We started out from the parking lot along the main trail route that parallels I-84 that I HIGHLY recommend you keep your dogs leashed along since there isn't really much between them and the highway. About a quarter mile along this paved trail there's an old wooden trail sign that directs you up for the Starvation Ridge trail, which is supposed to be the easier way up. Well, this short portion of the trail that meets up with the actual Starvation Ridge trail is a pretty brutal climb. Here is generally what you're going to come upon if not steeper:
This goes on for about a half mile. The longest half mile that you will probably hike! Then you meet up with the actual Starvation Ridge trail. And aren't these the BEST most encouraging names? The Starvation Ridge trail on Mount Defiance. Just sounds like a little slice of heaven!LOL
This part of the trail starts a gentler climb. There are a few switch backs, but they're not so bad. Along the route you get some AWESOME views of the Gorge!!
After getting lulled into a false sense of an easy climb, the trail got a bit steeper and the temperatures were definitely dropping.
At about this point I was actually putting my mittens on. All told we did over 2,500 ft. of elevation gain. There's quite a temperature difference when you climb that much in the very windy gorge!
I do have to say though that this trail route had some of the BEST views!! While it wasn't always easy to appreciate it when you're sweating buckets, we did stop to snap a few pictures like this:
All told, we had a really great time and all three of us are really beat! The dogs were definitely able to expend more energy on this route as well. If you aren't already a friend of mine on Facebook, I have all of the pictures from the hike uploaded to a folder on Photobucket. Here's the address: http://s140.photobucket.com/albums/r34/Heffers_photos/Mount%20Defiance%20Part%202/. If you're really snappy at viewing this post, Photobucket is still uploading the pictures and it may still take a little while. I hope you enjoy!