Oregon O. on Eagle Creek Trail
This is definitely a hike to put on your bucket list. One of the best hikes I have been on in the state. Has picturesque views of numerous falls and the river the entire hike to Tunnel Falls, App 14 miles round trip. Has some areas that require careful footing on cliff edges but does have cable support to hold onto while walking the edge. To avoid the crowds go on a week day and start early.
We made the mistake of doing this hike in the rain. The rain lasted the full 7 hours it took us to hike.
Around the first rock slide near the ridge we missed the continuation of the trail and back tracked a bit. But eventually found the correct trail.
I was expecting the hike to be a lot more strenuous based on reviews/ impossible in the rain. But, it turned out not to be bad at all in the rain. Even the catwalk was mostly easy to do with only one part that took more concentration to make sure that footing was stable.
Overall, I would've enjoyed the hike more if I wasn't freezing from the rain and the rain/ fog limited the views of the gorge.
If you like to scramble and climb rocks, then this will be an enjoyable hike!
Did this a week and a half ago with my friend and my girlfriend. She is not an experienced hiker, only having gone on Angels Rest and Munra's point. She was exhausted and scared at the cat walk but with some talking thru she traversed safely. Do not be deterred by what you have read, can be a couple's hike if you are in good shape. It's fun the different types of climbing you get to do and even got to walk across a 25' fallen log over the dried riverbed! Don't be confused by the gradual, but persistent climb up as you will soon be on flat ground trudging thru an eerily silent wooded area, and prepare for your descend on the second half of the loop. After doing Defiance yesterday for the first time, and a 25 pound pack, Ruckel now seems like a cake walk.
Also, Pierre, that is extremely misleading to type. If you took the normal to ascend and descend for Defiance, there is no way Ruckel is harder. Defiance climbs over 3000' in a 3 miles stretch, and then there's another steep set before the top. Ruckel stands 3700 total, is shorter, and never gets as steep as Defiance. I'll acknowledge that Ruckel has more fun and different types of hiking/climbing that Defiance doesn't, but if you have done Ruckel, please do not assume you can conquer Defiance, again my moderately active at hiking girlfriend did Ruckel but she would not have been able to do Defiance, no doubt in my mind.
Hiked 13 miles from Lost Lake to Indian Springs on the PCT, spent the night at the campgrounds then 12.5 miles down Eagle Creek Trail to Cascade Locks. A great hike. the map here shows the trail going to Wantum Lake. if you want to make it a thru hike (instead of out and back) leave your car at the EC trailhead in Cascade Locks and get a ride to Wantum. Not much water in the upper elevations so plan to carry what you need. See pics on my Instagram @jamieonthetrail
4th time hiking this trail now its a beast it has everything for a training hike Ups Downs Crawling around bring your gloves the views are kinda limited Ruckle Creek at the top is beautiful and a good rest spot before heading back down its mostly a forested hike this is personally my favorite hike in the Gorge its harder than Dog or Defiance so if your looking to step it up this is the trail for you the start point is in between camp site 5 and 6 Buck point trail
Arrived fairly early due to reports of heavy traffic. parked at 8 and were only 4 other cars. Started up at 8 at a fairly quickly pace. We were astounded by the beauty in the first mile, hearing that it's a regular freeway later in the day, I wasn't expecting pristine trails. we ventured down all the designated paths to the viewpoints and they were worth the extra walk. The Falls (all 6 of them) were spectacular. the basalt cliffs, the changing flora, and the approachable incline contribute to making this one of my favorite hikes ever! We loved tunnel Falls but continued on about 1/4 of a mile to a beautiful area atop another Falls that made a perfect lunch spot on a rock in the middle of the creek. Our round trip was 14.5 miles in 5 hours. 1700 feet elevation gain but not. steep.I recommend this to anyone of moderate fitness. No panoramic views but the Falls and forests will delight. Get there early. locals hike in to the punch bowl to swim in their suits and flip flops by the hundreds after noon.
Rewarding! Mental challenge on the ascent but the basalt catwalk(s) are pretty special and the landscape on the descent- as soon as you are at 3,700 changes drastically with a beautiful creek and is so beautiful! And you are rewarded with not so steep descent with treats along the way. Old growth trees, a variety of wildflowers (I did this in late July), grassy hillsides and not to mention the pits. It's also pretty awesome to come out of the trail with the creek and if you're lucky the blackberry bushes are still going if you take a left down the road between the creek and campsites.