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Difference between revisions of "Dry Creek Falls Hike"

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

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[[Category:All Season Hikes]]
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[[Category:Northwest Oregon]]
 
[[Category:Columbia River Gorge]]
 
[[Category:Columbia River Gorge]]
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[[Category:All Season Hikes]]
 
[[Category:Creek Hikes]]
 
[[Category:Creek Hikes]]
 
[[Category:Family Hikes]]
 
[[Category:Family Hikes]]
[[Category:Moderate Hikes]]
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[[Category:Easy Hikes]]
[[Category:Northwest Oregon]]
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[[Category:Waterfall Hikes]]
 
[[Category:Waterfall Hikes]]
[[Category:Under Development]]
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[[Category:Hikes]]
[[Image:DryCreekFalls.jpg|thumb|350px|Dry Creek Falls ''(Jeff Statt)'']]
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[[Image:BridgeOfTheGodsTrailhead.jpg|thumb|250px|Bridge of the Gods trailhead ''(Jeff Statt)'']]
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* Start point: [[PCT Winter Trailhead|Pacific Crest Trail Winter Trailhead]]
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[[Image:DryCreek02.jpg|thumb|400px|Dry Creek Falls ''(Tom Kloster)'']]
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[[Image:Dry Creek, Dry Creek Road.jpg|thumb|250px|Dry Creek below Dry Creek Falls ''(bobcat)'']]
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[[Image:Maidenhair fern, Dry Creek Road.jpg|thumb|250px|Maidenhair fern, Dry Creek Falls ''(bobcat)'']]
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[[Image:Old weir, Dry Creek Falls.jpg|thumb|250px|Old water works at Dry Creek Falls ''(bobcat)'']]
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[[Image:DryCreekFalls4.jpg|thumb|250px|Dry Creek Falls in winter ''(Cheryl Hill)'']]
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[[Image:DryCreek00.jpg|thumb|400px|Dry Creek Falls Map (click to enlarge)]]
 +
 
 +
{{Start point|Bridge of the Gods Trailhead}} or
 +
{{Start point|PCT Harvey Road Trailhead}}
 
* End point: [[Dry Creek Falls]]
 
* End point: [[Dry Creek Falls]]
 
* Trail Log: [[Dry Creek Falls Hike/Log | Trail Log]]
 
* Trail Log: [[Dry Creek Falls Hike/Log | Trail Log]]
 
* Hike Type: Out and Back
 
* Hike Type: Out and Back
{{Distance|2.6 miles}}
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{{Distance|4.4 miles}}
{{Elevation gain|750 feet}}
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{{Elevation gain|725 feet}}
 +
* High point: 865 feet
 
{{Difficulty|Easy}}
 
{{Difficulty|Easy}}
* Seasons: Year-round
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* Seasons: All year
 
* Family Friendly: Yes
 
* Family Friendly: Yes
 
* Backpackable: No
 
* Backpackable: No
* Crowded: No
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* Crowded: Yes, on weekends
  
 
=== Hike Description ===
 
=== Hike Description ===
This hike starts you at the Bridge of the Gods trailhead for the PCT and takes you under i84, across the powerlines up up the Pacific Crest trail for a ways. After a few limited viewpoints you come across a footbridge. Follow the spur trail up the right-hand-side of the creek until you reach the falls.
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Dry Creek Falls plunges 74 feet over a basalt wall in a secluded amphitheater near Cascade Locks. It is easily reached via the Pacific Crest Trail and is a popular destination for those interested in a short, woodsy hike with plenty of Gorge ambience.  At the base of the falls are the remains of a water diversion works. In the 1930s, the rapidly expanding town of Cascade Locks got its water supply from this location during the construction of the [[Bonneville Dam]]. The creek was channeled into a tunnel and thus ran "dry" on its original bed. Almost the entire area of this hike was affected by the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. You'll see blackened tree trunks and a recovering understory, but most of the canopy is still intact.
 +
 
