Punchbowl Falls

Punchbowl Falls in Oregon is part of the Columbia River Gorge. The Gorge is a National Scenic area, so you know there are some wonderful sights to be seen. Oregon is known for their waterfalls. Such as Proxy Falls, Multnomah Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Punchbowl Falls (shown below).

Puchbowl Falls is part of the eagle creek trail. If you're heading east from Portland on I-84 it's exit 41. If you are heading west to Portland you'll need to take exit 40 and backtrack. Once you exit follow the NE Eagle Creek Loop to trail #440. There will be a small parking area, but if that is full you may need to go back to the larger parking lot. There's also a fee required based on the honor system. It's always a good idea to support the local, state, and national parks. They need as much help as they can get! Here is a map to the parking area:

View Punchbowl Falls Trailhead in a larger map

The trail is scenic in it's self. Give yourself some extra time, I am sure you'll want to stop and photograph while hiking to Punchbowl Falls. The trail isn't very difficult but it is a 2 mile hike to the falls, 4 miles round trip. To get to the creek to see the falls from the lower view, there is a trail that branches off that heads 75 feet down to the creek. If you get to the overlook above Punchbowls Falls you have gone too far. Once reaching the creek follow it for a a short distance and all of a sudden there she'll be! I hiked this in late January, and it was a bit hazardous. Icicles build up on the cliff faces and fall, some from as high as 50 or so feet. Also the trail was ice coated in several spots. Like a skating rink, one fall and you could be tumbling 75 feet off to the side. There are some cables at some point along the trail to help with the more narrow and dangerous parts. Be careful! It's wise to carry some type of traction assistance when hiking in the colder months. In the summer months be prepared to get wet.

All in all Punchbowl Falls is one of the most famous and most photographed in the gorge. I highly recommend it! This image was taken at the creek level. If you look closely you can see the ice on the walls of the cliffs.