John B. Yeon Trailhead (Elowah Falls)

Near Hood River, Oregon, United States

John B. Yeon is a parking area and trailhead for hikes to two of the most beautiful and secluded waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge: Elowah Falls and McCord Creek Falls.

The trailhead also marks the west end of the Bonneville Segment of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. Walk or bike the paved trail 5.5 miles to the  Bridge of the Gods Trailhead at Cascade Locks.

The trail starts on the south side of I-84 and passes through a forested area where damage from the Eagle Creek Fire is apparent. The trail crosses to the south side of I-84 and takes the historic Moffett Creek Bridge over the creek. It then travels along the Columbia River, with views of Bonneville Dam. The trail then scales Tooth Rock, with eastbound traffic passing through the tunnel below, delivering visitors back on the south side of I-84. After passing Toothrock Trailhead, visitors will see more damage — and rejuvenation — from the Eagle Creek Fire along the way to the Eagle Creek Trailhead.

Just west of the Eagle Creek Trailhead, the trail climbs a 40-foot tall staircase equipped with bike wheel grooves. Visitors will pass the Cascade Fish Hatchery, which offers self-guided tours and the opportunity to see spawning salmon in the fall. The trail passes Ruckel Creek and a small, charming waterfall before reaching Cascade Locks.

Several U.S. Forest Service trails intersect this segment of the trail, including the Pacific Crest Trail. 

For information, see the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail bicycle and hiking map.

John B. Yeon was one of the principal architects of the Historic Columbia River Highway.

Know Before You Go

  • A 40-foot staircase equipped with bike wheel grooves is at the Eagle Creek Trailhead.
  • Dogs are allowed on the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, but must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times.
  • E-bikes are allowed on the state trail. The following devices are not allowed: electric scooters, mountain boards, electric unicycles, and other similar devices. For more information, please call Viento State Park at 541-374-8811.
Effective Sep 18, 2020
Campfires are banned in all state parks, including campgrounds, day-use areas, and beaches. The ban includes wood, charcoal briquettes, candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers. Propane stoves and other cooking devices that have an immediate shutoff valve are allowed for cooking only. Locally, park managers have discretion to allow fires in designated campfire rings only if conditions have improved enough to do so. 
mdi-white-balance-sunny Open for day use Year Round
COVID-19 may affect dates
mdi-cellphone Call for info: 800-551-6949
Call park: 503-695-2261
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Amenities & Features

Questions

mdi-help-circle-outline What's Allowed

Can I fly my drone in the park?

Please call 503-695-2261 for park specific rules

Can I metal detect?

No metal detecting is allowed in West Gorge State parks

mdi-help-circle-outline Day use/Special Events

How do I get a Special Use Permit?

This park requires a Special Use Permit for special events or activities. Please open the Special Use Permit application to see examples of events that need a permit.  If you have questions about whether you need a special use permit for your activity and to receive instructions on how to submit the application, please call 503-695-2261.

For more questions, review our statewide FAQ

History

The park was purchased from various owners between 1935 and 1956. The falls were named Elowah in 1915 by a committee of the Mazamas and other organizations. In 1935, the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed a bridge across McCord Creek and 1.5 miles of foot trail. The park was named for John B. Yeon (1865-1928) pioneer lumberman and realtor of Portland. He was a prime supporter of the Columbia River Highway. As Multnomah County Roadmaster from 1913 to 1917, Yeon supervised initial construction of the highway, complimenting his salary and backing the project financially. He served on the Oregon Highway Commission in the years 1920-1923.

Brochures and Maps

mdi-file-pdf-box Columbia Gorge Visitor Guide

Photos & Video

Some parks are open for day-use and camping, with reduced services. Check the Park Status Map and FAQ for details. Campfire restrictions may be in place.