomplishing the feat of summiting, however, is most definitely something to brag about.

Anita Duvall (263)

19 Completed3 Reviews

Wear good hiking shoes & recommend hiking sticks as well.

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