Eagle Creek Day Use Area

Area Status: Open
Eagle Creek Trail as it leaves the trailhead and heads up the creek.

This historic site is a great accessible spot for a picnic alongside the mouth of the stunning Eagle Creek slot canyon. Today's picnic area was once the site of the first developed campground in the U.S. Forest Service, with facilities that were later rebuilt during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps structures. On site remains the famous historic restroom (currently closed) nicknamed "Big John." The 1916 structure was the first flush toilet in the U.S. Forest Service. 

Look for the historic Community Kitchen Pavilion perched on the hillside, which is wheelchair accessible. Stone ovens and an old trail register sit on the road to the trailhead. All the site's historic structures were saved by firefighters in 2017, when a massive wildfire known as Eagle Creek Fire started on nearby Eagle Creek Trail #440.

Due to post-fire hazards on the landscapes, many other area trails including Ruckel Creek Trail #405 are still closed while crews clear and stabilize trails.

The roads have tight curves, so trailers longer than 20 feet trailer cannot fit into this recreation area.

The paved Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, great for road biking or a scenic run, runs to the town of Cascade Locks to the east and runs west to connect with the Historic Columbia River Highway Waterfall Corridor (where bikes must share the road with cars). 

The state-run Cascade Hatchery is located onsite, offering self-guided tours. During the fall, visitors can view chinook and coho salmon spawning at Eagle Creek. Please protect spawning salmon by looking without touching. Do not throw rocks or poke salmon with sticks and stay out of the creek during spawning season.



At a Glance

Current Conditions: A valid recreation pass is required. 
Fees: Day use fee of $5/vehicle/day or a valid pass.
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: Cascade Locks, OR
Water: No potable water (2020 season)
Restroom: Portable Toilets (2020 season)
Passes: Recreation Passes may be used as a form of fee payment. 
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 picnic area and trailhead. 

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 #41which is just past the interstate tunnel...get int the right hand lane before entering the tunnel. Take a right at the end of the off ramp and follow the signs to the picnic area and trailhead.

General Notes:

eagle Creek trailhead and road.  Eagle Creek trailhead sign

Eagle Creek Trailhead approach and fee station information board.

Paved path and main entrance to historic restroom facility.  Paved path leading through Eagle Creek Day use area picnic tables.

Restroom at Eagle Creek Trailhead and Day Use Area.


Please park in designated spaces only.  Do not park in front of fish hatchery or along roadways or in areas marked "No Parking." There is a self-service pay station at the picnic area and the trailhead.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking

This area provides access to a number of trails of varying length. 

Areas for Day Hiking at Eagle Creek Day Use Area


Two accessible tables on site.

No. of Sites 2
Reservation Info None
No. of Accessible sites 2

Group Picnicking

Accessible picnic tables and fire rings in open and covered setting. Several tables inside CCC style picnic shelter. 

No. of Sites 4
Reservation Info First-come, first-served basis
Group Shelter CCC style shelter with accessible tables
Group Cooking Facilities No
Fire Information Fire stoves and stands are on site
Hookups - Electric No
No. of Accessible sites 4


There are no designated swimming areas in Eagle Creek, but the pebble shoreline at Lower Punchbowl Trail is a popular summer swimming hole.


  • Jumping off Punchbowl Falls is prohibited by law, as it has led to deaths in the past. Violators are subject to a $300 fine.
  • During the fall spawning run, it is critical to protect spawning salmon by staying out of the creek. Look but don't touch, throw rocks, poke salmon with sticks, or otherwise disturb them. 

Areas for Swimming at Eagle Creek Day Use Area

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities



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