Hike 30 – Eagle Creek to High Bridge (With a Punchbowl Side Trip)

We have done 30 hikes! How cool is that? We hiked on Monday this week, which I guess is technically the next week, but whatever. It was a rainy stormy day, so we definitely had the rain gear out. It didn’t help much. Beyond the rain, this hike was just crazy wet. I loved it. I can’t imagine hiking it dry now. It wouldn’t be nearly as cool. Eagle Creek has cliff sides that are shear and amazing. They are so high and so dangerous that permanent wires are attached to the walls that you can hold on to as you walk. When it is raining, and there is snowpocalypse snow-melt occurring, water just pours over them. It is really incredible.

We both had our super water resistant hiking boots on and we still got wet. We saw tons of people hiking in just tennis shoes. Quite frankly, that is crazy. Get ready to roll a fresh ankle. We got wet at the same spot. There is a small creek crossing that was roaring due to the snow-melt and we both went in, obviously not on purpose. We are not graceful, my sister and me. She went in on the way up. I went in on the way down. Wet feet are better than painful feet though. Hiking boots are super comfortable.

We have been carrying around our aunt Patti’s ashes for the last 10 hikes or so looking for a place to deposit them. We finally found it. We intended to hike to High Bridge which is an aptly named amazingly high bridge 3.2 miles from the trail head. However, neither of us had ever been to Punchbowl Falls, so we decided it was necessary to take a little side trip. When we saw that amazing Punchbowl, we knew it was where Patti needed to go. I got as close to the water as I could and dumped her in. I was really hoping it wouldn’t be a Big Lebowski moment, because of course that really happens, and it wasn’t. It was lovely. The power of the water as it hits is incredible. It’s a pretty short hike up to Punchbowl. If you like reading the blog but think you aren’t fit enough to keep up with us (which is ridiculous by the way) it would be a good starter hike. It has hills, cliffs, amazing views, and everything a longer hike has, but it is only a couple miles round trip. Do it!

As we rejoined the main trail after Punchbowl, we headed up and up and up. The climb to High Bridge is 840 feet in elevation gain total. It’s really an amazing trail. There were several places where you walk along the cliffs and there are wires to keep you safe. Along those cliffs were unmelted piles of snow which definitely made our navigation cautious and slow. As always, on the uphill my sister powers through and I end up really far behind her. Then she waits. I like to say that my slow and steady is slower and steadier than hers, but really I’m just easily winded.

All told, we probably hiked just short of 7 miles. It was a beautiful rainy day.

For more information about Eagle Creek click here.


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