Portland, OR: Eagle Creek to Twister Falls

Get your fill of breathtaking waterfalls on this 13.1-mile out-and-back in the Columbia River Gorge that visits Punchbowl Falls, Tunnel Falls, and Twister Falls.
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Get your fill of breathtaking waterfalls on this 13.1-mile out-and-back in the Columbia River Gorge that visits Punchbowl Falls, Tunnel Falls, and Twister Falls.

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

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 21.1

Waypoints

EAG001

Location: 45.636945, -121.919639

From the Eagle Creek trailhead, the trail climbs 200 feet in the first 0.2 mile, then descends into lush forest.

EAG002

Location: 45.6311, -121.907129

Pass the first of several sections of trail that have been blasted out of the cliffside (cables are mounted to the rock wall for support).

EAG003

Location: 45.63071, -121.903621

At the second cable section, look for bright yellow monkeyflower that grows on the moist rock walls.

EAG004

Location: 45.627688, -121.897195

Follow the spur on the right to a viewpoint of Metlako Falls.

EAG005

Location: 45.627147, -121.897543

Take in views of the first waterfall on the trail: Metlako Falls. Return to the main trail by forking right at the junction just before the viewpoint.

EAG006

Location: 45.625292, -121.894807

Cross Sorenson Creek.

EAG007

Location: 45.624776, -121.896003

Bear right on the spur to Lower Punchbowl Falls, a popular swimming hole.

EAG008

Location: 45.62335, -121.895092

Lower Punchbowl Falls: This popular dayhike destination is also a favorite swimming hole. You'll find a deep pool below the falls.

EAG009

Location: 45.622314, -121.894598

Two miles from the trailhead, enjoy a great viewpoint of Punchbowl Falls.

EAG010

Location: 45.621932, -121.893557

Cross the bridge over Tish Creek. During the spring and summer, look for wildflowers along the trail.

EAG011

Location: 45.616319, -121.886873

Cross the bridge over a small creek, which flows into Eagle Creek to the west.

EAG012

Location: 45.612747, -121.886272

Near mile 3.3, look for a short spur that leads to a campsite on a small wooded bluff above Eagle Creek.

EAG013

Location: 45.612371, -121.88565

Traverse another cable section.

EAG014

Location: 45.609255, -121.883667

Enjoy a view of Loowit Falls from across Eagle Creek.

EAG015

Location: 45.609035, -121.883254

Cross another cable section.

EAG016

Location: 45.608266, -121.88255

Cross the High Bridge over a deep slot cut by Eagle Creek.

EAG017

Location: 45.605737, -121.88168

View an unnamed, tiered waterfall through the trees.

EAG018

Location: 45.604446, -121.880982

At Tenas Camp, look for a few secluded camps on the hillside.

EAG019

Location: 45.600539, -121.877866

Cross another bridge over Eagle Creek.

EAG020

Location: 45.5993, -121.877601

When you spot two waterfalls near mile 4.4, look for a secluded campsite on the creek side of the trail.

EAG021

Location: 45.598471, -121.874707

A spur trail leads to a small campsite.

EAG022

Location: 45.597014, -121.87211

Pass the sign indicating the entrance to Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness.

EAG023

Location: 45.596128, -121.871316

Pass a campsite near the trail.

EAG024

Location: 45.594785, -121.868366

Cross a small bridge over the creek.

EAG025

Location: 45.594491, -121.868166

The trail passes several campsites, some with water access.

EAG026

Location: 45.592345, -121.866467

All hikers and backpackers are required to self-register at this wilderness kiosk.

EAG027

Location: 45.592127, -121.865909

Cross a log over a small inlet stream.

EAG028

Location: 45.591075, -121.862842

Pass a junction with the faint, overgrown connector to the Pacific Crest Trail.

EAG029

Location: 45.588838, -121.860428

The Blue Grouse Camp offers a few sites on the creek side of the trail.

EAG030

Location: 45.584852, -121.854247

This high cliff offers a view of another unnamed waterfall.

EAG031

Location: 45.58433, -121.854022

A steep spur leads to a small, rocky beach and pool below the unnamed waterfall.

EAG032

Location: 45.585071, -121.852538

A steep spur trail leads to the base of Tunnel Falls.

EAG033

Location: 45.583087, -121.851795

The fifth cable section runs above a very high section of cliffside trail.

EAG034

Location: 45.582162, -121.85197

Multi-tiered Twister Falls marks the turnaround point of the trip. Hike to a resting point and water access above the falls before following the same route back to the trailhead.

Cascade

Location: 45.616319, -121.886594

© Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

Eagle Trailhead

Location: 45.636952, -121.91951

© Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

Eagle Trail

Location: 45.636209, -121.916742

© Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

High Wire

Location: 45.631191, -121.906689

© Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

Monkeyflower

Location: 45.630418, -121.90316

© Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

Metlako Falls

Location: 45.627154, -121.897345

© Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

Lower Punchbowl

Location: 45.623354, -121.895011

© Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

Punchbowl Falls

Location: 45.622322, -121.894459

A view of Punchbowl Falls from the trail. © Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

Penstemon

Location: 45.620506, -121.892088

© Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

Eagle Cascades

Location: 45.610645, -121.88462

© Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

Loowit Falls

Location: 45.609272, -121.883526

© Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

Double Falls

Location: 45.599341, -121.87741

© Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

WyEast Camp

Location: 45.594342, -121.868023

© Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

Check-In

Location: 45.592352, -121.866328

© Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

Bunchberry

Location: 45.586526, -121.8562

Find groupings of this small, white flower in numerous sections of the Eagle Creek trail. © Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

Tunnel Falls

Location: 45.585152, -121.852112

© Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

Cliffside

Location: 45.583095, -121.851532

© Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com

Twister Falls

Location: 45.582178, -121.851704

© Eli Boschetto/BoscoMountainPhoto.com