Day 20: Tunnel Falls

PCT Mile 2120 – 2148

Miles Hiked = 24

Today would be my final day hiking in Oregon so I was motivated to get up early and get hiking. I was in the forest west of Mt. Hood.

As mentioned in my last post, there was more evidence of recent trail crews clearing the trail of downed trees.

But there were still obstacles that I had to get around.

It was an overcast day and I eventually had a hazy view back at Mt. Hood.

Flower of the Day:

This is a Salmonberry. It is a shrub that is native to the west coast of North America from Alaska to California. I’ve seen very few of these berries along the PCT. Not surprisingly, they are related to Blackberries and Raspberries but are reported to have a more subtle flavor.

After about seven miles, the trail left the forest and traversed through a large rock field.

In another couple miles I arrived at Indian Spring where I collected water via a leaf and trowel to funnel the water into my bladder – sometimes you have to be creative!

Near the spring was a trail junction with the Eagle Creek Trail (blue below), one of the most popular alternate trails on the PCT (red below). The only alternate trail more popular on the entire PCT is likely the Crater Rim Trail that I hiked several weeks ago.

So I decided to take the alternate Eagle Creek Trail which is a little shorter (3.5 miles) than the official PCT. Both trails take you to Cascade Locks which is a little town adjacent to the Columbia River. Keep reading and you’ll see why this trail is so popular.

The first part of the alternate is a steep descent down the mountain to join the official Eagle Creek Trail. The descent goes through a burn area and then crosses a rock field.

After four miles I reached Eagle Creek.

The trail continued next to the creek as it flowed downstream. As I continued along the trail the canyons walls got steeper.

Note the couple sitting on the edge of a steep drop off down to the creek and below a waterfall.

And the trail got more exposed on the creek side.

Yikes! That’s a pretty steep drop off!

And then I turned the corner and I caught my first glimpse of Tunnel Falls.

Tunnel Falls

The trail actually goes through a tunnel behind the water falls.

Wow!

A fellow hiker took photos of me as I hiked towards the falls.

I recorded this video

https://share.icloud.com/photos/0eOulQu7AJXYESTWqiw_e6ZtA#Cascade_Locks

After I passed through the tunnel I took a look back

And recorded another video

https://share.icloud.com/photos/0lXvpoxLYBGiCVThUIEcfJzwg#Cascade_Locks

Tunnel Falls is definitely one of the most amazing sights along the PCT!

As I continued down the Eagle Creek Trail there were more incredible sights even though not quite as amazing as Tunnel Falls.

Not Tunnel Falls
Note the bridge
Swimming pool anyone?

Late in the afternoon I reached the end of the Eagle Creek Trail and took a side trail towards Cascade Locks – only 2.5 miles left and I would be done with Oregon.

Soon I arrived in Cascade Locks. Hikers then walk across the Bridge of Gods as the trail crosses above the Columbia River and enters the state of Washington. But that walk would have to wait a few days for me to make.

Soon I was at Thunder Island Brewery.

As I enjoyed my meal, Donna was on a flight to the Portland International Airport – it’s about forty-five minutes away. I’m looking forward to seeing her in a couple hours. Until then, I guess I’ll just have another beer.

On to Washington! But that will have to wait for a few days. My daughter Sydney will be joining me for the remaining 505 miles. It will be great to finish the trail with four feet. 🥾🥾 🥾🥾

Thanks for following.

8 thoughts on “Day 20: Tunnel Falls

  • Just magnificent!! Looked a little slippery going behind the Falls, but what an awesome video! I sent it to my daughter in CO, who is a rock climber, told her to put it on her bucket list!! Have a wonderful visit with Donna and tell her, Hi!

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  • Absolutely Beautiful! Love the Waterfalls and the Cave! Thank goodness for the rope handrails. The swimming hole looks really inviting. Our oldest lives in Seattle and has started doing a lot hiking. Would it be okay if I shared your blog with him? Have fun and tell Donna Hello!

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  • Hi Todd and maybe Donna now. I’ve been saving your messages till I could sit at big computer and see the beauty of the trail you are taking that others won’t get to see. Its sad that so much of the forest have been burned down. And now with so many new fires please do stay safe. I’m so happy that you are doing this venture and very proud and inspired by you. Have fun with your loved ones and tell them Hi. And happy you will have a hiking partner the rest of the way. Love GT

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    • Hi Glenna – thanks for your comments – hope you and Travis and the grandkids are all doing well – let’s get together after I get back and catch up – I’m sure you’ve been having your own adventures also!

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