An early May morning found me at the 2,000-foot Eagle Creek Trailhead about 30 miles southeast of Portland as the crow flies. It was 50° and sunshine – – – a shirt-sleeve day by any measure. In the first mile the Trail lost 500 feet of elevation following an old logging road before reaching the valley floor. All the signs of early spring were evident with yellow skunk cabbage, red salmonberry, white trillium and the small white blooms of wood sorrel scattered along the way.
In the next mile the Trail entered the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. What a change, from an old clear-cut to an old-growth rainforest. Some of the cedars and Douglas firs were six to eight feet across at their bases. Under the old-growth canopy it was akin to walking through a park with little underbrush save for the ferns. In three miles there was a nice camping area next to Eagle Creek. I had originally planned to hike three more miles to the end of the trail, but a stream near the camping area was too high to ford safely.
Walking down to Eagle Creek, I ate a light snack while deeply enjoying the solitude. All in all the hike was seven miles in length with 900 feet of elevation gain.