This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
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Last Friday, I took advantage of what was truly exceptional November weather for Oregon to make my annual pilgrimage up Mt. Defiance. In the past I've always gone earlier in the year so this was a chance to see the trail in the Fall. The trail up Starvation Ridge was in excellent shape all the way to Warren Lake, and it was interesting seeing the lake without snow.Rather than head straight from the lake to the summit, I took the trail that circles up to the summit from the west. This trail opens on to a large boulder field that gives you expansive views down the Gorge, and of St. Helens, Adams, and Bear Lake. This is a pretty good little snow traverse in winter. It was an amazing cool, crisp, sunny day with almost no wind. From the top of Defiance I had a great view of Hood to the south. I don't usually stop for lunch but the weather and view were just too good to pass-up. The white "clouds" in the foreground are smoke trapped by the inversion that had just set-up in the eastern Gorge, Hood River, and The Dalles (and is still there now). I came down directly via the "main" trail - there were a few small trees down between the summit and the road and just after you head down the ridge - otherwise this trail was in good shape too. This is a good way down but it's almost all in trees, so I much prefer going up Starvation Ridge since it has views along the way to offer encouragement. I saw no other hikers the whole day. Another great day in the woods!
Last edited by VanMarmot on November 21st, 2008, 8:10 am, edited 3 times in total.