About Starvation Creek Falls
Starvation Creek Falls felt like on of those obscure waterfalls that probably wouldn’t get quite the publicity and notoriety that other roadside attractions would get in the Columbia River Gorge area. Perhaps it was because most visitors wouldn’t go far enough east (this one sat between Cascade Locks and Hood River) or they might have gotten a serious case of waterfall fatigue on their waterfalling binge given the plethora of waterfalls here. Nonetheless, this very tall waterfall was quite attractive (said to be about 186ft tall), and definitely worth a stop.
After leaving our rental car at the large car park immediately accessed from the offramp from the I-84 freeway, we then went on a short 1/4-mile walk that took us closer to the falls, which we couldn’t see from the freeway (yet another reason why this falls seemed relatively obscure compared to others). On the way, there was a trail junction right before a footbridge over Starvation Creek where the branch on the right led us briefly uphill alongside Starvation Creek to the waterfall itself.
We noticed a couple of picnic tables here, which would’ve made for a pleasant little spot to gawk at the waterfall while having a snack. However, we were here early in the morning immediately after the weather started to calm down so it was a bit cold and early to be engaging in such an activity.
From the picnic area and the trail leading to it, we noticed that there always seemed to be some degree of overgrowth or branches protruding onto our line of sight. So we never really felt we had a nice clean look at the waterfall and its fronting cascades. There was also a mossy rock that blocked out our view of the bottom of the falls as well. And even with maneuvering around for a better view, there would be some other tree getting in the way.
Finally, there was another short spur trail on the other side of the creek after crossing the bridge. This path also led upstream but was a bit narrower and rougher, and I’d say the views were different but not any better than the ones described above.
Starvation Creek State Park sat about 55 miles east of Portland along I-84. While heading east on the I-84, the well-signed exit is about 10 miles east of Cascade Locks. The off ramp goes right into a large car park area. Only eastbound traffic on I-84 has access to this car park.
If you’re coming from the opposite direction (west) from Hood River, then you’ll have to head west on the I-84 for roughly 11 miles to the exit 51. Then, you’d go under the freeway and get back on going east for the next 3.5 miles to the Starvation Creek Rest Area.
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