Dry Creek Falls is a beautiful waterfall that shoots out of a narrow gorge, plummeting 74 feet to the rocky creek bed below. The hike to the falls is a nice stroll through the woods, with this section of the gorge being much less impacted by the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. Most of the canopy is still intact and the undergrowth is recovering nicely. If it wasn’t for some blackened tree trunks, you would never know the fire raged through here.
If you can find a spot, there is some parking right at the intersection of the gorge Trail and the PCT on Moody Ave. If not, the recommended parking area is at Bridge of the Gods Trailhead, at Tollbridge Park. From the park, follow the PCT as it parallels I84 for a little bit and then passes through an underpass beneath the highway. The trail will then follow Moddy Street to the parking area listed above. Watch for the PCT heading out to the left from the parking area and take it. Cause it’s the way to go.
The trail heads slowly but steadily uphill for a little more than a mile. During the spring, flowers flourish and the maples make for beautiful colors in the fall. You will also cross a powerline access road along the route, but finding the trail on the far side is easy, with sings pointing the way.
After reaching the high point, you will begin a slow decent towards Dry Creek over the next 2/3 of a mile or so. Once reaching Dry Creek, the PCT continues on by crossing over a very inviting bridge over the creek. That is no longer the correct path. Look for the wide trail to your right heading straight uphill and travel the short, but steepish climb to Dry Creek Falls.
Despite its name, Dry Creek doesn’t go dry…. any more. Once reaching the falls, you will notice a concrete diversion structure that makes for a great bridge over the creek. This sued to supply Cascade Locks it water until the 1930s, thus causing the stream to dry out below here. Since that no longer occurs, you can experience the joy of bubbling water year-round. And that diversion makes for a great bridge over the creek to get some closer views of the falls.
To reach the trailhead, simply head for the Bridge of the Gods on the south end of Cascade Locks. Act like you are going to head over the bridge and park in the parking area on the inside of the big loop heading up to the bridge. If you want to try the upper trailhead, head down Wasco Street, just one block north of the Bridge Circle. Follow it until you reach Moody Ave and make a right. Pass under the freeway and then the road will turn to dirt and you will see some parking areas to your right.
Passes: Northwest Forest Pass is required at this trailhead. A free, self-issue wilderness permit is required upon entering the wilderness.
Dogs: Allowed and must be on leash or under voice command at all times.
Open Season: Open and accessible all year.