Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Quite possibly my all-time favorite hike: The Eagle Creek trail

One of the great things about Portland, Oregon, is it is very quick and easy to get out of the city and immerse yourself in nature.

Located just over a half-hour from the I-205/I-84 junction, heading east on 84, you'll find Eagle Creek, one the the most beautiful, varied, and fun hikes I've ever had the priviledge to experience.

This hike has something for everyone: It's long and almost all uphill, and the highlights of the hike (a half-dozen major waterfalls, scenic outlooks, camping grounds and even a lake) are paced a perfect intervals, offering a challenge at every level of fitness.

At 1.8 miles, you'll reach what is probably the most popular site of the hike, Punchbowl Falls:

If you continue on to the 7-mile mark, you'll be rewarded with the climactic 160' Tunnel Falls:

Just past a little past that, there's a decent campsite where I would recommend settling down for Night One. Campfires are reportedly "strongly discouraged", but allowed, which is definitely a perk. If you do plan on making a fire, I'd recommend having plenty of starter fluid and paper on hand, as fuels may be moist.

If you are really adventurous, in the morning, you could continue for an additional 7 miles to camp at Wahtum lake:

Wow! Looks idyllic!

Hoofing it all the way to Wahtum Lake would make for a round-trip exceeding 30 miles, however, so it would need to be a full weekend trip. I have yet to make it past Tunnel Falls, so if you are planning on going, please invite me!

(Click for full size)

 FYI: Parking is $5 per car, per day.

For more information on Eagle Creek, including history and directions, visit:


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