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Eagle Creek to Tunnel Falls Hike Oregon

    • Eagles Creek Hike in Oregon

    • ****2 hours and 45 minutes drive from Olympia to trail head parking lot.

    • Type of Hike: Out And Back
    • Length: 12.0 Miles
    • Elevation Gain: 1640 Feet
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Restroom Facilities: 1
    • Fees and Regulations: NW Forest Pass Required

    Waterfalls along the way to Tunnel Falls
    Metlako Falls, which takes its name from the Indian goddess of salmon, is an 82 feet (25 m) punchbowl waterfall. The falls drop out of a narrow and calm stream pool along Eagle Creek, and shoot powerfully out into the narrow canyon. Metlako Falls has also been measured to be either 100 feet (30 m), 101 feet (31 m), and 150 feet (46 m). Despite its great height, the falls have been run before by experienced kayakers.[1]

    Metlako Falls is at coordinates [masked]°N[masked]°W.

    Lower Punch Bowl Falls is the smaller downstream counterpart of the famous upstream Punch Bowl Falls. It is approximately 12 feet (3.7 m) high and 30 feet (9.1 m) wide. The falls is a popular study for photography, though a stretch of Eagle Creek upstream and Punch Bowl Falls itself are far more popular subjects.[2]

    Lower Punch Bowl Falls is at coordinates [masked]°N[masked]°W.

    Punch Bowl Falls is a 33 feet (10 m) punchbowl, hence the name, just upstream of Lower Punch Bowl Falls, and is an incredibly popular subject of photography. The falls is formed as Eagle Creek is forced into a narrow channel, no more than 5 feet (1.5 m) wide, by sheer cliffs and shoots at high velocity into a natural amphitheater. This waterfall was responsible for the waterfall classification of "punchbowl".[3]

    Punch Bowl Falls is at coordinates [masked]°N[masked]°W.

    Skoonichuk Falls takes its name from the Chinook Indian word meaning evil spirit. About 1.5 miles (2.4 km) upstream of Punch Bowl Falls, Skoonichuk Falls is an often overlooked, 55-foot (17 m) drop on Eagle Creek, with two main tiers of 35 feet (11 m) and 15 feet (4.6 m) with cascades above and below.[4]

    Skoonichuk Falls is at coordinates [masked]°N[masked]°W.

    Grand Union Falls, also called Grand Junction Falls or Blue Grouse Falls, is an often overlooked waterfall on Eagle Creek just below the famed Tunnel Falls. It is similar in appearance, geology and form to Sevenmile Falls not too far upstream. The falls drop about 45 feet (14 m) in a punchbowl form, ending in a large, clear pool below. The cliff it flows over consists of the same columnar basalt that is very common in the Columbia River Gorge area.[5]

    Grand Union Falls is at coordinates [masked]°N[masked]°W.

    Tunnel Falls is the only known waterfall on the East Fork Eagle Creek, with a sheer plunge of 130 feet (40 m) into a narrow bowl. Its most famous feature is the way the Eagle Creek Trail passes behind it, through a narrow tunnel blasted in the cliff face, 60 feet (18 m) above the streambed. The falls takes its name from this tunnel. The waterfall is actually on the East Fork Eagle Creek, not on Eagle Creek itself, but the East Fork is a substantial stream and Tunnel Falls is often associated with Eagle Creek anyway.[6]

    Tunnel Falls is at coordinates [masked]°N[masked]°W.

    As the name implies, your path will pass through a tunnel behind Tunnel Falls. Consider as you enter the tunnel, the work required to build this. The path was completed in the 1910s and has been virtually unchanged since! The falls drop from the bluffs above to the creek bed below, then downstream into the main Eagle Creek run. The years have carved out a striking amphitheater here. It is a breathtaking area, and easily the climax of your trip.

    **** Reminder - after 3 no shows you may be restricted from attending any future Olympia Hiking Meetup Group events****

  • As usual bring the 10 essentials, everything you need to keep yourself comfortable and safe, a sense of humor and adventure.

    Bring cash for drivers, have a full tank of gas, need a parks pass

    PLEASE: Have ID, medical info and emergency #s on your person, not just in your phone. Thanks.


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  • Sheila

    my husband had surgery yesterday - I need to stay at home

    July 27, 2013

  • Trish

    Hi Flo, I was indeed registered for this hike. Since I will be coming back from a 30+mile hike on Saturday, I am going to cancel to give my knees a rest. Have fun!

    July 19, 2013

  • Regina

    Ugh! Totally forgot about the family reunion, love this hike and I'm sad I can't go.

    June 15, 2013

  • Casey

    Just hiked this today with Rainier group. The MOST amazing, beautiful hike I have ever done. DO NOT MISS THIS!!

    May 19, 2013

  • Sandy

    Wow, I just saw the waiting list. Maybe one of those folks could do another posting and make the time different by an hour or so.

    April 17, 2013

    • Michael

      Sign me up for it also

      April 19, 2013

    • Cindy

      sign me up too please

      April 29, 2013

  • Alan W

    Also, you may need more time. On a summer Sunday it will be crowded. It is a narrow road with limited parking at the trail head. You may have to park as much as a half mile away from the trail head.

    April 17, 2013

  • Alan W

    This is a fantastic hike. Did it twice last summer. Definitely go for a swim at the Punch Bowl!

    April 17, 2013

  • Frank Y.

    i would like to carpool with someone

    April 16, 2013

  • Flo

    Hey regina, yes my memory failed me, I was mad to think the first time I did this hike it was a flat trail, well madness has its toll, I will bring exact change this time.

    April 14, 2013

  • Regina

    If we have time, we can take a quick swim to cool down, last time we didn't have the opportunity so bring an extra towel or two so we can take a quick dip and just remember, this trail isn't flat like a road *wink*wink* Flo:-)

    April 14, 2013

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