Backpacking Trip in Oregon

Ruckel Creek Trail to Wahtum Lake and back on Eagle Creek Trail

26.5 miles in 3.5 days

And this was my motivation:

Punchbowl Falls Lower View

But I had to go a long long way to get there.

It all started when my husband and I were planning out trip to Oregon. I had seen pictures of this magic waterfall and really wanted to go there myself. So we asked his family if they would like to do this hike with us. My father-in-law and brother-in-law were soon on board and my FIL started to research. It actually is only a 3 mile hike from the parking lot to this viewpoint, but my FIL turned it into a 26.5miles adventure.

Instead of hiking the same trail twice we decided to do a loop. We started at Ruckel Creek Trail which led us to Benson Plateau where we spend out first night. Ruckel Creek Trail is a real piece of work. Here is a nice description of the trail –  http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org/wiki/Wahtum_Lake_via_Ruckel_Creek_Hike  We set camp where Ruckel Creek Trail and Benson Way Trail intersect right next to the Ruckel creek. Then the next morning we continued our journey to Wahtum Lake and walked a little ways on the Pacific Crest Trail as well.

Wahtum Lake

Wahtum Lake is were we spent our second night. It is very peaceful and the water is nice and clear.

The next morning after I took a refreshing bath in this gorgeous lake we started our third day hiking, now on Eagle Creek Trail. It mostly goes downhill and soon you will see lots of little creeks that are making their way down into Eagle Creek.

Little Creek

There is also a forest fire section …

Forest fire Eagle Creek

And then after miles and miles you will eventually get to Tunnel Falls.

Tunnel Falls

And this part of the trail is not for people with fear of heights. You can see the little trail on the right side of the falls and then it goes behind the falls and contiunes on the other side.

Walking through Tunnel Falls

And this is how it looks inside the tunnel…

inside the Tunnel Falls

We were pretty much done after seeing the falls and just wanted to get to the nearest camping place.  And we found one right next to Eagle Creek. So we set camp, ate and went down to the river to filter water and to wash the dishes. Well I didn’t – I took pictures :)

Eagle Creek

We went to bed fairly early and my plan was to get up with the first sunlight and to hike to punchbowl falls without the guys. I would take pictures there and wait for them to catch up. I am so happy about this decision. I left camp probably around 6am and got to Punchbowl Falls around 7am. But I also saw some interesting things on the way… Here is a picture of High Bridge…

High Bridge

Loowit Falls is a smaller, but still pretty looking waterfall…

Loowit Falls

The light was perfect when I got to Punchbowl Falls and I had nobody breathing down my neck to hurry up with the pictures.

Punchbowl Falls Upper Viewpoint

Also I had to climb over the fence to get this picture and I’d rather do that without any witnesses.

I realized that the sun was creeping up and I had to get going to get to the lower view point before the sunlight would be too harsh. I got there just in time to shoot a couple frames – everything else I shot the following hour does not compare to the first two pictures.

Punchbowl Falls Lower View Point

Here is the proof of our mileage…

Eagle Creek Trail

This is the crew … Left to right: Bill, me, Andy, Tatum and our trooper Olli.

The crew

That was a fun trip and only the beginning of our two week vacation in Oregon.

To be contiuned…

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