Friday, July 10, 2009


Punchbowl Falls on the Eagle Creek TrailEven 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 back of the Styx II album from 1973

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

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!


  1. After reading your old rave about Custer state park in South Dakota my family and I spent a week there last month. It was wonderful. thanks for the tip.

  2. I just found your blog and will come back. We kind of collect waterfalls -- your picture here is terific. You've visited some of the places we love (Oregon) (South Dakota) and more. I never know whether I like to read about new places or look again at old favorites. Anyway, I love your pictures and notes. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi Odel & Laurie... I just found your blog and boy am I glad we did... We also are fulltimers and we love it... I just love your blog and can't wait to read more... I am adding you on as one of my favorites... Come on by and visit with me... I am sure we have a lot in common... Have safe travels my new friends...


  4. It never fails, whenever we don't have our camera, that is when we see important stuff. Like the time we were in Sandpoint, ID, (a few weeks ago) and we took a ride with some friends but, didn't think to take our camera and what should we see right along a busy highway? A mama moose and two babies!!! Would you believe we can't find any in Yellowstone???? GRRR!!!

    Hugs, Sharon & Ron