Hiking the Eagle Creek Trail, July, 2010

Click on the small pictures to see larger ones.

For my first hike post-surgery, I chose the Eagle Creek Trail because it's popular (so I figured I could get help if I needed it), there are several good turnaround places (in case I had pains), and I know the trail well. It's also rated easy-moderate, so I thought it would be a good first test of my repaired knee.

trailhead: can I do this?

peaceful pool
across the valley

watch yer head!

I see why they call it
"High Bridge"?

I set out early and drove 45-minutes to the trail head very excited and eager to get out there. I'd been out of action since hiking in Big Bend in March, 2010, and was anxious for some fresh air, sunshine, and the trail beneath my feet. Well, I got what I came for! What a day! I hiked six miles to Tunnel Falls, which were amazing, and then six miles back out. The day started out cool, but got pretty hot, so I was happy to have made an early start. Some of the people coming up the trail at 2pm when I was getting off of it looked pretty miserable. At that time of day, the sun is in the west and the trail follows the eastern side of a valley between two mountains, so it can be intense.

creaky HOT scree field

pretty flowers in the moss

so delicate

blossoms on the flowers?!

probably good fishing
in there

inviting trail ahead


hold on to that cable!

Tunnel Falls were awesome. That's the only word I can come up with. The force with which that water spills over the rock ledge literally reverberates in your ribcage when you walk anywhere near the falls. The noise drowns out any normal tone of voice and overwhelms the senses. Standing in the tunnel was freaky, and kind of scary!

the mighty Tunnel Falls

coming out of the tunnel

lunch at Four-Mile Bridge!

more steep cliffs

I returned home triumphant and thrilled, with only the pain that I would expect after hiking twelve miles in 5-1/2 hours. I was satisfied and proud, even though I did take a niiiiiiice long, hot bath that night! I'm back in action! Woo-hoo!

a nice cool pool

taking a shower in the
moss garden spring

neat black and green snake!

hope it holds, it's a
long way down

Here is a video clip of Tunnel Falls, taken just as I emerged from the tunnel. It's a little bit dizzying, but it certainly gives a sense of the height of the falls, the power of the water, and the incredible noise it all makes.

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