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Eagle Creek Day Use Area

Area Status: Unreachable

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. Today's restroom still retains the famous nickname "Big John" which was given to the earlier 1916 structure, which 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 (still closed for repairs).

A lovely suspension bridge which once allowed hikers to cross Eagle Creek for the Gorge Trail #400 and Wauna Viewpoint Trail #402 did not fare so well in the fire. Intense heat snapped a cable, causing the bridge to warp, so it was removed to prevent further damage to the downstream hatchery and other infrastructure. 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. 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: 12/14/2018: Currently inaccessible due to a small debris slide at the exit. Eagle Creek Day Use area and Picnic site only are open. NOTE: Eagle Creek Trail is still closed for public safety due to post-fire hazards and unstable conditions.
Operational Hours: No water or flush toilets available from November 1 to April 30 each year. Portable toilets are available from November 1 to April 30.
Fees $5/vehicle/day
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: Cascade Locks, OR
Water: Potable Water
Restroom: Flush Toilet (2)
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

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.


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.


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



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