Eagle Creek- PCT

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 45.49890°N / 121.8586°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hike
Additional Information Time Required: One to two days
Additional Information Difficulty: Walk up
Sign the Climber's Log


See the "getting there" section on the front page to see how to access the TH.
There is a need for a NWTrail pass to park there but you should realize that on weekends, this place is jammed and you may have to walk quite a ways to the TH. The Eagle Creek Campground is nearby.

Route Description

The Eagle Creek Trail is the stellar trail in the Columbia Gorge and is considered by many who do the whole Pacific Crest Trail as one of their favorite parts. This is not on the PCT but is used as an alternate by many who want to see the waterfalls that are famous. Once you've hiked this trail, you'll return again and again. Trust me on that point. However, we're looking at getting to Buck Peak using this route so......

Starting off from the TH, you reach Metalko Fall in a brief 1.5 miles. A cable handrail is provided from time to time as you go up this trail since several sections of the trail are narrow with drop offs, making passing another hiker a little interesting at times. Shortly after Metalko falls, you come to Punch Bowl Falls (2 miles), one of most photographed spots in Oregon, next to probably Mt. Hood and Crater Lake. A couple of bridges are crossed, one being High Bridge at close to 3.3 miles. Campsites are soon available within the next quarter mile but you need to keep an eye open for them. The creek is crossed again on another bridge with decent camp sites just beyond.

My favorite falls, Tunnel Falls is found at the 6 mile mark. The trail actually goes behind the falls, a neat feature you'll rarely find anywhere else. On a hot day, this spot will cool you off as the spray will get you a little damp. The trail beyond is narrow (and often wet) with a cable handrail once again to help out a bit if needed. More falls are soon passed Crossover Falls and more campsites are found at the 7 to 7 1/2 mile mark. Realizing that if you turn around you already have a 15 mile day, it makes you realize that this is the LONG way to get to Buck Peak.

A juction with the Tanner Butte trail is reached at the 7.7 mile mark and it goes off to the right, don't take it, stay left.. At almost ten miles, you hook up with the PCT near Indian Spring camp. Once you hit the PCT, it is about 6 miles to the junction with the Buck Peak trail, which gives you one heck of a long day if you are a day hiker but most would find the 32 miles a little daunting. Bob Bolton's route to the peak actually started near the junction of the Eagle Creek - PCT trails so you could save a lot of miles or cut it down by leaving a vehicle at the Indian Springs Campground area for the return. However, the Eagle Creek portion is like fine food, it should be appreciated and savored.

Elevation gain is near 5000 feet (ups and downs included)

Topo maps: Tunnel Falls
7 1/2 mile camp

Eagle Creek - PCT junction

Essential Gear

Good footgear, mosquito repellent and probably camping gear. Best time for this length would be mid summer to mid fall. The Eagle Creek trail (FS 435) is an outstaniding trail and would make this a worthwhile trip if you weren't rushed and enjoy some backpacking.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.



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