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Eagle Creek - Tanner Butte Loop Professional Review and Guide
"The second most famous and perhaps most enjoyable hike in the gorge."
--Russ Schneider, revised by Jim Yuskavitch, Hiking The Columbia River Gorge (Falcon Guides).
Amazing views and worth the trip, be prepared and fill up at every point you can find water!
This trail trip was actually an accident that turned out to be one of the most challenging things I've done in my life physically and mentally. We were with a small group and started out at Eagle creek making our way up to 7 1/2 mile camp for first night. First mistake for beginner hiking adults- don't try to keep up with the teenagers!:) Two of us adults left early to get a head start and missed the fork turn left we were supposed to take. At the creek we found a clearly orange marked stream crossing and that's where it all began- the climbing, that to a novice backpacker made me understand why every ounce in that pack makes a difference.
Views are breath taking at Tanner Butte, the down side of trail was smooth and gradual and looking back the preferred route to take for this loop to start at Eagle creek side. Refill at every water source if you're a beginner that makes a wrong turn onto a difficult trail like this and it'll be a joy to reflect on conquering this difficult climb. A memory that will last forever!
Amazing hike in the spring. The velocity of the water in Punch Bowl Falls is incredible.
I Loved this Hike! I started from the Tanner Butte side instead of Eagle Creek to get away from the crowds and it was worth it I saw no one else the entire time (super heavy rains might have contributed a bit). The View from Tanner Butte is well worth the very uphill climb from the trail head. I had to cut the trip short and turn around half way down the Eagle-Tanner Trail because I ran out of trail and was completely hedged in with brush. I don't know if I am an idiot or what but I could not find a way through. On my next visit I am going to go the traditional route and start from Eagle Creek and see if the trail is any easier from the bottom up.
A fun trail, said it would take three days but we did it in 48 hours. The trail was kept up but we, along with another party, got lost on the backside, where it sounds like it is harder to follow the trail. Some water sources were dried up when we thought there would be some but there were plenty of other streams. 7 1/2 mile camp was really crowded but a lot of people back in to the camp and head back down. The rest of the loop let's you run into a few other parties but overall, a great weekend backpacking trip
The Eagle Creek Trail truly is one of the crown jewels of the Columbia River Gorge. While the first 6 miles of this trail can be crowded on weekend days, mile after mile of cascading waterfalls makes up for the lack of solitude. I have done the trail back to Tunnel Falls dozens of times and still am awestruck by it. Beyond Tunnel Falls the trail becomes more overgrown from the lack of traffic and the woods continue to get more and more dense for a truly wilderness experience until the last 6 miles or so of the loop. There Big Cedar Springs Camp at 11.5 miles is beautiful and a pleasant surprise after some monotonous hiking. There was still plenty of snow on the trail when we hiked it and required a bit of routefinding to re-find the forest service road just before the cutoff trail to Tanner Butte. Definitely bring your map and compass! The scramble up to Tanner Butte is tough, but well worth it for the uninhibited views. The last five miles switchback steeply back down to Eagle Creek, but are pleasant enough with wildflowers and small waterfalls dotting the way.
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