Features: Fall Colors — Views — Waterfall
This trail, along with the Starvation Ridge Trail #414
immediately to the east, is considered one of the most demanding runs 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 run). 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).