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Topic: Eagle Creek Loop< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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a1skimom Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2013, 4:23 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So plan is end of may to make the trip to Oregon to hike the Eagle Creek Loop in the Columbia River Gorge.  Do the locals have any advice for us?  We plan a three day two night trip.

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ol-zeke Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2013, 6:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Are you flying in?  Do not leave any valuables in the car, as the parking area is well known as a smash and grab location.  Some folks have even taken to dropping off most of the people, then one driver takes the car further down the road to a more populated area, like the burger joint a mile or so down the road, and walking back empty handed.  Makes for a pain, but it prevents some vandalism.

As it gets closer, send me a PM and see if I am around.  Might be able to arrange a shuttle instead of you renting a car.

May can be still rainy here, but the last couple of years have not been so wet.  Be sure to bring rain gear, and an attitude that says you will have a good time even if soaked.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2013, 8:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As Zeke mentioned, be careful with the car.  I think it's safer to leave it out by the campground, especially when the host is there for the summer, than to park up by the trailhead.  It adds about a third of a mile to the walk, but there sure are a lot more windshield giblets on the ground at the trailhead.  Either place  you'll need a Northwest Forest Pass to park ($30/year or $5/day).

I'll second the rain gear advice too, but I take it a little further.  I highly recommend a drizzly day for an Eagle Creek hike.  The moss and trees and falls are a thousand times better when it's overcast and wet.  Fewer people, too.  I'll cancel and go somewhere else if the forecast is sunny.

Taking time for a swim into the bowl of Punchbowl Falls is fun if you're into that kind of thing.

Are you doing Eagle Creek to PCT to Ruckel Creek as the loop?

I hate the campsites along Eagle Creek (to and through 7.5-mile camp).  Being in a deep canyon, there are precious few places to go for cat hole duty and consequently there are TP flowers or worse everywhere you turn.  If camping at Wahtum Lake, I prefer the spots across (i.e., north of) the logjam at the outlet, for similar reasons.

Benson Plateau is beautifully creepy.  Or creepily beautiful.  Especially if you're lucky enough to be there when it's foggy.

Have fun!
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 4:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

texasbb
We are waiting for maps to arrive so that i have a better idea of the trip specifics.  
Right now we are thinking of coming out at the Tanner Butte trailhead.
What is the mileage if we use Ruckel Creek for the loop?

ol-zeke
We will be driving to the area.  Sounds like we will want to have a different place to park our car while we are hiking.  I will have to do some figuring on that.  Oh the humans with the gimmies sure do make having fun more difficult for some of us honest folks.

Thank for your input.  Keep the info coming.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 11:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(a1skimom @ Apr. 30 2013, 1:16 pm)
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texasbb
We are waiting for maps to arrive so that i have a better idea of the trip specifics.  
Right now we are thinking of coming out at the Tanner Butte trailhead.
What is the mileage if we use Ruckel Creek for the loop?

I think it's something between 25 and 30 miles depending on how much tinkering around you do.  I definitely recommend the side trip up Chinidere Mtn.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 11:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

More specifics on our idea: we will visit (check out your May Backpacker mag) Blue Grouse camp, tunnel falls, twister falls, Tanner Butte and Dublin Lake exiting at Tanner Butte Trailhead.
Is there somewhere else you would suggest that has similar attractions and an end of may first of june time frame?

texasbb
Is the route your are talking about less crowded then coming out at Tanner Butte trailhead?


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PostIcon Posted on: May 01 2013, 12:14 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(a1skimom @ Apr. 30 2013, 8:39 pm)
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texasbb
Is the route your are talking about less crowded then coming out at Tanner Butte trailhead?

No, I would expect Tanner to be much less crowded.  I haven't been that way but I understand it's kind of wild and unmaintained.  You'll have to ford Eagle Creek, which can be challenging at times.  The Wahtum Lake/Benson Plateau/Ruckel Creek route is very well travelled--some of it on the Pacific Crest Trail.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 01 2013, 12:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you're interested in the Wahtum/Benson/Ruckel loop, here's my report/photos from a couple years ago.  I have some more pics of Benson Plateau in the fog, part of a shorter loop I did up Ruckel Ridge (not Creek) and out Eagle Creek.  The Benson pics start about here.

Regardless of which route you take, Eagle Creek is truly phenomenal.  It's easy to see why it's the most popular trail in Oregon.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 02 2013, 11:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

texasbb
Thanks.  We are even more excited.  The pictures were great.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 04 2013, 10:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(a1skimom @ Apr. 30 2013, 4:16 pm)
QUOTE
We are waiting for maps to arrive so that i have a better idea of the trip specifics.

No reason to wait in order to play with maps.

The following link starts Gmap4 and displays a high resolution topo map centered on Punch Bowl Falls.

http://www.mappingsupport.com/p....t4&z=15

If you want to make a GPX file, use the Menu ==> "Draw and Save" feature.

Gmap4 homepage: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html

Joseph, the Gmap4 guy
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PostIcon Posted on: May 19 2013, 12:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Avoid 7.5 mile camp :(. I was appalled at the amount of tp and human waste right in the camping spots! Camped there on our PCT hike and thought it would make for a good last stop before Cascade Locks. Yuck :(
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 16 2013, 3:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This is a great thread.  Makes me glad I checked out the forums.  

I'm from Montana and moved to Portland 2 years ago.  I don't own a car and haven't been out, yet.  I've been itching and this is going to be my first overnighter.  Though I'd like to do the entire loop, I'm not sure the schedule will work.

I've been told you can, also, start at Whatum Lake and hike the plateau instead of starting at Eagle Creek.  Is that correct?  If so, how far in do you hike before you find decent camping?  I'd be interested in hearing any opinions from those who've done this before.

Cheers.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 16 2013, 10:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(PDXJeff @ Jun. 16 2013, 12:47 pm)
QUOTE
I've been told you can, also, start at Whatum Lake and hike the plateau instead of starting at Eagle Creek.  Is that correct?  If so, how far in do you hike before you find decent camping?  I'd be interested in hearing any opinions from those who've done this before.

Well, you can camp around the lake, of course.  Then it's maybe four or five miles to Smokey camp just south of Benson Plateau--there's a spring a couple hundred yards down the Eagle Benson trail, and a good spot for a tent.  Then there are several other good spots here and there on the plateau itself.  Benson Camp is right in the middle, Hunter's Camp to the northwest, both of which have room for several parties.
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