Eagle Creek 1-1-2021

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OneSpeed
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Eagle Creek 1-1-2021

Post by OneSpeed » January 2nd, 2021, 12:14 pm

As has been widely reported, Eagle Creek is open again. Same for Wachlella, Elowah, and Larch Mountain to the Wahkeena Junction. The official announcement is at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/crgnsa/n ... EPRD872161.

I went up to just past Punchbowl Falls on Friday the 1st, and I put a whole blog post up with a photo gallery on my blog:
https://paulgerald.com/portland-hikes/c ... e-1-1-2021

Two main points I wanted to hit quickly:

1, I suspect a lot of people will go up there and say, "It's not as bad as I expected it to be." It rarely is, in the age of Smoky the Bear ("all fire is bad!") and tragedy-seeking media coverage. I think about 60% of the trail to Punchbowl looks untouched. Another 20-30% is classic mixed burn and live trees with black trunks. Another 10-20% burned pretty good, but still has live trees in it and regrowth well under way. It wasn't destroyed! A thick blanket of leaves in many areas attests to a solid tree population.

2, The main thing I wanted to see was the big slide at Punchbowl, and I've got some photos here. That iconic view of Punchbowl through the notch, that you had to wade out to get? It may be years before you get anything like that again, and you'll probably have to wade the main channel and then climb the slide to get it. An interesting prospect which someone younger and more agile than I am can attempt at lower water.

First view of the Punchbowl slide at the bottom of the side trail:
eagle - 10.jpeg
Closeup:
eagle - 11.jpeg
View of it from above. These big boulders will be there for centuries, ever shifting as the creek moves out the smaller stuff,
eagle - 13.jpeg
Just to be clear, Punchbowl and the view from the trail were not affected at all by the slide, and honestly only a little by the fire.
eagle - 14.jpeg

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OregonSurveyor
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Re: Eagle Creek 1-1-2021

Post by OregonSurveyor » January 2nd, 2021, 1:25 pm

My wife and I were up there Monday (12/28), just as they were removing the fencing! I agree, most people will be pleasantly surprised. (My photos are from 7/19/2018)
We were on an early work crew up there in July 2018 and at that time the very large fir spanned the creek (as seen in my photo) and we were able to wade Eagle Creek and climb the recently fallen cliff face boulder. The same tree has been drug off the boulder and now lies beneath it. So in summer I expect people will once again wade the creek and get decent photos of the punchbowl. We have ourselves convinced that the pool height is 3-4' higher than before the boulders blocked the stream.
Attachments
273A6269.JPG
Log to rockpile
273A6211.JPG
Punchbowl view from rockpile
273A6199.JPG
Me up on the rockpile
Jerry King
Oregon Land Surveyor (Retired)
SAR Volunteer - CSAR (Clackamas County Sheriff)

arieshiker
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Re: Eagle Creek 1-1-2021

Post by arieshiker » January 2nd, 2021, 2:06 pm

Maybe I'm missing something significant, but reading the print report and pdf maps, I'm seeing Yeon State Park open only so that the parking area can be used to pick up Gorge Trail 400 (the newly constructed stuff), however, the trails to Elowah Falls or Upper McCord Falls aren't showing as being open for hiking in print or on the pdf maps.

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Eagle Creek 1-1-2021

Post by Don Nelsen » January 2nd, 2021, 4:27 pm

Thanks for the TR's, pics and updates. I'll have to get out there and check it out.

dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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bobcat
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Re: Eagle Creek 1-1-2021

Post by bobcat » January 2nd, 2021, 5:14 pm

Thanks for the report, Paul! I think they must have just decided to go for it and let the boots keep the trails open instead of constantly calling crews back to work on trails that were ready over a year ago.
arieshiker wrote:
January 2nd, 2021, 2:06 pm
Maybe I'm missing something significant, but reading the print report and pdf maps, I'm seeing Yeon State Park open only so that the parking area can be used to pick up Gorge Trail 400 (the newly constructed stuff), however, the trails to Elowah Falls or Upper McCord Falls aren't showing as being open for hiking in print or on the pdf maps.
The 400 is the hiker trail, and it's open its entire length all the way to Wyeth now except for the stretch between Multnomah Falls and the Oneonta Trail, which is prone to dangerous slides. Elowah is open because it's on the 400. The Upper McCord Trail doesn't show on the map, but I do believe it's open (the closed trails are clearly traced). Heck, I went on many work parties on that trail a couple of years ago, and it's been ready since then!

Should confirm that the spur trail down to Eagle Creek for the Instagram view of Punch Bowl Falls (yes, three words despite what the USFS erroneously has on their map), i.e. Lower Punch Bowl Falls Trail, is still closed, so you won't be allowed to go and explore the big collapse that now blocks the view.

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OneSpeed
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Re: Eagle Creek 1-1-2021

Post by OneSpeed » January 2nd, 2021, 5:40 pm

bobcat wrote:
January 2nd, 2021, 5:14 pm
Should confirm that the spur trail down to Eagle Creek for the Instagram view of Punch Bowl Falls (yes, three words despite what the USFS erroneously has on their map), i.e. Lower Punch Bowl Falls Trail, is still closed, so you won't be allowed to go and explore the big collapse that now blocks the view.
There's no signage on the trail indicating it's closed. Everybody was walking right down there, and aside from the one small rockslide I had a picture of, which is easy to get across, there are no particular hazards.

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bobcat
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Re: Eagle Creek 1-1-2021

Post by bobcat » January 2nd, 2021, 5:57 pm

Good to know . . . and slowly we will unravel all the errors in their announcement . . .

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Guy
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Re: Eagle Creek 1-1-2021

Post by Guy » January 4th, 2021, 6:57 am

Just confirming from this weekends travels:

McCord & Elowah are open, there is a trail closed sign on the Nesmith trail junction.
Eagle Creek & the Lower Punchbowl Falls trails are open.
Multnomah Wahkeena loop open, some parking also reopened on the old highway, all fencing removed.
All parking reopened at Wahkeena

The loop around Oneonta and Ponytail remains closed. Apparently this is because of 2 slides that happened after the decision to reopen but before the fence was taken down.
hiking log & photos.
Ad monte summa aut mors

hike4beer
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Re: Eagle Creek 1-1-2021

Post by hike4beer » January 4th, 2021, 11:34 am

Whoops! wrong thread!

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Chip Down
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Re: Eagle Creek 1-1-2021

Post by Chip Down » January 5th, 2021, 2:27 pm

I'd kinda like to see the slide, but it's not worth the touristy hike. Thanks for the report and pics.
hike4beer wrote:
January 4th, 2021, 11:34 am
Whoops! wrong thread!
Been drinking? :lol:

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