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Difference between revisions of "Punch Bowl Falls"

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

m (Broken Punchbowl Falls Overlook Link)
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Punchbowl Falls ranks with Mount Hood, Multnomah Falls and Crater Lake as enduring icons of Oregon and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.  It is a frequent subject of postcards and calendars, but this by no means diminishes its allure, and the understated beauty of its surroundings.   
 
Punchbowl Falls ranks with Mount Hood, Multnomah Falls and Crater Lake as enduring icons of Oregon and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.  It is a frequent subject of postcards and calendars, but this by no means diminishes its allure, and the understated beauty of its surroundings.   
  
As evidenced by it's name, the years have carved a bowl-shaped and rather deep pool at the base of the falls, creating a cathedralesque circular basin.  In fact, the geologists have borrowed the name "Punchbowl" as a new designation for other waterfalls with the same basic flow (like nearby [[Metlako Falls]]).
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As evidenced by it's name, the years have carved a deep, bowl-shaped pool at the base of the falls, creating a cathedralesque circular basin.  In fact, the geologists have borrowed the name "Punchbowl" as a new designation for other waterfalls with the same basic flow (like nearby [[Metlako Falls]]).
  
On summer weekends this is a popular place, to say the least!  In addition to being a choice destination for hikers, it is a favorite swimming hole for locals.  It's not uncommon to see children splashing around, cooling off in the chilly water.  However, if you can come early on a summer weekday, or in the off-season, this can be a place of enchanting solitude - as you sit relaxing at the water's edge surrounded by tall, dripping, gorge walls, old growth forest, and the continual trickle of the creek rolling over the rocks at your feet.
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On summer weekends this is a popular place, to say the least!  In addition to being a choice destination for hikers, it is a favorite swimming hole for locals.  It's not uncommon to see children splashing around, cooling off in the chilly water.  However, if you can come early on a summer weekday, or in the off-season, this can be a place of enchanting solitude - as you sit relaxing at the water's edge surrounded by tall, dripping, gorge walls and old growth forest.
  
There are two ways to enjoy the falls.  You can follow a spur trail down to the water's edge some 75 feet downstream of the falls, or follow the main trail another 1/8 mile to a viewpoint from above.  The spur trail option does involve some moderate elevation drop, which you'll have to make up on the way back!  (Keep this in mind if you are hiking with children.)  A downed tree has marred an otherwise perfect photo opportunity from this site.  The tree fell and lodged itself in that location some 10 years ago.  Over the years people have attempted to move it - but the deep water in the pool make it an impossible task without heavy machinery.
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There are two ways to enjoy the falls.  You can follow a spur trail down to the water's edge some 75 feet downstream of the falls, or follow the main Eagle Creek Trail another 1/8 mile to a viewpoint from above.  The spur trail option does involve some moderate elevation drop, which you'll have to make up on the way back!  (Keep this in mind if you are hiking with children.)  A downed tree has marred an otherwise perfect photo opportunity from this site.  The tree fell and lodged itself in that location some 10 years ago.  Over the years people have attempted to move it - but the deep water in the pool make it an impossible task.
 
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To have an unobstructed view of the falls, you may be tempted to walk up the creek a ways -- past the tree.  But you'll soon find yourself up to your shoulders!  A better choice is the overlook!
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If you do chose the overlook, don't be tempted to step over to the other side of the cable-line fencing, even though the ground may appear well-worn.  Every year there is a story of a person injuring themselves in a fall from this location. Also, there is a trace of a trail to the top of the falls itself, but this path is dangerous and not recommended.
 
If you do chose the overlook, don't be tempted to step over to the other side of the cable-line fencing, even though the ground may appear well-worn.  Every year there is a story of a person injuring themselves in a fall from this location. Also, there is a trace of a trail to the top of the falls itself, but this path is dangerous and not recommended.

Revision as of 10:17, 17 March 2007

Punchbowl Falls (Tom Kloster)
Punchbowl Falls (Jeff Statt)
Map of trail to the falls


Contents

Description

Punchbowl Falls ranks with Mount Hood, Multnomah Falls and Crater Lake as enduring icons of Oregon and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. It is a frequent subject of postcards and calendars, but this by no means diminishes its allure, and the understated beauty of its surroundings.

As evidenced by it's name, the years have carved a deep, bowl-shaped pool at the base of the falls, creating a cathedralesque circular basin. In fact, the geologists have borrowed the name "Punchbowl" as a new designation for other waterfalls with the same basic flow (like nearby Metlako Falls).

On summer weekends this is a popular place, to say the least! In addition to being a choice destination for hikers, it is a favorite swimming hole for locals. It's not uncommon to see children splashing around, cooling off in the chilly water. However, if you can come early on a summer weekday, or in the off-season, this can be a place of enchanting solitude - as you sit relaxing at the water's edge surrounded by tall, dripping, gorge walls and old growth forest.

There are two ways to enjoy the falls. You can follow a spur trail down to the water's edge some 75 feet downstream of the falls, or follow the main Eagle Creek Trail another 1/8 mile to a viewpoint from above. The spur trail option does involve some moderate elevation drop, which you'll have to make up on the way back! (Keep this in mind if you are hiking with children.) A downed tree has marred an otherwise perfect photo opportunity from this site. The tree fell and lodged itself in that location some 10 years ago. Over the years people have attempted to move it - but the deep water in the pool make it an impossible task.

If you do chose the overlook, don't be tempted to step over to the other side of the cable-line fencing, even though the ground may appear well-worn. Every year there is a story of a person injuring themselves in a fall from this location. Also, there is a trace of a trail to the top of the falls itself, but this path is dangerous and not recommended.

In the wetter, higher volume months, this falls has grown in popularity as a target for kayakers. Don't be surprised to see them lining up for their turn to 'run the falls' and submerge momentarily in the pool below!

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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.