Eagle Creek

Return to Message Board

I'm planning a week full of camping and backpackign with my wife in Oregon.

Eagle Creek jumped out at me as one of the places to visit in the Columbia River Gorge area.  I was thinking I'd want to hike all the way up to Tunnel Falls through verigo mile and possibly camp at Seven 1/2 camp.

so, Eagle Creek has a reputation of a great hike but crowded.  Planning on hitting the trail on Monday or Tues morning in mid August.  Will the crowds still be bad?...ie is it worth it?

Then, does it make sense to hike out the next day the same way we came? Would we do a loop.  I saw Waltham lake, but it seemed to be multiple nights.  Is there a 1 nighter loop?  Can that Waltham Lake loop be done in 2 days/1 night.

Those are my questions.  I plan to then jet further east in Oregon


If you do an overnight at Eagle Creek and have a car, park beside the fish hatchery and the camp-ground hosts as there has been recent issues with car vandals for cars parked closer to the Eagel Creek trailhead.  If you park in the lot where the camp-ground hosts are, your vehicle should be okay.
 I love cape lookout as a nice day hike maybe 5 miles round trip - one of my favorites on the coast - views both directions high up on the spit looking out over the water, lovely sitka spruce and old growth, gentle rolling grade.  You feel like youre in a japanese wood block print.

For gorge hikes you cant get nicer than eagle creek - it does get crowded, park at the bathrooms and walk in - get a NW forest pass.  Gentle grade, some exposure with steep drops - they have wire hand rails at these locations, but I like to have hiking poles with a back pack.  Gorgeous falls all the way.  Great as either a day hike (long) or overnight.

We have camped on the way to 7.5 mile and at Indian springs.  Camping in eagle creek is lovely, hang your food - lots of small crittters.  No mosquitoes.
It's a steep uphill to Indian Springs direct.  Wahtum has mosquitoes so maybe camp on the stretch before getting to the lake.  Chinidere is a nice dry excursion from Wahtum

If youre just visiting the gorge for the first time - it will be hard to pass up seeing all the waterfalls.  There are easily 6 to drive to and just run up to the top - multnomah, wahkeena, latourelle, elowah,  oneonta to horsetail to triple, wahclella...

The gift shop has free maps of the gorge trails - most interconnect at the top - in case you get to wandering, or want to do a loop or maybe start the PCT. 
 Thanks for the advice.  Would it still be a good plan to camp one night and return or is a better as a day hike?

I am going to start off west on the coast.   We were thinking of doing a day hike at Hart's Cove and camping at the state park at Cape Lookout.    Eagle Creek for a night.. Afer that, ...still trying to decide. Perhaps the Three Sisters area  South Sister summit looks interesting.

 Trying to get a good mix of camping, day hikes, and/or short backpack trip.  

Interested in thoughts as I've never been to Oregon.  We are experiencing 105-110 degree temps every day in Austin so i'm looking forward to some great hiking and cooler temps!

I think you'll be fine on a Monday or Tuesday morning and I would reccomend the trail.  You get a lot of waterfalls for not too much work.  I would do this as an out-and-back.  It's about a 25 mile loop (give or take a couple miles) to go to Wahtum Lake and return via Benson Plateau and there is quite a bit of elevation gain.  A shorter loop does exist, but it's a rough hike, it would make you miss tunnel falls, and a couple of others, and it doesn't really get you any better scenery.

Where else you headed in Oregon?