Hole in the Wall Falls, Starvation Creek Trailhead, Portland - Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Hole in the Wall Falls - 1.4 miles

Starvation Creek Trailhead

Starvation Creek Falls is one of 4 waterfalls in the area

Starvation Creek Falls is one of 4 waterfalls in the area

Round-Trip Length: 1.4 miles
Start-End Elevation: 139' - 160'
Elevation Change: +11 net elevation gain
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: Yes
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Hole in the Wall Falls - 1.4 Miles Round-Trip

Hole in the Wall Falls is located .7 miles from Starvation Creek Trailhead in the Columbia River Gorge. It was created in 1938 by highway builders who, when faced with frequent flooding, blasted a whole in the bedrock and redirected Warren Creek away from the road. Hole in the Wall Falls now drops in tiered plunges (33' and 63') through a man-made pipe above the modern Columbia River Highway.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

Though Hole in the Wall's marketable name and story are better known, there are three other waterfalls in the vicinity of equal or greater interest.

The first is Starvation Creek Falls, located just steps from the parking lot. Starvation Creek Falls drops 227' in two stages into a spacious, high-walled amphitheater.

The creek expands here and bounces down rocky cascades to the Columbia River. Newly developed facilities make this an easy paved walk-up, with the unsanctioned option of scrambling closer.

The second is Cabin Creek Falls, .25 miles from the trailhead. Cabin Creek Falls drops 220' in tiered plunges just steps from the paved path, though viewing angles are compromised by large boulders and trees. Boot track-scrambles lead to better looks, but it's still difficult to get the entire fall in frame.

Hole in the Wall Falls is .7 miles from the trailhead. Turn left off the main road to a bridge over the plunge pool. Steep, well-established social trails lead to additional views. The Mount Defiance Trail narrows on single track past this point and begins a blistering climb to the summit (4,959').

But just before things get really steep you'll pass the Starvation Ridge Trail split (.85 miles : 297') and walk right by the lower tier of Lancaster Falls (.95 miles).

This modest spray belies its full 303' height, which originates from springs directly above. As with the others you'll have to make a considerable - and precarious - off-trail effort to gain better views.

Poison oak is ubiquitous along these cliff faces and creek channels - long sleeves are advised when scrambling off-trail to view waterfalls.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N45 41.303 W121 41.403 — 0.0 miles : Starvation Creek Trailhead
  • N45 41.245 W121 41.733 — .2 miles : Starvation Cutoff Trail split
  • N45 41.217 W121 42.189 — .65 miles : Turnoff to Hole in the Wall Falls
  • N45 41.118 W121 42.291 — .85 miles : Starvation Ridge Trail split

Worth Noting

  • Waterfall heights and types provided by waterfallsnorthwest.com.

Camping and Backpacking Information

Camping is permitted in the Mark O Hatfield Wilderness, but there is minimal (if any) suitable camping along the Trail #413 route to Mount Defiance.

General Camping Rules and Regulations for the Hatfield Wilderness.

  • Group size is limited to 12 individuals or any combination of people and stock.
  • Camp in established sites whenever possible. Sites are first come, first served. Some may be closed for restoration
  • Bury human waste 6-8" deep, at least 100' from any trail or water source.
  • Campfires - Columbia River Gorge NSA: Campfires are permitted in the CRGNSA, with potential seasonal and area-specific restrictions. Up-to-date rules are posted at the trailhead and along the trail. 
  • Campfires are permitted in the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness, but with location and seasonal-specific restrictions. Up-to-date rules are posted at the trailhead and along the trail.

Rules and Regulations

  • A Recreation Pass is not required to access the Starvation Creek Trailhead.
  • Dogs must be leashed at all times.

Directions to Trailhead

Directions to Starvation Creek Trailhead (note: this trailhead is only accessible to eastbound traffic)

From Portland (and points west):

Travel east on I-84 to Exit #55 / Starvation Creek State Park. Park in the large cul de sac.

From Hood River (and points east):

Travel west on I-84 to Exit #51 / Wyeth. Turn left under the highway and get back on I-84 East. Take Exit #55 / Starvation Creek State Park.

Contact Information

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
902 Wasco Ave | Suite 200
Hood River, OR 97031

Hood River Ranger District
6780 Highway 35
Parkdale, OR 97041

Mt. Hood National Forest Headquarters
16400 Champion Way
Sandy, OR 97055

Hours: Monday – Friday, 7:30a – 4:30p (closed 11:30 – 12:30)

Trip Reports

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