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black Mount Defiance Trail #413

Trail

7.0 mile 11.3 kilometer point to point
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 4,839' 1,475 m
Descent: -1,129' -344 m
High: 4,940' 1,506 m
Low: 111' 34 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 16% (9°)
Max Grade: 81% (39°)

Dogs

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Trail shared by Bruce Hope

A steep trail to an iconic summit in the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness.

Bruce Hope

Features Fall Colors · Views · Waterfall

This trail enters the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness and the usual federal wilderness area regulations and restrictions apply here. Practice Leave No Trace (LNT) backcountry skills and ethics, camp 100 feet from fragile areas, bury human waste at least 200 feet from water, trails, and campsites. This trail is usually closed by snow between November and May. The trail can be used in the winter but snow travel and good navigation skills are both essential for safety.

Description

This trail, along with the Starvation Ridge Trail #414 immediately to the east, is considered one of the most demanding hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, winter or summer. It begins at a parking lot Starvation Ridge Creek Rest Area on Interstate-84 (I-84); there are restrooms here. Note that you cannot return to I-84 westbound from here—you can only continue eastbound.

From the the trailhead, a paved path heads west next to I-84 for several hundred feet before it becomes gravel. At 0.25 miles from the trailhead, you'll pass the junction with the Starvation Ridge Trail #414 (some maps may show this as the Starvation Ridge Cutoff Trail #414B). The #413 continues west, climbing only slightly, past some waterfalls, and, at 0.85 miles from the trailhead, heads to a junction with the "easier" start of the Starvation Ridge Trail #414.

At 1.3 miles from the trailhead, the #413 turns sharply to the south and begins a relentless climb up many switchbacks and steep sections. Here the trail stays mainly in the trees, crossing into the wilderness area at 3,600 feet (about 4 miles along the hike). At the 4,100 feet, you'll finally break out of the trees into an large boulder field with a breathtaking view of the Cascade Range to the north and of the Columbia River Gorge below.

You'll dip back into the trees and, at about 4.4 miles from the trailhead, intersect the Mitchell Point Trail #417 coming up from Warren Lake. The #413 continues uphill, passing, in about 0.3 miles, a junction with an alternative path for it, one that contours around Mount Defiance rather than crossing its summit.

Continuing up, the #413 (this section is shown as the #413B or #413D on some older maps) soon crosses the service road leading to the summit, then continues up the slope to merge with this service road shortly before the summit. At the summit of Mount Defiance (4,920 feet) there is a large communication facility, with tall radio and microwave towers, along with an unobstructed view of Mount Hood to the south.

From the summit, the #413 starts downhill (look for it on the southwest side of the large propane tank), soon passes a junction with the trail that contours around the summit, and continues descending southwest for 1.1 miles to the junction with Bear Lake Trail #413A - a nice side trip to a beautiful small lake. From this junction, the #413 continues downhill 0.5 mile to end at the trailhead (limited parking, no amenities) at Forest Road 2820 (Dead Point Road).

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Check-Ins

Jul 13, 2019
Natascha S
Lived here my whole life and never walked all the way from the freeway. Difficult and totally worth it:)
Jun 6, 2019
Brian Dodd
From TH to Mitchell Point junction. 5mi
Jun 1, 2019
Jon J
12.5mi — 6h 55m
May 12, 2019
Amey Laud

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Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 5 votes

#6353

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  4.2 from 5 votes
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Trail Rankings

#162

in Oregon

#6,353

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