We had the pleasure of hosting some friends from home for a little portion of their Oregon vacation. We squeezed in a day of Portland sights and eats (brunch at Irving St. Kitchen, book browsing at Powell’s, a stroll across the Tilikum Crossing bridge, a hike in Forest Park, and dinner at Verde Cocina) before heading into the Gorge for a hike on the Eagle Creek Trail.
Eric and I did a portion of this trail last year, but Tommy, Elaine, and I knocked out 6 miles of this bad boy (12 miles round-trip), hiking past a million waterfalls to Tunnel Falls. Tommy and Elaine got the true Oregon experience, with drizzle, pouring rain, hail, and sunshine. Needless to say, we were cold and wet the entire time.
This hike is fantastic because it basically follows the creek (hence the name, “Eagle Creek Trail”), which has waterfall after waterfall. The hike, itself, is pretty easy with minimal elevation gain. There are definitely some steep cliffs and narrow paths, along with a few creek crossings; but it’s very do-able.
We braved the cold water to get a peek at Punchbowl Falls, around 2 miles into the hike. There are stones strategically placed out into the creek to allow a dry walk, but it’s been such a rainy winter and spring that those rocks didn’t do us a ton of good.
Our turn around destination was Tunnel Falls, which is a huge waterfall with a tunnel passing behind it. I feel like I’m still constantly amazed by the mountains in the Pacific Northwest, but I forget about how incredible it is that we get to see waterfalls all the time!
Although I would have greatly appreciated hiking in the sunshine, the rain and hail made for some pretty magical views.
To get to the Eagle Creek Trailhead, take I-84 east of Portland to Exit 41 (Eagle Creek). Turn right and drive to the end of the road. This parking lot is likely to be packed, so you may have to park closer to the interstate. Northwest Forest Pass required. Bathrooms at the trailhead.