Things I Brought
- $5 (Actually used a check)
- Nalgene Bottle/ Water
- Kind Bars/ Snacks
- Camera/ Tripod
Beautiful waterfalls flow all around in the Columbia River Gorge and Punchbowl Falls is no exception. The area is unlike anything you will see anywhere else around the world. The narrow path you take to see the falls make you feel excited about this adventurous hike. For some, it’s a chance to overcome fear. You are looking down the cliffs taking each step carefully but quickly, as you want to reach the falls quickly. The air is filled with the fresh smell of wet pine on a rainy day, mixed with the easing sounds of the river below. Moss covers the trees to appear as if they were giant furry green tarantula legs. Do not fear, you will see a few spots that may remind you of Bambi in the meadow. Tall rock cliffs, gorges, greenery and waterfalls will make you never want to leave once you arrive. If you can make it on a rainy day, we think it makes it look that much more beautiful.
Once you arrive, you will need to pay a $5day pass fee, unless you have your Northwest Pass with you. Getting there, it is roughly a short 4-mile hike out and back. It is moderately used, so we recommend you go early to avoid the crowd. Hiking in the early springtime helps avoid the crowds as well. You will hike along a narrow path in which you can usually look down into the canyon where the river resides. It does get narrow at some points, but there is a nice thick wire railing you can hold onto when needed. If you make it on a rainy day, prepare to get a little muddy. You will also pass a couple more waterfalls along the trail like Punchbowl Falls (just a short side hike).
I liked to pretend there were giants on the upward side of the flowing water with their giant hoses on the jet setting spraying out water to make the waterfalls. Giants would definitely fit the setting in case you were wondering. When you visit, make sure and bring your camera and maybe an ND filter to get some silky smooth water photos. And, as always, bring some drinking water, a snack, a positive attitude and, of course, MeUndies because I enjoy taking photos in my underwear everywhere and they are super duper comfortable; also it’s kind of like my signature move now. Here are some photos of the hike you can check out:
Experience By: Josh Blakley