The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In Oregon

Eagle Creek Recreation Trail
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area • Cascade Locks

Can moss be the star of a canine hike? The Eagle Creek Recreation Trailis the most popular hike in the Columbia Gorge and most people come for the jaw-dropping waterfalls. The water displays deliver on the hype but it is the rain forest mosses that slowly worktheir magic during this visit. Moss is everywhere from dead tree snags to rocks to wooden bridges.

Between the crowds and the walking paths carved into basaltic cliffs, Eagle Creek is for experienced, easy-to-control trail dogs only. There are sheer drop-offs with no guard rails, although a guide cable is bolted into cliff walls at strategic spots.

The destination for canine day hikers is often Tunnel Falls, where a rock passage is carved behind the thundering 175-foot cataract. It is impossible to oversell the wonder of this moss-covered amphitheater. This journey gains over 1,100 feet in elevation in six miles.

An even taller waterfall lies another half-mile up the trail but only a portion of Twister Falls is visible from the main trail. The potholes in the pock- marked rock surface become even more treacherous and the drop-offs higher for Seaman after Tunnel Falls so use sound judgement in tackling “The Vertigo Mile.”

Less ambitious trail hikers can still get the full wonder from Eagle Creek by making the exhilarating Punch Bowl Falls at two miles in as the destination. A short spur leads Seaman down to the cylindrical grotto for a swim in the pool.

HIKING TIME: 2-6 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)


National Parks with Hiking

Crater Lake National Park
Dogs are not allowed on the trails or in park buildings

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
Dogs are allowed on the trails but not in the backcountry

Oregon Caves National Monument
Dogs are not allowed in the cave or on the trails

Hiking With Your Dog In Oregon