 +
This hike starts you at the [[Bridge of the Gods Trailhead]]. From the trailhead, cross the road and head up the Pacific Crest Trail parallel to I-84. There's an old safety fence on your right. Soon, you'll come to Moody Street as it crosses under the freeway. Walk the road uphill to the right, passing under the freeway. When the road angles left, keep right on a gravel road a short distance to [[PCT Harvey Road Trailhead|a couple of parking pullouts]]. Altogether the road walking here is about 100 yards. The trail to the right is the Gorge Trail headed toward the [[Ruckel Creek Bridge|Ruckel Creek Trail]] and the [[Eagle Creek Trailhead|Eagle Creek Campground]]. You'll take the Pacific Crest Trail to the left, which also doubles as the Gorge Trail #400 heading east from here.
 +
 
 +
The Crest Trail heads gradually uphill, never too steep, through a pretty, dappled sun kind of forest dominated by Douglas-firs and big-leaf maples, the latter providing a colorful display in the fall. In the spring, forest wildflowers including columbines are common here. Almost immediately, you'll see evidence of the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. The trail swings right and then loops back along a slope of larger Douglas-firs and hemlocks. About one mile in, you'll come to a powerline access road. Turn right here and follow the road a short distance under the powerlines to the resumption of the trail in the woods. Pass an impressive Douglas-fir on the left side of the trail. Soon after the powerline road, you'll make a traverse along a very steep slope. Then the trail begins a gradual descent to [[Dry Creek Bridge|Dry Creek]]. This section of trail heads gradually downward through an interesting area of large lava boulders and trees for almost another mile.
 +
 
 +
At Dry Creek, the trail comes to another dirt road (Ten yards before this road is the almost invisible junction with the abandoned [[Pacific Crest-Rudolph Spur Trail Junction|Rudolph Spur Trail]]). Across the road, you'll see the Pacific Crest Trail crossing [[Dry Creek Bridge|Dry Creek]] on a wooden footbridge. To get to [[Dry Creek Falls]], instead of crossing the bridge, turn right here and head up the rough track about 2/10 of a mile to the falls. Trees at the top of the falls were more heavily damaged by the Eagle Creek Fire than those below. Dry Creek hasn't run dry since the diversion apparatus was decommissioned, and the falls put on a pretty display throughout the year, although with much greater volume in the wet months. After enjoying the spray of the falls in the quietude of this little amphitheater, return the way you came in.
  
Although it's called Dry Creek Falls, it does not run dry - even in the warmest months of summer.  There is evidence of some damming appartus here, used to provide water to the town of Cascade Locks Oregon.
 
  
 
=== Maps ===
 
=== Maps ===
{{HikeMaps|latitude=|longitude=}}
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{{HikeMaps|latitude=45.65701|longitude=-121.86645}}
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* Green Trails Maps: ''Bonneville Dam, OR #429''
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* Green Trails Maps: ''Columbia River Gorge - West #428S''
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* Geo-Graphics: ''Trails of the Columbia Gorge''
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* U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service/Bureau of Land Management: ''Columbia River Gorge''
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* U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: ''Hood River Ranger District''
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* U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: ''Mt. Hood National Forest''
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* National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: ''Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area''
  
 
=== Fees, Regulations, etc. ===
 
=== Fees, Regulations, etc. ===
* None
+
* Northwest Forest Pass (or America the Beautiful Pass) required at [[Bridge of the Gods Trailhead]]
 +
* Restrooms and picnic tables at the trailhead
  
{{TripReports|{{PAGENAME}}}}
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{{TripReports|Dry Creek Falls}}
* (Click [http://portlandhikers.com/forums/AddPost.aspx?ForumID=8 here] to add your own)
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* [https://www.oregonhikers.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=28146  Smith Rock (partial) and Dry Creek - 4/18 & 4/25]
  
{{RelatedDiscussions|{{PAGENAME}}}}
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{{RelatedDiscussions|Dry Creek Falls}}
* (Click [http://portlandhikers.com/forums/AddPost.aspx?ForumID=141 here] to ask a question or start a conversation)
+
  
