Th first mile of the trail passes Ruckel Creek and a small, charming waterfall on its way to the Eagle Creek Trailhead and the Cascade Fish Hatchery, which offers the opportunity to see Chinook and coho salmon spawing in Eagle Creek each fall. The trail is accessible to this point. Just west of Eagle Creek Day-use Area, the trail climbs a 40-foot tall staircase equipped with bike wheel grooves.
From here visitors travel through woods that show damage and regeneration following the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. The trail then scales Tooth Rock, eastbound traffic passing through the tunnel below, and delivers visitor on the north side of I-84. The trail offers spectacular views of Bonneville Dam while traveling along the river to the historic Moffett Creek Bridge. Then visitors cross back to the south side of I-84 and go through a forested area where damage from the Eagle Creek Fire is again apparent.
Several U.S. Forest Service trails intersect this segment of the trail, including the Pacific Crest Trail. Parking is free at the small parking area near the bridge entrance. The trailhead is beneath the bridge.
For information, see the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail bicycle and hiking map.
Please call 503-695-2261 for park specific rules.
No metal detecting is allowed in Gorge State parks
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.
The Historic Columbia River Highway was designed by Samuel Lancaster and constructed between 1913 to 1922. Its purpose was not merely to provide an east-west transportation route through the Columbia River Gorge, but to take full advantage of every natural aspect, scenic feature, waterfall, viewpoint and panorama. When bridges or tunnels were designed, they stood by themselves as artistic compliments to the landscape. The Columbia River Highway served millions of travelers and became one of the grandest highways in the nation. When transportation needs required faster and larger roads, sections of the old highway were bypassed. By 1960, a new interstate highway had replaced nearly all of the older road. The four-mile stretch of old highway between Hood River and Mosier, including the Mosier Twin Tunnels, was closed, filled with rock and abandoned. In the 1980s, new interest in the old scenic highway began to resurface. Lost sections of highway were identified, unearthed and studied for potential renovation. Some portions of the original route were covered by I-84 when it was built. An ambitious restoration began with the removal of rock from the Mosier Twin Tunnels. Restoration took several months. When workers were done, several surprises were unearthed, such as graffiti dating back to 1921 (when drivers were snowbound for several days). By The highway is owned and maintained by ODOT; the state trail is managed by the Parks and Recreation Department. In 2000, the highway was designated a National Historic Landmark, and in 2002, the state trail was designated a National Recreation Trail. One Great Road video about the restoration and economic value to the community.