Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

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Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
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  • Common western monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus).- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Short-styled thistle (Cirsium brevistylum).- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • - Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • One of the many perilous portions of the trail.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Impressive old-growth forest along the Eagle Creek canyon.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Metlako Falls.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Punchbowl Falls.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Punchbowl Falls.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Step moss (Hylocomium splendens).- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Impressive old-growth forest along the Eagle Creek canyon.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • View of High Bridge.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • View of Eagle Creek below High Bridge.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Western sword fern (Polystichum munitum).- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Indian pipe or "ghost plant" (Monotropa uniflora).- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Broadleaf stonecrop (Sedum spathulifolium).- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Cascades along Eagle Creek.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Slug eating the berries of False solomon's seal (Smilacina racemosa).- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • 175-foot Tunnel Falls.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • A closer look at the tunnel through the falls.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Crossover Falls, just above Tunnel Falls.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Moss clinging to a rock face near the "pot holes."- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Snowberry (Symphoricarpos).- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Low flow during some autumns allows for a more accessible view of Punchbowl Falls.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Punchbowl Falls at high flow after recent fall rains.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Leaving the trailhead early enough on a clear day might allow for a scene like this as the light reflects off the mist of the falls.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Eagle Creek Fall colors.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Eagle Creek Fall colors.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
  • Fall colors on the Historic Columbia Gorge Highway on the way to Eagle Creek.- Eagle Creek Hike to Tunnel Falls
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Seven waterfalls. Old-growth forest. Backcountry campsites. Swimming holes.
Cons: 
Dangerous cliffs. Trail may be challenging for dogs and people afraid of heights.
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Region:
Columbia River Gorge, OR
Congestion: 
High
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
NW Forest Pass
Total Distance: 
11.80 mi (18.99 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
130 ft (40 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
1,200 ft (366 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Dogs allowed: 
Yes
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Clear throughout the day.
86°F
53°

Sun

Partly cloudy overnight.
92°F
52°

Mon

Mostly cloudy starting in the evening.
89°F
56°

Tue

Rain starting in the afternoon.
70°F
55°

Wed

Drizzle in the morning.
68°F
50°

Thu

Drizzle starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening.
70°F
44°

Fri

Overcast throughout the day.
63°F
51°
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

Perhaps one of the most famous hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, Eagle Creek boasts all of the iconic features of the region: big waterfalls that shoot from eroded basalt cliffs, deep river pools, gnarled old-growth forest and colorful, exotic wildflowers.  Most folks hike only as far as picturesque Punchbowl Falls, a 4.2 mile round trip, and miss the turnoff to view Metlako Falls along the way. Keep in mind that these two falls are only the beginning of what this long and deep valley has to offer.  At the very least, make your way to High Bridge, a steel structure 300 feet above a narrow basalt chasm that is reminiscent of the Oneonta Gorge.  If your day allows for it, or if you have the luxury of spending the night in one of the campsites, hike through this Douglas fir and western red cedar forest to all seven waterfalls. Your efforts will be rewarded as you walk behind the 160-foot Tunnel Falls and the dramatic Crossover Falls .25 miles farther up the trail.

Note:  Overnight camping is only allowed past High Bridge, and campfires are not allowed during the peak summer months. If you are hiking with children and dogs, use caution. This hike contains narrow paths that are cut into basalt cliffs over precipitous drops.  During the winter months, large icicles may form on the cliff walls and fall onto the trail.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(35 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(166 within a 30 mile radius)

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