Mount Defiance is a peak near the Columbia River Gorge region of northwestern Oregon. It rises to an elevation of 4,984 feet in the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness on the Mount Hood National Forest. The peak is in Hood River County, Oregon.
If you love amazing, expansive views, then the steep, bumpy crawl to the top of Mt. Defiance is ALL about that. From the summit, look to the south to see Mt Hood, and to the east is Hood River Valley. To the west is Mt. St Helens in Washington, and to the north is the Columbia River and Mt Adams. Apparently, this is an ideal mountain for communication equipment - as there are several buildings and antenna towers at the summit. Please be mindful of this equipment and stay well clear of it all.
A perfect picnic spot is along the south side near some large rocks. This spot gives you a great view of the valley and Mt. Hood.
The 1.6 miles and 1,165ft elevation gain to the top is all steep, very "bumpy" and requires a slow crawl. This is why solitude is found at the top of Mt Defiance - only the strongest of hikers, and high-clearance 4X4 vehicles should attempt this road.
From the community of Dee in Hood River County, travel north on Punchbowl Road from Lost Lake Road for 1.2 miles. Continue straight on Deadpoint Road/NF-2820 for 7.8 miles to the intersection with NF-2821. Turn right on NF-2821 and travel 1.3 miles to the start of Mt Defiance Road.
Effective Monday, September 21st, the Hood River County Forest will be open to the public due to a decrease in local fire danger. It will take time today for staff to change signs and open gates. Recreationists are advised that off road motorized vehicle use and campfires are still restricted to prevent wildfire.
Pretty Hardcore! Definitely gave me a run for my money at some points. Truly epic view at the top, and a very rewarding ride all the way up. It’s intimidating, but do able. Didn’t bottom out once and I’ve only got 8 inches of ground clearance on the RAV.
Mt. Defiance is a fun trail. It starts out on some normal forest service roads, and finishes with some rocky climbs to the top. Nothing crazy, but there are a couple places where the trail would be more difficult without both 4wd and low range. The view at the summit is wonderful, and Mt. Hood is incredible. There are several antenna arrays installed there -- certainly a great place for them. Any construction appears to have been completed.
Mt Defiance Rd is finally free of snow. It appears there's been construction of a new antenna system at the summit, so the road seems to be far more "driven on" than usual. Likely from the construction vehicles. It's still a steep, rocky climb, with an epic view from the top.
Finally got over to try this one. It was a fun drive to the top. It is a slow go and there is a lot of loose rock. Under body protection or a lift is recommended since many of the rocks are sharp and unavoidable but loose so they give way if you contact them with armor. The views at the top were amazing but somewhat obscured by high shrubs and the radio equipment that is buzzing the background at the top.
I navigated to the old gate from Lolo Pass which made for a nice longer run. FR 2820 has a couple of spots with really great views and it looks like some folks have camped off the road in the past.
Dean has lived in Oregon for over 9 years - having spent most of his adult life in Southern California where his love for exploring the outdoors was born. Over the years Dean has hiked to remote fishing holes, mountain biked red-dirt trails of AZ, and backpacked the trails of the Eastern Sierras. As an avid off-road explorer driving a Jeep Wrangler, Dean can often be found traversing the back-roads and trails of Oregon and Washington, or overlanding in Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah. Dean is also a Trail Guide for Jeep Jamboree USA, guiding jamboree participants in and around the 4x4 trails of Tillamook State Forest in Oregon.
Dean's day-job is Business Development for a local aerospace company, but he also owns & operates a number of small businesses. Dean is a retired Police Officer, an Army veteran, and airplane pilot.