How to Get to Eagle Creek Hike!

Eagle Creek trail head is the start of several classic Oregon hikes, including Punchbowl Falls, Tunnel Falls, & the hike we’re talking about here: Eagle Creek to High Bridge.  It was also where the devastating Columbia Gorge fire started in 2017, which burned many trails on the Oregon side.  I’m writing this article on how to get to Eagle Creek hike, to encourage hikers to get out there this summer ~ as many of these trails will be re-opening in Summer 2018, including Eagle Creek!

With Eagle Creek, you’ve got all the elements of a classic Oregon hike: waterfalls, towering rock cliffs, swimming holes, & of course, the lush green forest Oregon is known for.  And the great thing about Eagle Creek (for avid hikers), is that it keeps going, & going, & going….all the way to the Pacific Crest Trail!  Which means: your options here are limitless

How to Get to Eagle Creek Hike, Girl Who Travels the World

“High Bridge” is your ultimate goal on the Eagle Creek to High Bridge hike!  Find out how to get to Eagle Creek hike in this post…

Keep in mind: there are some narrow ledges, steep drop-offs, & a few places where you need to use cables on the Eagle Creek hike ~ so keep that in mind before bringing young children or dogs on this hike.  I left my dog, Dylan, home the first time I hiked here ~ & brought him the second time; he did just fine.

Eagle Creek Fire Update

Unfortunately, the devastating Eagle Creek Fire, that occurred in the Columbia River Gorge on September 2nd, 2017, obviously affected this hike, as it’s where the fire started.  Thus, the Eagle Creek trail is currently CLOSED.  As of now, it is scheduled to re-open in Summer 2018.  For complete info on trail closures, visit the Gorge Friends website HERE.

How to Get to Eagle Creek Hike!

Eagle Creek Trail Head

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 Hike Info & Photos

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, & head on up to High Bridge.  During the summer months, Punchbowl will likely be VERY crowded with families & big groups of hikers taking a dip in its cool waters.  But after Punchbowl, the crowds thin out a bit, & you’ll be able to get a fantastic view of the suspension bridge that sits high above Eagle Creek.  

Eagle Creek to High Bridge Hike, How to Get to Eagle Creek Hike

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

How to Get to Eagle Creek Hike, Girl Who Travels the World

Distance sign at the base of the Eagle Creek trail head.

How to Get to Eagle Creek Hike, Girl Who Travels the World

Punchbowl Falls is a quick 2 miles up from the trail head, & will be BUSY on hot summer weekends!

Eagle Creek to High Bridge Hike, Great Oregon Hikes

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

Where to Stay & Drink!

How to Get to Eagle Creek Hike, Girl Who Travels the World

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

If you’re headed back to Portland after Eagle Creek, 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, so heading up that way to grab a beer & some lunch is a great option too.  If you want to stay the night in Hood River, check hotels here.

Other Hikes Nearby!

The most obvious choice here is Punchbowl Falls, which is on the way to High Bridge.  Head to Punchbowl if you’re looking to take a cool dip!  If you want more of a challenge & less people, go past High Bridge to Tunnel Falls (12 miles round-trip).  For a complete weekend adventure, hike 13 miles from Eagle Creek’s trail head & you’ll reach the world-famous Pacific Crest Trail (yes, the one in “Wild,” by Cheryl Strayed).  From there, choose your own adventure ~ hike 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.

Get Prepared!

If you stop off at Punchbowl Falls on the Eagle Creek hike, especially during summer ~ you’ll need a cute bathing suit & a waterproof camera!  Other than that, typical trail runners or running shoes will be just fine. 

How to Get to Eagle Creek Hike!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on how to get to Eagle Creek hike, & I hope it’s on your “Summer Bucket List” this summer as a way to celebrate its re-opening!  The fire was devastating, but it’s also a reminder to get out & enjoy the adventures available around you NOW.  My goal is always to help people get outside & enjoy life’s adventures ~ & I hope this post helps you do just that!

Happy Adventuring! 

xoxo Noelia 

Read Next: Great Hikes in the Columbia River Gorge!


“60 Hikes!”

If you love hiking in Oregon, GET this book by Paul Gerald: “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Portland.”  My copy is highlighted & dog-eared ~ & there’s no doubt that this one, $13 purchase got me out having tons of adventures!  It gives detailed trail directions for each hike, & categorizes them.  Get it & start having adventures!

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Noelle & Dylan enjoying an Oregon hike!