Columbia River Gorge; Cabin Creek

We are extremely fortunate to have so many canyoneering runs so close to the Portland area. There are plenty of waterfalls and creeks to run but we must take a few considerations before doing so. Lots of these places are easily accessible and a majority of the traffic is that of hikers and photographers. To continue having these places accessible we need to make sure we are not endangering anyone who maybe below. If the creek you want to run is swarmed with people avoid it, run it on a weekday when there is far less traffic. Another consideration is to tread softly. Our waterfalls are covered in beautiful mosses, and other flora that can easily be destroyed by a careless canyoneer. Be respectful to the environment and to the many photographers who cherish these pristine falls.

 

There are several creeks to run off the Starvation Creek Trailhead Exit off of Hwy 84 just before hood river. One of them Cabin Creek. This run has a short approach and 3 waterfalls form which to escape the summer heat under. For the parking lot hike west on trail 413 for 1/4 mile until you see Cabin Falls. Trail 414A is just east of the falls and you will need to take it uphill. 50 ft after the trail makes a sharp left to head south you will find a large log on you right (west) side. This is a perfect spot to get geared up and start to bushwack you way to the creek.

 

Once at the creek you will encounter your first set of falls. This is a short 20′ that has a massive fallen tree from which to set up an anchor.

From here just a short hike down to the next set of falls. There is a piece of webbing on the west side of the creek, always inspect existing webbing to ensure it is intact and able to support you and everyone in your party. This falls will take you 90′ into a slot with a pool below.



 

The pool below extends to the north about 40′. There is a log jammed in the slot from which to set up your next anchor. Be extremely careful rappelling this section as people will sometimes be in the pool below. Tread softly and do not kick rocks loose. This edge can sometimes be a bit tricky, just before you drop over there is a overhung portion that puts you right in the path path of the water. There is also a very narrow spot where you can easily get you ankle stuck. I have found it to be easier sticking to the west side of the water flow and easing over the edge.

 

Once over the edge navigate your way downwards until the next edge. about half of this rappel is free hanging so make sure you and everyone in your group is comfortable rappelling and have gloves. Those that have already made it to the bottom should stand on fireman’s belay.

 

Thats it! no back to the car and lunch in Hood River!

 

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