Eagle Creek Trailhead & Trail (#440)

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

Scenic View of Eagle Creek

This hike passes through forest, waterfalls, and sheer cliffs of basalt. Its spectacular views and waterfalls make it one of the most popular trails in the Columbia. Sheer cliffs have no hand rails on parts of this trail, so this hike is not be suitable for children or those afraid of heights, despite its gentle overall grade. 

Its iconic Punch Bowl Falls, about 2 miles up the trail, spills 100 feet into a blue-green pool set in a large grotto. High Bridge traverses a narrow gorge, 150 feet above the creek. At Tunnel Falls, the trail passes through a tunnel behind the shower of falling water.  

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. Around mile 5, you enter Wilderness where a free permit is required (available at the wilderness boundary).

Link to Trail Description and Map (.pdf)

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Closed due to unstable conditions from a 2017 fire. Closed due to unstable landscape from a 2017 wildfire. Violators can be cited and fined.
Fees $5/vehicle/day
Permit Info: Wilderness Permits are required when entering Mark O Hatfield Wilderness. Free permits are self-issued at the Wilderness boundary.  
  • Aircraft/UAS/drone takeoffs and landings are prohibited at this site. 
  • Jumping or diving off of Punchbowl Falls is prohibited.
  • Campfire prohibited June 1 - Sept 15. Fires not allowed within 100 feet of the trail during other times of the year.
  • All dogs must be on leash. Each year several unleashed dogs fall off of or chase other dogs off of the steep cliffs.
  • Motor vehicles and bikes are prohibited.
  • Additional Wilderness restrictions apply in Mark O Hatfield Wilderness.
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



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Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:

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


Recreation areas with activity Backpacking:

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

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