Even on a “work” day, we have plenty of time to get out and hike if we are so inclined. Yesterday afternoon, we hiked one of the gorge’s premier hikes – and I forgot the camera! I do that very rarely, and when I do, we often see something unusual . I was afraid yesterday would be the day we saw a cougar, or Sasquatch – but no, just a couple of fantastic waterfalls. :)
Located in a cool, deep, fern- and tree-lined canyon, Punchbowl Falls isn’t particularly tall, but it IS particularly beautiful. The waters pour straight down into a deep, round pool from an erosion-carved rock bowl. The fact that the falls are only two miles from the trailhead, on a gently sloping and incredibly engineered trail, makes it one of the most visited – and most photographed – falls in the gorge.
Since I didn’t have any of my own photos to show you, I searched around on the web to find one that didn’t appear to have fees or copyrights associated with it. This picture is actually a poster (and available for sale if you are so inclined).
The beautiful falls was also the inspiration for the artwork on the back cover of an album from 1973 – Styx II. This image came from amazon.com.
The trail to Punchbowl Falls (and beyond – it ends at a lake 13 miles from the trailhead) starts just off I-84 at Eagle Creek Campground, the very first US Forest Service campground in the US, built in 1915. The trail itself is a marvel: in two spots, it has been blasted out of sheer basalt cliffs. Cables affixed to the cliff side as handrails provide psychological support as you travel the 2-3 foot wide pathway, averting your eyes from the sheer drop to the river blow.
We liked the hike and the views so much that we might do it again before we leave – and I’ll remember the camera next time!