 
=== Guidebooks that cover this hike ===
 
=== Guidebooks that cover this hike ===
* ''Day Hike! Columbia Gorge'', by Seabury Blair, Jr.
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* ''Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon'' by Adam Sawyer
* ''60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Portland'', by Paul Gerald
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* ''PDX Hiking 365'' by Matt Reeder
* ''Afoot and Afield Portland/Vancouver'', by Douglas Lorain
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* ''Curious Gorge'' by Scott Cook
* ''35 Hiking Trails, Columbia River Gorge'', by Don & Roberta Lowe
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* ''Beer Hiking: Pacific Northwest'' by Rachel Wood & Brandon Fralic
* ''Columbia River Gorge, 42 Scenic Hikes'', by Don & Roberta Lowe
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* ''Day Hikes in the Columbia Gorge'' by Don J. Scarmuzzi
* ''Hiking the Columbia River Gorge'' - 1st and 2nd Editions, by Russ Schneider
+
* ''Afoot and Afield: Portland/Vancouver'' by Douglas Lorain
* ''100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon'' - 3rd Edition, by William L Sullivan
+
* ''Day Hike! Columbia Gorge'' by Seabury Blair, Jr.
 +
* ''Oregon: The Creaky Knees Guide'' by Seabury Blair, Jr.
 +
* ''Day Hiking: Columbia River Gorge'' by Craig Romano
 +
* ''Hiking the Columbia River Gorge'' by Russ Schneider; revised by Jim Yuskavitch
 +
* ''Columbia Gorge Getaways'' by Laura O. Foster
 +
* ''Oregon's Columbia River Gorge: Camping & Hiking'' by Tom Stienstra & Sean Patrick Hill
 +
* ''70 Virtual Hikes of the Columbia River Gorge'' by Northwest Hiker
 +
* ''Oregon Hiking'' by Sean Patrick Hill
 +
* ''Waterfall Lover's Guide: Pacific Northwest'' by Gregory A.Plumb
 +
* ''Waterfalls of the Columbia Gorge, Volume One: Oregon'' by Zach Forsyth
  
 
=== More Links ===
 
=== More Links ===
 +
* [http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/crgnsa/recarea/?recid=30022  Gorge Trail #400 – Cascade Locks to Wyeth (USFS)]
 +
* [http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/crgnsa/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=30058&actid=50  Pacific Crest Trail #2000 – Oregon (USFS)]
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* [http://www.nwhiker.com/CGNSAHike39.html  Dry Creek Falls Hike (Northwest Hiker)]
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* [https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/dry-creek-falls  Dry Creek Falls (Washington Trails Association)]
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* [https://www.theoutbound.com/oregon/hiking/hike-to-the-dry-creek-falls  Hike to the Dry Creek Falls (The Outbound Collective)]
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* [https://rootsrated.com/portland-or/hiking/dry-creek-falls  Dry Creek Falls - Hiking (Roots Rated)]
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* [https://www.outdoorproject.com/adventures/oregon/hikes/dry-creek-falls-hike  Dry Creek Falls Hike (Outdoor Project)]
 +
* [https://seattlebackpackersmagazine.com/dry-creek-falls/  Dry Creek Falls (Seattle Backpackers Magazine)]
 +
* [https://gorgefriends.org/hike-the-gorge/dry-creek-falls-herman-creek-pinnacles-extension.html  Dry Creek Falls (Herman Creek Pinnacles Extension) (Friends of the Columbia Gorge)]
 +
* [https://www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2015/09/dry_creek_falls_short_hike_via.html  "Dry Creek Falls short hike via Pacific Crest Trail at Cascade Locks" (Oregon Live)]
 +
* [http://www.hoodrivernews.com/news/2015/aug/05/gorge-explorer-hike-not-so-dry-dry-creek-falls/  "Gorge Explorer: Hike to the not-so-dry Dry Creek Falls" (Hood River News)]
 +
* [http://columbiariverhighway.com/dry-creek-falls-trail/  Dry Creek Falls Trail (The Columbia River Highway)]
 +
* [http://www.columbiarivergorge.info/dry-creek-falls.html  Dry Creek Falls (Columbia River Gorge)]
 +
* [https://www.waterfallsnorthwest.com/waterfall/Dry-Creek-Falls-4013  Dry Creek Falls (Northwest Waterfall Survey)]
 +
  
 
=== Contributors ===
 
=== Contributors ===
 
* [[User:Stevefromdodge|Stevefromdodge]] (outline)
 
* [[User:Stevefromdodge|Stevefromdodge]] (outline)
 +
* [[User:Splintercat|Splintercat]]

Latest revision as of 21:51, 9 September 2019

Dry Creek Falls (Tom Kloster)
Dry Creek below Dry Creek Falls (bobcat)
Maidenhair fern, Dry Creek Falls (bobcat)
Old water works at Dry Creek Falls (bobcat)
Dry Creek Falls in winter (Cheryl Hill)
Dry Creek Falls Map (click to enlarge)

