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 the trailhead for Mount Defiance Trail (#413). The Starvation Ridge Cutoff Trail is closed because of a large landslide and is not safe to cross.
For trail information, see our Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail bicycle and hiking map.
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."
Please call 503-695-2261 for park specific information regarding drone use.
No metal detecting is allowed in Gorge Oregon State Parks
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.
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.