On a sunny, shirt-sleeve morning I parked at the Eagle Creek Trailhead about 30 miles southeast of home as the crow flies. In the first mile the Trail lost 500 feet of elevation following an old logging road before reaching the valley floor.
In the next mile the Trail entered the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. Talk about an abrupt change – – – from an old clear-cut to an old-growth rainforest.
Some of the cedar, Douglas fir and hemlock trees were six to eight feet across at their base. This Trail may be the best place near Portland to experience an old-growth forest.
Near riparian areas the underbrush became thick again with vine maple, big-leaf maple and salmonberry, sometimes reaching well over my head. As usual, there were few signs of wildlife in the old-growth forest, probably due to lack of much to eat.
In a little over three miles there was a nice campsite next to Eagle Creek. The Trail continued to follow the Creek upstream, sometimes through meadows and other times climbing above steep ravines.
Following the Trail became more difficult until I finally reached its end, roughly seven miles from the Trailhead. After eating a light lunch near the crystal-clear Creek and deeply enjoying the solitude, I began the return to the Trailhead.