Eagle Creek Trail to Wahtum Lake

Dodson, Oregon 97014

Eagle Creek Trail to Wahtum Lake

Eagle Creek Trail to Wahtum Lake Professional Review and Guide

"The second most famous and perhaps most enjoyable hike in the Gorge. Eagle Creek Trail is second only to Multnomah Falls in popularity, being the hike with more waterfalls than any other in the Columbia Gorge. It is also one of the most flexible, offering day, overnight, and extended backpacking options."

Eagle Creek Trail to Wahtum Lake Reviews

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7/10/2018
PLEASE NOTE: TRAIL TEMPORARILY CLOSED - Sadly, this beautiful trail was devastated in the late summer and fall of 2017 by a terrible fire. According to officials this trail will remain closed for at least a year or more as the dangerous conditions are assessed and remediated by hard-working trail crews.
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6/29/2008
This is the one of the best trails I have ever hiked. Much of the trail is blasted out of the sides of lava cliffs. We went for a quick overnight and camped near 7.5 mile camp. the place was deserted, al the weekenders had left. we saw 1 person on the trail from 3pm until 9am the next day. The falls were dumping quite a bit of water especially since there is still significant snow as low as '4500. We were told that on the trail to Wathum you could get to within 1 mile of the lake before it became impassable because of snow. I'm sure I will be doing this trail several more times throughout my life... heck I might go back next week.
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3/3/2008
Absolutley one of the best trails i've hiked in many years. trailhead to tunnel falls makes a great daytrip or overnighter however wahtum lake not reccomended for the novice packer. After 7.5 mile camp trail becomes much more difficult (only making it that much more rewarding) Bear mace may also be a good idea in spring and fall, although i haven't seen any to date the lake and it's surrounding areas are prime bear turf.
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9/6/2007
Beautiful, bring a swimsuit for the many beautiful pools. Eagles-Benson trail was a nightmare (downed trees, missing trail, etc). Wahtum lake was very peaceful, totally worth it.
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8/10/2007
Went back packing with wife, and two children 11 and 13. We had heard a lot about Eagle Creek and this was our first hike there. We parked right near the camp hosts as they said there had been some car breakins at the trail head. The weather was perfect, in the low 80's, and on Friday it wasn't very crowded on the trail. On Saturday afternoon on our return it was a bit more crowded with day hikers, but still bearable. We camped at Tenas Camp which is about 3.5 miles from the trailhead. Note that there are probably 4 campsties at Tenas, but you have to look around. The first one you come to on the left is right on the trail and has no privacy. However, only 1 minute farther south on the right side you climb up the small hill, and there are 2 or 3 campsites that are not viewable from the trail. Water at the creek is only a few minutes away. Overall a great first backpacking trip for my family.
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8/1/2007
I power hiked to the lake and jogged back down; parts of the trail are very rocky with steep drop- offs, too dangerous to run. The trail is somewhat over- grown from 6-8 miles with fallen trees about 8 or 9 miles. I came face to face with a deer right after tunnel falls on a narrow part with cliffs below; after a couple minute staredown, I reached into my camelback to offer some Clifbar looked back up and she had disappeared. The views are nice the first 6 or 7 miles but not much after that. Lots of people were camping. No cell service with Verizon.
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7/7/2007
I hiked from the trailhead to just before the 7 1/2 Mile Camp. though it was crowded and quite rocky (which my feet are certainly feeling) there were quite a few impressive sights of waterfalls and rapids. No grand vistas but rather things much closer. The campsite was excellent as well - just a few paces from the river and nearly bug-free. The only real downside was that there were a few sections of extremely narrow and wet trail with a cliff 100 feet straight up on one side and 100 ft straight down on the other. There was a railing built into the cliffside but it's still not a place for children or anyone afraid of heights.
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5/28/2007
Beautiful -- there is a reason this is a popular trail. Been up to Tunnel falls before but needed to come back to make the push up to Wahtum Lake. The Lake is kinda anti-climatic, so if you only make it into the spring at 12-miles, don't worry too much. If we had stoped there, we would have had time to hang out by a camp fire and socialize (and my gf would have had more fun on her first backpacking trip). Instead we got into the lake at sunset and made dinner in the dark....
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10/1/2006
Excellent and very scenic route. Be caferful with dogs, lots of ledges.
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6/29/2006
Have only made it up to 7.5 mile camp after starting in the Gorge, but am looking forward to hiking all the way up to Wathum Lake. I hear that the trail becomes quite different when the trail begins to meander away from Eagle Creek .
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Eagle Creek Trail to Wahtum Lake Photos

Trail Information

Dodson
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
13.3
Distance
3,800 feet
Elevation Gain
Shuttle
Trail Type
Difficult
Skill Level
5 to 8 hours or overnight
Duration
May through October
Season
160 feet
Trailhead Elevation
3,960 feet
Top Elevation
Mount Hood National Forest, 16400 Champion Way, Sandy, OR 97055; (503) 668-1700; www.fs.usda.gov/mthood.
Local Contacts
USGS Whatum Lake, Tanner Butte, Bonneville Dam; Trails of the Columbia Gorge; Bonneville Dam Green Trails
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018