60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Portland
by Paul Gerald (Menasha Ridge Press)
© Paul Gerald/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
This was my third time hiking this trail once each season, winter, spring, and fall. And it was very drastic the difference from the winter/spring to end of summer. It is still amazing anytime so scenic and enormous trees any visiting family will be impressed.
But I felt it was way more impressive during the Winter and then secondly during the spring, just due to the amount of water and output of the waterfalls, and just all the other minature streams and stuff that just wasnt even there during the end of the summer. The falls were weaker and less impressive after seeing them during the winter when they were exploding with power.
I have done this trip several times. We usually stay at one of those campgrounds just prior to Tunnel Falls. No matter who I bring, they are always impressed beyond belief with the beauty of the whole hike.
My wife and I hit this trail to kick off our new backpacking hobby. Neither of us have much hiking experience but found this trail both beautiful and a little challenging. We packed about 25-30 lbs each and camped at about 7 miles in. It took us about 2 hours. (I realize now that we carried too much).
The trail provided amazing views of Eagle Creek sometimes from 80 foot cliffs. Not for those with a fear of heights. The falls were beautiful and the trees were mossy. I was a surprised at how many people were there on a Tuesday though. We passed another party roughly every 10 minutes. We spoke with one hiker who came from the lake (14 or so miles in). I'd like to go back and see if we can make it that far in.
One of my first and one of my favorite Oregon hikes. If it is mossy green goodness you seek then look no longer. In Spring the canyon walls are dripping wet. The waterfalls range from serene to raging and the waters are crystal clear.
If there is a trail "masterpiece," this would be it. I did a quick solo backpack up Eagle Creek Trail over a couple of days in late September 2006. It has been about 9 years since I've hiked here and it's still a spectacular trail. The views are fantastic. The trail is very well designed and maintained. Eagle Creek should be a required visit for those who design future trails, cause they got this one right when it was build back around 1910. All the things a backpack wants are there. Eagle Creek trail has never ending beauty, excellent camp areas, water is almost always near. My first camp (Friday) was near the Wy East area, about 4.5 miles in. The next day I hiked the short distance to 7 1/2 mile camp and just spend a day in the forest. Exploring Eagle Creek, next to my camp, was very cool! There are at least 5 great campsites at this location. I noticed 6-8 other backpacking parties along the trail as I hiked out early Sunday morning. Much is said about the big crowds here, but most of the crowd is dayhikers who hike only to Punchbowl viewpoint, which is about 2 miles in. I highly recommend you see Tunnel Falls, 6 miles in. This area is the most beautiful I've ever seen on a trail!
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