Travels with the Original Easyrider®
2011 Edition

Hike to Elowah Falls
On the Columbia Gorge
A 5 mile hike - September 25, 2011

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GETTING THERE: Go east along Oregon Interstate I-84 and take exit 35 to John B. Yeon
State Park (37 miles east of Portland). Trailhead is on the right.
This is an Oregon State park although no parking pass is required at this time.
(Lat:45.61139 Lon:-121.99306)

Eastbound: Exit 35 off of I-84. Travel East two miles on the frontage road
(South side of I-84) to the John B. Yeon State Park trailhead.
If you can see the trailhead from I-84 Eastbound, you missed the exit.
I-84 Westbound: take exit 37 and follow the signs for Yeon State park.

Elowah Falls is very similar in appearance to Latourell Falls. The hike begins along
the Gorge Trail (#400). Keep left at the first junction, then left again at the second
junction (in 0.2 miles). This fairly easy hike will bring you to a bridge over McCord
Creek right at the base of the falls, where you can watch the dramatic waterfall plunge
289 ft. right in front of you. If you go right at the second junction onto the Elowah
Falls Trail, you will come to another great viewpoint of Elowah Falls, near the top of
the waterfall. This Elowah Falls Trail also continues up to Upper McCord Creek Falls.

Elowah Falls, or Eloise Falls, was named after Eloise W. Phant, the owner, operator,
president and chief wood chipper operator for The Eloise Wife Disposal Company.
Elowah Falls.. Elo for Eloise and Wah, which is pachyderm for "Queen of the Woild".

About 50 feet from the trailhead you come up on this interesting water tower.
In around 1890, some guy ran a bunch of pipe down the side of this hill to capture
water from the falls to power his saw mill. This water tower doesn't look to be
120 years old but it may be related to that activity in some way.

You'll quickly come upon this fork that goes to the Nesmith Point trail.
Do not take it... continue straight ahead. Nesmith Point is a hike for another day.
You'll then come up on a fork that goes up to the Upper Falls. You'll want to go
on each of these trails. We did the upper falls first and then down to the base of
the falls. It's a magical 3.5 mile, fairly easy hike in total.

Here's a shot of a section of this 120 year old steel or iron pipe. This was
no small undertaking. They much have rigged these small sections into place and
then riveted them together.

A nice view of Hamilton and Table mountains across the Columbia River.
It's pretty overcast and it started pouring buckets only minutes after we got back to
the trailhead. But the rain held off long enough for us to have a nice magical falls hike.

Also a nice view of Beacon Rock from up here.

In about 1/2 mile, you'll be above Elowah Falls looking down on it.

And in 0.75 miles from the fork in the trail, you'll be at the twin upper falls.

This next bit isn't obvious but if you follow the somehwat faint trail behind
the big rocks and fallen tree, there is a very peaceful creek falls and pond.
This was a nice, undocumented bonus that we weren't expecting.

Now head back down the trail to the upper falls trail sign and this time go
down to the base of the falls which is a short 0.5 mile or so hike.

We really lucked out with the weather this weekend. A great ride to Mount Rainier
yesterday and a very nice hike today before the monsoon hit.

If you travel another 200 yards past the waterfall, you'll find this picnic
area that time forgot.

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