Eagle Creek Trail #440

Area Status: Not Cleared

Scenic View of Eagle Creek

As you hike through the forest and along paths carved into the basalt cliffs and enjoy the spectacular views and waterfalls, it is easy to see why Eagle Creek Trail is the most popular trail in the Columbia Gorge.

Note: Although the overall grade of this trail is less than 5%, there are sheer cliffs with no hand rails on parts of this trail, so this hike may not be suitable for children or those afraid of heights. 

Trail Features: Punch Bowl Falls, where water spills 100 feet into a blue-green pool set in a large grotto; High Bridge, which traverses a narrow gorge, 150 feet above the creek; and Tunnel Falls, where the trail passes through a tunnel behind the shower of falling water.  Jumping or diving off of Punchbowl Falls is strictly prohibited.  Also, dogs are required to be on leash.  Each year several unleashed dogs fall off of or chase other dogs off of the steep cliffs.

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.  If you are hiking overnight, it is recommended that you park your car near the day use host site as it will be more secure there than at the trailhead. At about mile 5 you enter Wilderness where a free permit is required (available at the wilderness boundary).

Link to Trail Description and Map (PDF File)

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 12/14/15: The first steel bridge, at milepost 2.0, Tish Creek, just past Punchbowl Falls, has been severely damaged. A large tree destroyed it. Please do not attempt to cross it. Report conditions: (541) 308-1700.
Permit Info: Wilderness Permits are required when entering Mark O Hatfield Wilderness. Free permits are self-issued at the Wilderness boundary.  
Usage: Heavy
  • Wilderness restriction apply in Mark O Hatfield Wilderness.
  • Motor vehicles and bikes are prohibited.
  • Fires not allowed within 200 feet of trail, 1000 feet in wilderness
  • Jumping or diving off of Punchbowl Falls is prohibited.
  • All dogs must be on leash.
Closest Towns: Cascade Locks, OR
Passes: A valid Recreation Pass is required at Eagle Creek trailhead.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

General Information


From Portland, OR: Travel east on Interstate 84 to exit #41 which is just past the interstate tunnel. Get in the right lane before entering the tunnel. Take a right at the end of the off ramp and follow the signs to the Eagle Creek Trailhead/Picnic Area

From Cascade Locks, OR: Travel west on Interstate 84 approximately 3 miles to Bonneville Dam exit #40 (there is no westbound exit #41). Turn left at the stop sign, go under the interstate and then turn left onto the eastbound freeway entrance. Travel east approximately 1 mile on Interstate 84 to exit #41 which is just past the Interstate tunnel. Get in the right lane before entering the tunnel. Take a right at the end of the off ramp and follow the signs to the Eagle Creek Trailhead/Picnic Area



Hide detail HIDE

Day Hiking

This trail follows a cliff for portions and can be very dangerous when slippery.  Not suitable for young children. 


One of the most popular backpacking trails; there are multiple camping sites along the trail.  Also loop opportunities with other Gorge trails abound. Please consult a good, up to date map when planning backpacking trips. 

Nature Viewing

Show detail SHOW