Great Oregon Hikes, Eagle Creek to High Bridge Hike

 Eagle Creek to High Bridge!

Eagle Creek Trailhead is the start of many great, classic Oregon hikes, including Punchbowl Falls, Tunnel Falls, & the hike we’re talking about here: Eagle Creek to High Bridge.  It won’t take you too long to get to Punchbowl Falls, just a couple miles ~ so if you’re up for more of a challenge, keep going past Punchbowl, on up to High Bridge.  The crowds will thin out a bit, & you’ll be able to get a fantastic view of the suspension bridge that sits high over Eagle Creek.  

All along Eagle Creek, you’ve got all the elements of a classic, Oregon hike: numerous waterfalls, tall rock cliffs, places to swim, & of course, the lush green forest that Oregon is known for.  And the great thing about Eagle Creek (if you’re an avid hiker), is that it keeps going, & going, & going….all the way to the Pacific Crest Trail!  Which means: you’re options here are endless. 

Keep in mind: there are some narrow ledges, steep drop-offs, & a few places where you need to use cables ~ so think about that before bringing young children or dogs on this hike.  Great Hikes Oregon, Eagle Creek to High Bridge via Eagle Creek

Map to Eagle Creek Trailhead

Eagle Creek Trailhead

Directions to Eagle Creek

Directions from Downtown Portland

Distance from Portland: 41 miles

  • Take I-84 East for 39 miles
  • Take Exit 41 towards Fish Hatchery
  • In 0.3 miles, Turn left on NE Eagle Creek Loop
  • In 200 feet, Arrive at Eagle Creek Trailhead

 ***Special Note: Be careful not to leave any valuables visible or in glove department of your car. Break-ins have been reported here, as many hikers continue onto the Pacific Crest Trail.

Eagle Creek to High Bridge Info

  • Starting Point: Eagle Creek Trailhead
  • Total Hike Distance: 6.4 miles round-trip
  • Hike Type: Out-and-back
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate incline, watch for narrow ledges 
  • Time: 3-4 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 850 feet
  • Pet-friendly: Yes, with caution on ledges
  • Kid-friendly: Use caution (narrow ledges, use of cables, & steep drop-offs)
  • Good for Trail-Running: Yes, past Punchbowl Falls
  • Crowded: Yes, especially in summer & weekends
  • Best Time to Go: Weekdays, year-round
  • All Seasons? Yes

Eagle Creek to High Bridge Photos

Eagle Creek to High Bridge Hike, Great Oregon Hikes

Walking through beautiful forest on a narrow path to High Bridge.

Eagle Creek to High Bridge Hike, Great Oregon Hikes

The payoff: a beautiful bridge suspended way up high over Eagle Creek.

Other Hikes Nearby!

Of course, the most obvious choice here is Punchbowl Falls, which you’ll come to before you reach High Bridge.  Head to Punchbowl if you’re looking to take a cool dip, though it may be crowded.  If you’re looking for more of a challenge & fewer people, keep going past High Bridge, on up to Tunnel Falls.  Or, if you want to make a complete weekend adventure of it, hike 13 miles from Eagle Creek Trailhead & you’ll come to the world-famous Pacific Crest Trail (yes, the one in “Wild,” by Cheryl Strayed).  From there, you can hike as many miles as you choose ~ up towards Canada, or down towards Mexico.  Have fun with that!

The Columbia River Gorge is FULL of amazing hikes ~ for a more complete list & a detailed map of the area, click here.  

Where to Stay & Drink!

Great Oregon Hikes, Angel's Rest Hike, McMenamins

Best place to stop & get a drink? McMenamins Edgefield.

If you’re headed back to Portland after doing Eagle Creek to High Bridge, chances are you’ll be hungry.  My favorite place to stop on the way home is McMenamins Edgefield, in Troutdale, OR.  It’ll be about halfway home from Eagle Creek, making it a great place to stop.  You’re also relatively close to Hood River at Eagle Creek, so if you feel like heading up that way to grab a beer at one of Hood River’s many great breweries, that’s a great option too.  If you want to stay the night in Hood River, check hotels here

Great Oregon Hikes, John Muir, Angel's Rest Hike

Get Prepared!

Light Windbreaker

Even during the summer in Portland, it’s never a bad idea to bring a light windbreaker.  Oregon weather can be unpredictable, & rain is always a possibility. 

Good Trail Running Shoes

The more you wear regular tennis shoes on the trail ~ the more you realize you need good trail running or hiking shoes.  You’ll get better ankle stability & have better traction, & typically are NOT white (like all my ruined Nike’s).

Small Backpack with Water

For most hikes, you’ll need water, some snacks, sunscreen, a hat, & possibly a swimsuit ~ plus whatever else you deem essential.  Small backpacks are perfect for day hikes ~ & this one includes a 2L hydration pack for you & your pup.

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles


Easily my favorite guidebook for hikes near Portland ~ it covers the Gorge, Mt. Hood, Portland, & the Oregon Coast.  Rip out pages for the hike you choose, especially on long hikes ~ or take a photo of trail directions & use as a guide.

Great Oregon Hikes, Thoreau Quote, Angel's Rest Hike
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