It’s no wonder that hikers flock to the Eagle Creek Trail. Located in the lush confines of the Columbia River Gorge, the picturesque route cuts through old-growth forest and passes postcard-worthy wildflowers and waterfalls. From the trailhead, the trail climbs 200 feet in the first 0.2 mile, then descends into a forest of cedar and maple. Less than a mile in, the trail traverses the first of five cliffside sections that were blasted out of the canyon’s walls. (Use the mounted cables for support and watch your footing along this sometimes-slippery stretch of trail.)
After 1.5 miles, the trail passes a spur trail that leads to a viewpoint of the first waterfall: 100-foot Metlako Falls. Less than half a mile later, follow a second spur trail, which descends to Lower Punchbowl Falls, a popular swimming hole. From here, backtrack to the main trail and follow it farther up the canyon, passing vibrant wildflowers (monkeyflower, penstemon, and bunchberry). At 3.2 miles, traverse another cliffy section before reaching a viewpoint overlooking Loowit Falls. Past the falls, cross a bridge over a deep slot and continue southeast.
Near the turnaround point at mile 6, follow the cliffside trail toward Tunnel Falls—the trail passes through a tunnel behind the 120-foot waterfall. Continue another 0.75-mile to Vertical Mile and Twister Falls, a multi-tiered waterfall that cuts deep into the canyon’s basalt bedrock. When you’re ready, turn around and follow the same route back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Eli Boschetto, Bosco Mountain Photo