Eagle Creek

Trail No. 440

 

MAY 18, 2008   The creek was running high and fast, and the waterfalls were more impressive than I've ever seen them.  Temperatures were in the upper 90's this weekend, so I got an early start for my third hike along Eagle Creek.  This is one of my favorite hikes, and I set tunnel falls, 6.2 miles from the trailhead, as my goal this time.   The trail climbs gently but steadily above Eagle Creek, and in some places the trail is blasted into the sides of solid rock cliffs with sheer drops to the creek below.  I made good time, but a washed-out bridge at about 5 1/2 miles ended my hike this time.  A man and his Labrador retriever reached the stream crossing before me, and the man started to wade across.  By the time he reached the middle of the stream, the water was mid-thigh deep, and he couldn't coax the dog into the water.  After he forced the dog into the stream, it struggled in the current and was almost swept away before the man finally decided to turn back. 

It was a beautiful day for a hike, though, and the waterfalls put on a good show.  There were lots of wildflowers in bloom on this trail, including shooting star, larkspur, camas, bleeding hearts, blue-eyed Mary, yellow monkey flower, twisted stalk, woodland star, chocolate lilies, twin flower, valerian, and western wood anemone.  I especially enjoyed the fields of blue flowers, and I saw the tiny fuchsia-like vine maple flowers for the first time. 

11 miles round trip