Monday, October 27, 2014

Dry Creek Falls

If you want to visit Dry Creek Falls you'll start your hike at the Bridge of the Gods Trailhead located off the Cascade Locks exit from the I-84 going East along the Columbia River Gorge. This hike is easy to do and fun for the entire family. The total distance is 4.4 mile with an elevation gain of 710 feet. No matter the time of year or the severity of the weather it is never dry at Dry Creek Falls. Learn more about the Dry Creek Falls hike below.
This hike starts you at the Bridge of the Gods Trailhead. From the trailhead, cross the road and head up the Pacific Crest Trail parallel to I-84. Watch out for an old safety fence here that encroaches the trail and is now more of a hazard than a help. In about 1/10 of a mile, you'll come to Moody Street as it crosses under the freeway. Walk the road uphill to the right for a bit, under the freeway. When the road angles left, go straight ahead on a gravel road a short distance to twin trailheads. Altogether the road walking here is about 100 yards. The trail to the right is the Gorge Trail headed toward the Ruckel Creek Trail and the Eagle Creek Campground. You'll take the trail to the left, which is the Pacific Crest Trail.
The Crest Trail heads gradually uphill, never too steep, through a pretty, dappled sun kind of forest. In the spring, forest wildflowers including columbines are common here. About 1 mile in, you'll come to a powerline access road. Turn right here and follow the road a short distance under the powerlines to the resumption of the trail. Soon after the powerline road, you'll come to a minor summit and the trail begins a gradual descent to Dry Creek. This section of trail heads gradually downward through an interesting area of large lava boulders and trees for almost another mile.
At Dry Creek, the trail comes to another dirt road. This one seems to be open to normal traffic, at least I saw a small, 2 wheel drive pickup last time I was there. The Crest Trail crosses the road and then crosses Dry Creek on a wooden bridge. To get to Dry Creek Falls, instead of crossing the bridge, turn right here and head up the road about 2/10 of a mile to the falls. At the end of the road, there's a car turnaround and a fire pit. 
SRC: Find more photos and information about Dry Creek Falls at: www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org/wiki/Dry_Creek_Falls_Hike

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