Eagle Creek Campground and Picnic Area – Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area OR

Description

Although the Eagle Creek Campground opened as the first “auto camp” in the northwest region in 1915, Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) workers made significant improvements to the campground from 1934 to 1937.

As early as August 1934, the Oregonian reported that “Eagle Creek Campground is being improved so it will accommodate more picnic parties, through labors of boys from the Benson CCC camp . . . “. Their work included clearing additional campground space, building fireplaces and cutting up fallen snags to create wood for campfires. Headlines from the same Portland newspaper announced later in the fall that a record number of visitors to the Eagle Creek area had enjoyed the campground’s improvements while observing construction of the nearby Bonneville Dam. The Oregonian concluded: “Due to the anticipation of the Forest Service that the popularity of Eagle Creek campgronds will continue, ten large rock stoves have been constructed there, additional space has been cleared for picnic tables and all trails have been widened.”

During August 1935, the Oregonian further reported that forty men from Multnomah County relief had been at work improving the popular campground, along with a work crew from CCC Camp Cascade Locks. The improvements included: “Several new outdoor camp stoves . . . Additional space . . . added to the camp by clearing out brush and making new tables . . . Eagle Creek trail and side trails (had been) . . . cleared and widened.” One of the new trails constructed was a trail to the summit of Wauna Point that provides a view of Bonneville Dam and the Columbia Gorge.

A 1984 US Forest Service report noted that the Eagle Creek campground and picnic area “is possibly the most elaborate and best preserved of the CCC-built recreation areas in the Mount Hood National Forest.” Structures still existing at the Eagle Creek campground includes two restrooms, a picnic shelter, an overlook building with community kitchen, and an entrance booth. Additional improvements include drinking fountains, campfire pits, retaining walls, combination oven/open fireplaces, campsites and picnic areas. A CCC-constructed suspension bridge over Eagle Creek was only recently removed.

Source notes

"Campground Enlarged," Oregonian. August 2, 1934. p. 7.

"Camp Visited by 47,517; Eagle Creek Spot Popular with Crowds," Oregonian. November 7, 1934. p. 9.

"Eagle Creek Job Well Under Way,"Oregonian. August 26, 1935. p. 4.

Eagle Creek Campground, recreation.gov website -  https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/122890    Viewed November 29, 2021.

Otis, Alison. "Mount Hood National Forest," The Forest Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps. Washington DC: Department of Agriculture, 1986.

Project originally submitted by Judith T Kenny on November 30, 2021.

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Location Info


74152 NE Eagle Creek Loop
Cascade Locks, OR 97014

Coordinates: 45.64043864312367, -121.92266736664027

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