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Eagle Creek Trail #440
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4 by photographer avatarkeepmoving
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Eagle Creek Trail #440North Central, OR
North Central, OR
Hiking avatar Jun 30 2014
keepmoving
Hiking27.50 Miles 7,860 AEG
Hiking27.50 Miles   12 Hrs   57 Mns   2.12 mph
7,860 ft AEG
 
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Since moving to Oregon I have not been getting out to hike as much as I would have liked. Now I could make excuses that I have been too busy with other matters, but quite frankly I have just been lazy.

Yesterday I decided it was time to finally do something about this, and decided to backpack the Eagle Creek/Ruckel Creek loop. This is touted as a famous multi-day backpack through some of the most spectacular scenery the Gorge has to offer.

I initially planned to do the backpack as just an overnight trip, instead of the standard 2 nights. I figured I could push hard the first day to climb out of the canyon and camp somewhere near Wahtum Lake, then easily drop down Ruckle Creek on day #2. But as the morning progressed and I hiked further up Eagle Creek, my plan slowly changed. What if I could do the hike in under 24 hours? I reasoned that would be easy enough, almost too easy though... What if I could do the whole hike in under 12 hours? And as I worked my way up the trail, that thought gained traction. I worked the math over in my head, it seemed reasonable based on my pace, and so I pushed myself.

Eagle Creek really is a spectacular hike with gorgeous waterfalls along the trail. And tunnel falls really has to be seen to be fully appreciated. However, I think my favorite part of the trail was actually the stretch between Eagle Creek and Wahtum Lake. The trail climbed gently up the canyon and I didn't encounter anyone else for miles. Occasionally it would past by creeks and small waterfalls that flooded over the trail.

In the end, I came up short of my goal and ended up finishing just shy of 13 hours. And although I enjoyed the challenge of doing this trail as a single day hike, I think it is definitely worth returning to backpack it and take my time enjoying the scenery. I would like to bring along my real camera and properly photograph the many waterfalls I encountered.
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289 Photosets

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