Today was a beautiful day to hike the Eagle Creek Trail in the Columbia River Gorge. This six-mile trail (12 miles out and back) begins at the Eagle Creek Fish Hatchery on Interstate 84, forty miles east of Portland. Four of us hiked about 8 miles round trip today, with a lunch at the half way point. I will try to do the whole thing next time.
After the hatchery, where we saw hundreds of spawning salmon and loads of dead and decomposing salmon nourishing the creek, the trail begins a moderate climb in altitude that continues most of the way in. The route alternately passes under thick canopies and into open sunny spaces.
After a while, the trail passes Punch Bowl Falls. There is a spur trail down to the water, but only half of our group took it. Because of a missed turnoff on the way up, I did not.
There are several sweet bridges that traverse Eagle Creek as you make your way farther along.
We saw some stunning places where Eagle Creek comes crashing over waterfalls and collects in deeper pools between sheer rock gorges.
There are other waterfalls here and there.
We stopped for lunch at this bridge in the sunlight at about mile 4 before beginning our return trip back to the trailhead.
There were some amazing fall colors going on today.
When the trail was built, parts were blasted out of rock cliffs with steep drop offs very close to the trail.
Try it sometime.