Lower Punchbowl Trail (#440B)


Area Status: Open
Punchbowl Falls

This short 0.2 mile spur trail starts 1.8 miles into Eagle Creek Trail #440 and leads down to Eagle Creek. At one time there was a pebble beach and easy access to the exquisite amphitheater at the base of Lower Punch Bowl Falls--in 2019 the western cliffwall collapsed, and the creek is choked with angular rubble. Note also that winter and early spring conditions tend to be cold, wet, and icy due to the cooling effect of the north-facing slot canyon.  

Alert: Cliff jumping/diving into Upper or Lower Punch Bowl Falls is prohibited and violators are subject to a fine of $300.  

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Be extremely cautious when attempting to cross Eagle Creek to reach Punch Bowl.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions:
  • Motor vehicles and bikes are prohibited.
  • Fires not allowed within 200 feet of trail.
  • Title 36 CFR 261.50 (a) and (b)state: cliff jumping/diving into Punch Bowl Falls, and/or Upper and Lower Punch Bowl Falls is prohibited. Excemptions: Persons with a permit/contract or any Federal, State or local officer or member of any organized rescue force.
Closest Towns: West of Cascade Locks, OR  
Restroom: Near the Eagle Creek Day Use Site
Passes: A valid Recreation Pass is required at the Eagle Creek trailhead.
Information Center: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

General Information

Directions:

Eagle Creek Day Use/Picnic Area/Trailhead

From Portland, OR: Travel east on Interstate 84 to exit #41.  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 #41. Take a right at the end of the off ramp and follow the signs to the picnic area and trailhead.


Activities

Day Hiking

Hiking in from Eagle Creek Campground to Lower Punchbowl would make a great day hike.

Backpacking

As part of Eagle Creek Trail, this is a good stop for backpackers as part of a longer adventure. Several overnight loops can be made with connector trails. Please consult a good, up to date map when planning your hike.

Viewing Scenery

Punchbowl Falls with its deep pool is an impressive scene.

Swimming

The pebble beach at the end of this trail is a popular wading and swimming hole, but is not an officially designated swimming area so there are no lifeguards. Swim at your own risk. Use caution and carefully scout water levels and temperatures, as conditions just under the water are unpredictable. Strong currents and shifting rocks, sand, gravel, and logs can pose serious hazards. Gorge’s streams tend to be frigid, so the risk of hypothermia is very real.

Alert: Jumping or diving off of Punchbowl Falls is prohibited (as there have been deaths in the past) and violators are subject to a fine of $300.  

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Highlights

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
0.2 miles