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Dry Creek Falls via Pacific Crest Trail

based on 103 tracks & routes #28 hike out of 557 in
2.4 mi
Distance
1 hrs 3 min
Time
terrain
703 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

Dry Creek Falls is a picturesque waterfall located near Cascade Locks, plunging 74 feet over a basalt wall in a secluded amphitheater. Accessible via the Pacific Crest Trail, it offers a short, woodsy hike with a serene Gorge atmosphere. At the base of the falls, remnants of water diversion works can be found, which supplied water to Cascade Locks during the construction of the Bonneville Dam in the 1930s. The creek was redirected through a tunnel, leaving its original bed dry. The area was affected by the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire, with blackened tree trunks and a recovering understory, although most of the canopy remains intact.

The hike begins at the Bridge of the Gods Trailhead. From there, hikers cross the road and take the Pacific Crest Trail parallel to I-84, passing under the freeway. Walking uphill on Moody Street, they keep right on a gravel road until reaching a boulder-lined parking pullout, serving as an alternative trailhead. Continuing on the Pacific Crest Trail to the left, which also serves as the Gorge Trail #400, the trail gradually ascends through a beautiful forest characterized by Douglas-firs and big-leaf maples. Evidence of the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire is visible, but the trail meanders through a dappled sunlight forest, showcasing fall foliage and spring wildflowers like columbines.

About one mile into the hike, hikers encounter a powerline access road where they turn right, following it briefly before resuming the trail in the woods. Along the way, they pass notable trees and traverse a steep slope before gradually descending to Dry Creek. This section of the trail winds through an intriguing area adorned with large lava boulders and trees for almost another mile.

At Dry Creek, the trail intersects with a dirt road, with an almost invisible junction leading to the abandoned Rudolph Spur Trail. Instead of crossing the road, hikers turn right and proceed up a rough track for approximately 2/10 of a mile to reach Dry Creek Falls. The upper trees near the falls suffered more damage from the fire compared to the lower sections. Although Dry Creek no longer runs dry due to the decommissioned diversion apparatus, the falls offer a scenic display throughout the year, particularly during the wet months when the volume increases. After enjoying the falls' spray in the tranquil amphitheater, hikers retrace their steps back to the trailhead.

Getting Started

Drive I-84 east to Exit 44 for Cascade Locks and Stevenson.

After 0.4 miles, bear right for the Bridge of the Gods and Stevenson.

Drive up for 0.1 miles and turn right into the parking area for the Bridge of the Gods Trailhead.

From Washington, cross the Bridge of the Gods and pay your toll at the booth. Just beyond the toll booth, you'll find the lot on the left.


    Rate this Hike

    user_profile
    1 year, 9 months ago
    Trail was recently maintained and the area was open from a fire. Easy incline with a good waterfall at the end.
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 2 months ago

    user_profile
    4 years, 8 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    4 years, 9 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    4 years, 10 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    4 years, 11 months ago
    ★ ★ ★


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