Random Quippy Bit
Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 6134 | TRs
Location: I'm on a boat
|As if hiking 10 1/2 miles the previous day wasn't enough. But, hey, what I won't do for a waterfall. So I hadn't been to the Starvation Creek area for a long time, and I desperately needed better pictures than what I've got, so since I was in the area...
This was a quick and easy one, just 1.6 miles r/t, but none the less scenic. This, in fact, was probably the highlight of my little excursion to the Gorge. The four waterfalls in question, are accessed from Starvation Creek State Park, about 1/2 way between Cascade Locks and Hood River, three of them are along the Mt. Defiance trail, the fourth, a quick walk from the parking lot.
Started off on the ugly paved path paralleling Interstate 84, and a quick 1/3 mile later Cabin Creek Falls appears. The falls are about 50 feet from the trail, but due to an absolutely HUGE boulder in front of the falls, it's for all intents and purposes, impossible to photograph the entire falls from one spot. I climbed around at the base of the falls, putting my waterproof hiking boots to their first real test, then climbed up the back side of the big boulder for a nice perspective of the lower part of the falls, but it was all still too close.
Next stop is Hole in the Wall Falls, another 1/3 of a mile down the trail. This one is directly in front of the trail, no problems with big rocks or other natural oddities. It's possible to climb through the woods on the far side of the creek to look directly into the man-made tunnel the creek flows out of, diverting the old falls away from the old Scenic Highway, which it would often wash out. The location of the old falls can be seen about 100 yards to the east.
After Hole, the trail climbs steeply for about 1/5 mile to Lancaster Falls, another very commonly photographed fall in the Gorge. The creek was really roaring, and it was a little bit of a hairy crossing. Most people don't realize that by crossing the creek, you can look up above the 25' falls that is commonly seen to see a good portion of the 250 foot drop that is usually viewed from the freeway (only when trees are bare though).
Turned around at this point and headed back to the parking lot to play around at Starvation Creek Falls. Oddly, Starvation Creek also has a large boulder sitting right in front of it, and like Cabin Creek Falls, it's hard to see the whole thing from the developed trails. So, naturally, being the derranged individual I am, I climbed up the creek to the base of the falls, where I found what appears to be the abandoned foundation for some sort of building (long gone), perched atop of the large boulder in front of the falls. The view of the falls was quite impressive from this perspective, definitely the high point of my trip.
After I was done with the pictures, I ate some lunch and headed off home, with a quick detour or 5 to some more falls on the way.
Pictures - http://www.flickr.com/photos/bryanswan
Waterfalls - www.waterfallsnorthwest.com