The Eagle Creek trail is well-known to Oregonians, and heavily visited throughout the year. However, few outside the state know about this wild canyon, though almost everyone has seen at least one of the many waterfalls in a scenic calendar or postcard. The string of waterfalls, deep, fern-lined gorges and towering cliffs are typical of the Columbia River Gorge, but nowhere else in the Gorge is there such a concentration of spectacular scenery.

The lower seven miles of trail are literally carved into cliffs, often hundreds of feet above the stream. The exposure is so great that cables are installed in the rock to give hikers some sense of safety. Dogs and children are discouraged on this trail, as a result. This lower section of the trail is the focus of these pages.

Also note that if you visit Eagle Creek, you must purchase a Northwest Forest Pass ($5 for one day or $30 per year) to park at the trailhead. Parking is plentiful, though late arrivals will spend the first half-mile walking to the trailhead!

Though the Eagle Creek trail is continually within earshot of running water, you should plan on carrying your own supply, or bringing equipment to purify stream water. The cliff sections are extremely exposed, so anyone subject to vertigo should proceed carefully, and turn back if the first set of cliffs are uncomfortable... they only get higher, and more exposed! Also, camping is strictly limited to designated campsites, which fill up early. This trail is subsequently best done as a day hike.

The elevation gain to the 7-mile mark is modest, with gradual climbs spread throughout the hike. However, the trail surface is often rocky and uneven, and anything less than a good pair of hiking shoes or boots is not adequate. Also keep in mind that the Columbia Gorge is home to poison oak, and it grows along some sections of the Eagle Creek trail. If you're susceptible to it, keep an eye out in sunny, open cliff-tops and open oak forests. Long pants are a good idea is you're particularly sensitive - and this applies to any trail in the Columbia Gorge. For up-to-date trail information, check out the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area website.

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