Copyright 2009 - 2010 by Mario D. Vaden
Image: one of countless waterfalls along Eagle Creek
Eagle Creek trail is one of my all-time favorites, included on my Oregon Hiking page. The trail follows Eagle Creek most of the way and water can be heard during most of the hike. Check out my Oregon Album for a few more photos of this trail and canyon.
This trail along Eagle Creek is becoming increasingly popular. The people are generally friendly, but you may want to hike there on a weekday or off-season to spread out the use or have a more tranquil visit.
Hikers can go 3 miles, 5 miles or 7 miles. Take your pick of distance: there are several waterfalls. Including seasonal falls from autumn to the beginning of summer, the waterfalls seem countless. This is a popular stop for locals and vacationers, but worth visiting. Here are the GPS: 45.621183, -121.893325 for Punch Bowl Falls up the trail and 45.639493, -121.931875 to Hy. I-84 exit for parking.
Eagle Creek trail is in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area. Drive east on Interstate 84, exit at the Eagle Creek exit, one mile past the Bonneville Dam exit. It is immediately after a small tunnel. You don't want to pass this exit. The parking is accessible to eastbound traffic. If you are coming from the east, you need to exit at Bonneville Dam and head east again for a short distance. You may want to tour the Dam too - there are viewing windows to watch Salmon swim by.
At about 1.7 miles up Eagle Creek hiking trail, Lower Punch Bowl Trail branches to the right. Other falls and little canyons are farther up the trail. If you just want to entertain younger children for the day, there is plenty of space to play by the creek and picnic area. There is a little bit of something for almost everybody
Be prepared to cover a small parking fee if you don't have a permit already.
Consider including the one hour hiking trail up Beacon Rock on the Washington side of the Columbia River if you hike just 2 or 3 miles at Eagle Creek trail and have extra energy left. The view from Beacon Rock is spectacular. Cross the river at Cascade Locks.