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Starvation Ridge Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Wind Mountain, as seen from Starvation Ridge above 2,500 ft. (RSDW)
A solitary tree stands guard at the tip of Starvation Ridge, opposite Wind Mountain and Dog Mountain across the Columbia River. (RSDW)
The climb up Starvation Ridge in winter. (Jeff Smith)
Crowdsourced GPS "average" track (awetir)
  • Start point: Starvation Creek TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Warren Lake
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type:Out and Back
  • Distance: 8.2 miles
  • Elevation gain: 3855 feet
  • High point: 3,845 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Seasons: May through October
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

The Starvation Ridge hike is one of the steepest climbs around — it climbs almost 3,800 feet in less than three miles. To make matters even more interesting, the climbing isn't consistent. The trail builders seemed determined to stay directly on top of the ridge, creating pleasant, level ridge-top sections and knee-breaking climbs where the ridge gets steeper.

Start at the Starvation Creek Trailhead and head along the restored Historic Columbia River Highway for about 0.2 miles. At the junction of the Starvation Creek Cutoff Trail, turn left and ascend 0.4 miles up this steep and rocky little nightmare, you'll come to a 'T' with the Starvation Ridge Trail. Turn left here and you'll soon come to a great view of the Columbia River Gorge. From here, the trail switchbacks up past other great Gorge viewpoints for about a mile. After a while the switchbacks run out and the trail steepens. It goes up and level, up and level, gaining a lot of elevation.

After about three miles, you'll come to a 'T' trail junction. Some maps call this new trail the "Mitchell Point Trail" and some the "Warren Lake Trail", in either case, it's numbered 417 and unsigned. Turn right here and descend about 100 feet in 0.3 miles to Warren Lake.

From Warren Lake, you can continue on the Warren Lake Trail to the Mount Defiance Trail, creating a loop or you can return the way you came.


Regulations or restrictions, etc

  • None

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Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.