Starvation Creek State Park

Near Hood River, Oregon, United States

Zooming eastbound down Interstate 84, you might very well miss this tiny park. Nestled at the base of the sheer walls of the Columbia Gorge, the park’s namesake Starvation Creek Waterfall is just over a boardwalk, 50 feet from the parking area. Picnic tables feature views of the falls.

This park is also a trailhead for the paved Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail  that traces the original historic highway. Heading east, take the wide, paved path 1 mile along a remnant of the the historic highway to Viento State Park. This section of trail travels through thick fir forests and lush undergrowth—moss often carpets portions of the paved trail. When the forest breaks, look for views across the Columbia River into Washington.

Hikers and bikers can also head west 4.6 miles to Wyeth Campground and trailhead, passing Cabin Creek Falls, Hole-in-the-Wall Falls and Lancaster Falls before climbing to an impressive view of the Gorge. From here, the visitors cross into the forested "Mossy Road," a section of the historic highway that became draped in moss after the highway was abandoned. The final section crosses a talus slope at Shellrock Mountain, where fences offer protection from falling rocks.

Near Hole-in-the Wall Falls, hikers will find trailheads for Mount Defiance Trail (#413) and Starvation Ridge Trail (#414).

For trail information, see our Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail bicycle and hiking map.

Know Before You Go

  • Dogs are allowed on trails, but must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times.
  • E-bikes are allowed on the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. The following devices are not allowed: electric scooters, mountain boards, electric unicycles, and other similar devices. For more information, please call Viento State Park at 541-374-8811.
Effective Sep 18, 2020
Campfires are banned in all state parks, including campgrounds, day-use areas, and beaches. The ban includes wood, charcoal briquettes, candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers. Propane stoves and other cooking devices that have an immediate shutoff valve are allowed for cooking only. Locally, park managers have discretion to allow fires in designated campfire rings only if conditions have improved enough to do so. 
Effective Mar 1, 2019 Starvation Ridge Cut-Off trail is closed due to a landslide. Mount Defiance trail from Hole-in-the-Wall falls is open.
mdi-white-balance-sunny Open for day use Year Round
COVID-19 may affect dates
mdi-cellphone Call for info: 800-551-6949
Call park: 541-374-8811, 503-695-2261
Current Conditions Directions Feedback

Amenities & Features

Questions

mdi-help-circle-outline General

Did you know in 2012 our park participated in customer surveys?

According to a 2012 survey of park visitors:

93% of our customers describe being "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with their overall experience at Starvation Creek State Park.

85% of our customers reported that they were either "very likely" or "likely" to return to Starvation Creek State Park in the future.

One customer commented, "I love it exactly as it is - very natural/wild feeling, good, quick access, clean not crowded. A very pleasant quick stop for myself and dog."

mdi-help-circle-outline What's Allowed

Can I fly my drone in the park?

Please call 503-695-2261 for park specific information regarding drone use.

Can I metal detect?

No metal detecting is allowed in Gorge Oregon State Parks

mdi-help-circle-outline Day use/Special Events

How do I get a Special Use Permit?

This park requires a Special Use Permit for special events or activities. Please open the Special Use Permit application to see examples of events that need a permit.  If you have questions about whether you need a special use permit for your activity and to receive instructions on how to submit the application, please call 503-695-2261.

For more questions, review our statewide FAQ

History

Land was purchased from private owners between 1930 and 1960. There are two theories on the origin of the name Starvation Creek. It is said that a party of overland pioneers nearly starved here for lack of provisions. The place also was called Starveout after two Union Pacific Railroad trains were stalled in the area by heavy snows in the winter of 1884-1885. For some days, the passengers were kept from starvation by men who packed supplies from Hood River on skis.

Brochures and Maps

mdi-file-pdf-box Columbia Gorge Visitor Guide mdi-file-pdf-box Historic Columbia River Highway and State Trail bicycle and hiking map

Photos & Video

Some parks are open for day-use and camping, with reduced services. Check the Park Status Map and FAQ for details. Campfire restrictions may be in place.