Eagle Creek Trail #440
NOTE: The following two books are highly recommended for anyone interested in hiking in the Columbia River Gorge: Hiking the Columbia River Gorge, and 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon. I own both and consider them indispensable for hiking the Columbia River Gorge.
Length: 13.2 miles (one way)
Trail Uses: Hiking
Facilities available: Parking, Restrooms, Picnicing, Drinking Water, Camping
Season of Use: Year-round (lower portion of trail ) June to November (higher portion of trail).
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation: 110 to 3360 feet
Visitor Use: X Heavy
Directions to Eagle Creek trail
Eastbound I-84, take exit # 41. There is no Westbound exit at Eagle Creek – exit at Bonneville Dam and backtrack on I-84 to exit # 41.
View Eagle Creek Trail in a larger map
Eagle Creek Trail Description
This trail begins at Eagle Creek Campground and ends at Wahtum Lake. From Eagle Creek Overlook (120’) the trail climbs gradually southeast following Eagle Creek. After 2 miles the trail reaches spectacular Punch Bowl Falls (500’), where water spills 100 feet into a blue-green pool set in a large grotto. The trail continues following Eagle Creek under heavy forest 1.6 miles to High Bridge (560’), which traverses the gorge 150 feet above the creek. From High Bridge the trail heads southeast 1.4 miles, enters the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness, and continues 0.4 mile to the junction with Eagle Benson Trail #434. From the junction the trail climbs 0.8 mile to Tunnel Falls (1,240’), where the trail passes through a tunnel behind a shower of falling water. Continuing along Eagle Creek, the trail heads due south 1.6 miles to the junction with Eagle Tanner Trail #433 (1,560’). The trail leaves Eagle Creek at this junction and heads northeast. The trail climbs around a ridge above East Fork Eagle Creek after 2 miles and begins to turn south. 0.1 mile after turning south, the trail reaches the junction with Indian Springs Trail #435 (2,560’). Turn left (east) to stay on #440 and continue climbing 6 miles to the trails end at the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail #2000 near Wahtum Lake (3,800’). Follow #2000 along the south shore of Wahtum Lake to reach the parking area near Wahtum Lake Campground.
Eagle Creek Trail Features
This trail enters the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness Area. The Eagle Creek Trail is the most popular trail in the Columbia Gorge. It follows Eagle Creek through the forest and along paths carved into basalt cliffs. A relatively easy hike, Eagle Creek Trail offers spectacular viewpoints and waterfalls. On parts of this trail, there are sheer cliffs with no guard rails, so this hike may not be suitable for children ort hose afraid of heights. This trail is part of a multi-day loop opportunity which continues into the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness on the Hood River Ranger District in the Mt. Hood National Forest.