Eagle Creek Trail: Hiking to Lower Punchbowl & Tunnel Falls – Oregon

Eagle Creek Trail has been described as one of Oregon’s most spectacular paths.  There are multiple waterfalls along the trail.  It can be quite the thrill walking along the cliff ledges.  The gem of this hike was the 120 foot waterfall, with a tunnel behind it (also with a bare cliff ledge to walk on).  The whole hike was roughly 12 miles.20150531_114348

20150531_114631 The first part of the trail follows along the creek, which we followed until it slowly turned up and away until we were surrounded by cedars and mossy maples.  As we hiked we came to a fork in the path, we choose the right side which took us to Lower Punchbowl Falls.  It had a rocky bank where other hikers were eating their lunch.  We enjoyed a light snack here while we rested.

Eagle Creek Trail Oregon

Soon after continuing on the trail we came to Punchbowl Falls. We viewed the waterfall from the opposite side of the canyon. We stayed long enough to snap a few pictures and marvel at natures beauty, but were soon off again on Eagle Creek Trail.20150531_124954As we continued to hike through the woods, we also continued to rise in elevation.  Occasionally we came across the streams and creeks.  Some of which you can walk over by logs or rocks; others have bridges that are built over them.

Occasionally we stopped to snack and re-hydrate.  The trail is mainly covered by the branches of trees, but sometimes we found ourselves exposed to the sun.  On certain sections we walked along cliff edges, which made us feel like we were being baked in an oven as the day progressed.20150531_133851

After about 5 miles we were close to Tunnel Falls.  Once we had reached it we had gained a total of 1,200 feet of elevation! It was marvelous to see.

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We walked a little past Tunnel Falls, around the turn of the cliff to find a place to rest.  We came to a small fall soon with rock beds above to sit on.  We sat on the flat rocks and put our feet in the water to cool down.  It was roughly 6 miles back the way we came.  Yavanna almost was able to hike all the way, it was about 3 miles to go and she didn’t want to go any further.  Casey carried her the rest of the way to the car!20150531_174503

Overall it was a great hike!  Casey and I have talked about doing the trail again as a over-night camping trip to further explore the trail.

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