Contents

Hike Description

Dry Creek Falls plunges 74 feet over a basalt wall in a secluded amphitheater near Cascade Locks. It is easily reached via the Pacific Crest Trail and is a popular destination for those interested in a short, woodsy hike with plenty of Gorge ambience. At the base of the falls are the remains of a water diversion works. In the 1930s, the rapidly expanding town of Cascade Locks got its water supply from this location during the construction of the Bonneville Dam. The creek was channeled into a tunnel and thus ran "dry" on its original bed. Almost the entire area of this hike was affected by the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. You'll see blackened tree trunks and a recovering understory, but most of the canopy is still intact.

This hike starts you at the Bridge of the Gods Trailhead. From the trailhead, cross the road and head up the Pacific Crest Trail parallel to I-84. There's an old safety fence on your right. Soon, you'll come to Moody Street as it crosses under the freeway. Walk the road uphill to the right, passing under the freeway. When the road angles left, keep right on a gravel road a short distance to a couple of parking pullouts. Altogether the road walking here is about 100 yards. The trail to the right is the Gorge Trail headed toward the Ruckel Creek Trail and the Eagle Creek Campground. You'll take the Pacific Crest Trail to the left, which also doubles as the Gorge Trail #400 heading east from here.

The Crest Trail heads gradually uphill, never too steep, through a pretty, dappled sun kind of forest dominated by Douglas-firs and big-leaf maples, the latter providing a colorful display in the fall. In the spring, forest wildflowers including columbines are common here. Almost immediately, you'll see evidence of the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. The trail swings right and then loops back along a slope of larger Douglas-firs and hemlocks. About one mile in, you'll come to a powerline access road. Turn right here and follow the road a short distance under the powerlines to the resumption of the trail in the woods. Pass an impressive Douglas-fir on the left side of the trail. Soon after the powerline road, you'll make a traverse along a very steep slope. Then the trail begins a gradual descent to Dry Creek. This section of trail heads gradually downward through an interesting area of large lava boulders and trees for almost another mile.

At Dry Creek, the trail comes to another dirt road (Ten yards before this road is the almost invisible junction with the abandoned Rudolph Spur Trail). Across the road, you'll see the Pacific Crest Trail crossing Dry Creek on a wooden footbridge. To get to Dry Creek Falls, instead of crossing the bridge, turn right here and head up the rough track about 2/10 of a mile to the falls. Trees at the top of the falls were more heavily damaged by the Eagle Creek Fire than those below. Dry Creek hasn't run dry since the diversion apparatus was decommissioned, and the falls put on a pretty display throughout the year, although with much greater volume in the wet months. After enjoying the spray of the falls in the quietude of this little amphitheater, return the way you came in.


Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: Bonneville Dam, OR #429
  • Green Trails Maps: Columbia River Gorge - West #428S
  • Geo-Graphics: Trails of the Columbia Gorge
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service/Bureau of Land Management: Columbia River Gorge
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Hood River Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Hood National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Northwest Forest Pass (or America the Beautiful Pass) required at Bridge of the Gods Trailhead
  • Restrooms and picnic tables at the trailhead

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon by Adam Sawyer
  • PDX Hiking 365 by Matt Reeder
  • Curious Gorge by Scott Cook
  • Beer Hiking: Pacific Northwest by Rachel Wood & Brandon Fralic
  • Day Hikes in the Columbia Gorge by Don J. Scarmuzzi
  • Afoot and Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain
  • Day Hike! Columbia Gorge by Seabury Blair, Jr.
  • Oregon: The Creaky Knees Guide by Seabury Blair, Jr.
  • Day Hiking: Columbia River Gorge by Craig Romano
  • Hiking the Columbia River Gorge by Russ Schneider; revised by Jim Yuskavitch
  • Columbia Gorge Getaways by Laura O. Foster
  • Oregon's Columbia River Gorge: Camping & Hiking by Tom Stienstra & Sean Patrick Hill
  • 70 Virtual Hikes of the Columbia River Gorge by Northwest Hiker
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill
  • Waterfall Lover's Guide: Pacific Northwest by Gregory A.Plumb
  • Waterfalls of the Columbia Gorge, Volume One: Oregon by Zach Forsyth

More Links


Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.