One of my best ideas in Portland must’ve been to explore the nature outside of the city. On Thursday, I drove about an hour further inland to go hiking on the Eagle Creek Trail which promised beautiful landscape and a ton of waterfalls.
As most trails that I’ve seen so far in the U.S., this one started with a parking lot, restrooms and some nice and helpful overview information. Admission was $5 and you were able to pay at the self service station.
Just some 100m into the trail, the first small waterfalls showed up. It seemed as if water was dripping everywhere; the whole ground was quite wet.
I started my hike around 10 a.m. which allowed me to watch some nice god rays shoot through the trees.
This fellow hiker here was in front of or behind me through most of the hike. He must’ve been local since he knew the trail very well.
The trails followed the Eagle Creek throughout the whole time; sometimes on the right and sometimes on the left side of the stream.
After the first 2 miles or so, the trail went higher and higher with a quite steep slope to the side.
At two points, there were small trails that lead from the main trail to some dedicated viewpoints.
At this viewpoint here, one could see not only a beautiful waterfall but also some fog that was trapped in the valley.
Below is a picture from the next viewpoint that went all the way down to the stream and allowed me to walk around by the water.
Then I arrived at this bridge here where I adhered to the note and stayed off for my own safety. I had read a note about this bridge at the beginning of the trail as well. Since I couldn’t find it on the map, I had hoped that it wasn’t a bridge on the main trail. Turns out it was and so I turned myself.
Thankfully, on my way back, I ran into the other hiker and told him that the bridge collapsed. He told me that it has been like that for a year or so now but that there was a way around that I hadn’t seen. So I followed him to continue on the trail.
The next bridge that I had to cross looked a lot better than the other one.
A couple of miles later (probably at mile 5 or so), a sign showed up that indicated that wilderness starts at this point. A hiker was supposed to enter their information in a form and take a slip onto the trail. Probably so they can identify your remains when they find you years later. The sign also indicated that you should be prepared to come across bears and cougars and should have a plan ready in case that happens.
I filled out the form, made a plan (turn around and run) and continued. After the next curve, the trail could’ve used a bridge across the river but there was none. This time, it didn’t look like you could make it across with dry feet. Therefore, I decided to turn around for real this time - without having seen the “Tunnel Falls” which should’ve been the highlight of the trip.
Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun and enjoyed the beautiful landscape. Also, the 10 miles round trip that I had walked were enough for the day.
On my way back in the car, I took a detour and drove around Mt. Hood - A decision that I do not regret.