eagle creek to punchbowl falls


We couldn't wait to get back to Eagle Creek to do the hike to Punchbowl Falls.  I can't express how beautiful and wild this trail is.  I've only been there in summer before, and it's pretty then, but the winter landscape is just incredible. I was literally walking in circles trying to take everything in.  I took more than 200 pictures and this is probably the first of two or three posts, but these should give you an idea of what the progression of the trail looks like to the falls.  Around every corner was another breathtaking scene, and my pictures don't come close to doing it justice.  We did see several kids under 10 on the trail, but if you take your child I would recommend very close supervision as there are a lot of drop-offs, narrow patches, and rocky/mucky terrain in spots.  It's a 4-mile hike to Punchbowl Falls and back, with options to go on (Tunnel Falls is 6 miles in and Wahtum Lake is 13 miles in), but that is as far as we went this time.  I was a little disappointed not to get a shot of the falls - I would have had to wade out in water to see around the corner to the falls and I didn't want to hike back cold and wet, but next time I'll put some rubber boots in my pack.  We arrived pretty early - we were back to our car by about 12:30 - and though there were other people on the trail, for the most part we missed the heavy stream of hikers that were just getting there.  

If you have never been, go, and go early - the early morning fog hanging in the trees makes this already amazing place seem almost unreal.

More soon...
by mlekoshi