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Camp Creek

Oregon beta posted by Jeff Waugh
  • The Hype

    Camp Creek is a gorgeous little canyon, and a short ¼ mile action packed route that will both visually and physically satisfy. Camp Creek is a tributary of Herman creek in the Columbia River Gorge on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. Although the route only covers ¼ mile, it is loaded with typical Columbia River Gorge eye candy, including four waterfalls, beautiful rain forest atmosphere, and a lovely creek to travel through. You will reluctantly depart this area feeling as though you just stepped out of a fantasy world of lush beauty.

    Getting There

    Herman Creek Horse Camp is located just east of Cascade Locks and 47 miles from Portland. From Portland, OR: Follow I-84 eastbound and take Cascade Locks exit # 44. Drive under I-84 and through town 1.8 miles to the eastbound entrance ramp. At the stop sign, cross the road and drive east 1.6 miles toward Oxbow Fish Hatchery, then on to Herman Creek Campground. From Hood River, OR: Follow I-84 westbound and take Herman Creek exit # 47. Drive 0.6 mile west on Forest Lane to Herman Creek Campground. Drive through the campground to the far end of the loop. You will arrive at a large parking area and the signed trail-head.

    From the Trailhead
    Take the Herman Creek trail #406 from the parking lot. The trail will descend slightly before reaching a switchback and an unmarked junction. Stay left and continue to follow the switchbacks uphill. You will cross under some power lines and cross a jeep road continuing straight. At 0.6 miles you will arrive at the junction with Herman Bridge Trail #406E. Stay left, heading east. Trail 406 becomes more like a road as you proceed down the trail. At 1.4 miles is a clearing with a junction for Gorge Trail #400, Gorton Creek Trail #408, and the trail we want to continue on to the right (South), the main Herman Creek Trail #406. At 1.5 miles there is a junction with the Nick Eaton Ridge Trail #447; again, stay right and continue on the Herman Creek Trail #406. You will come to a very tall waterfall on your left and its creek which you will cross. Continue along the trail passing the wilderness boundary sign. Shortly after the sign you will reach Camp Creek. Camp Creek is around 2.5 miles from the parking lot.

    The Canyon - Rating: 3C III, 35’   Longest Rap: 35'   # of Raps: Four

    The route entry point starts right where the Herman Creek Trail crosses Camp Creek. This is a very scenic and convenient place to get geared up and enter the creek. As will most all Columbia River Gorge creeks, the creek bed is very slippery, so slowly and cautiously make you way downstream.

    Important: The beauty of the entire Columbia River Gorge relies on visitors to tread very lightly throughout this wondrous treasure. Everything is covered in delicate mosses that can be easily disturbed. PLEASE be very aware of your foot and hand placements while traveling through streams and while setting up at waterfalls. Utilize natural toned webbing if needed, and practice good conservation ethics. We all enjoy a pristine setting, and one careless person can easily upset the balance between responsible public use/misuse.

    R1/R2 At around an 1/8th mile you will come to the first two waterfalls, each of which are around 35’ tall. The anchor is found on a tree to the left, and both waterfalls can be rappelled at once. A double 60 meter rope will just make it to the bottom of the lower waterfall.

    R3 Next in line is a small cascade which can be down-climbed, followed shortly by a 35’ waterfall. Currently there is an anchor placed high to the left on a very exposed outcropping which is poorly placed and should be avoided. A new anchor was placed to the right side which is easily accessed on a solid tree, and perfectly lined up for a nice rappel angle and easy pull. Run the rope under the horizontal log that crosses the top of the waterfall.

    R4 The last waterfall which lies immediately after the third, is 30’ high, and drops directly into Herman Creek. The anchor is from a log lying horizontally across the creek.

    Skills required: Down climbing

    Rappels: Four rappels, up to 35’.

    Water: After rappelling the last waterfall into Herman Creek, depending on water levels, a short swim of approximately 20’ may be required in mildly swift water.

    Anchor Conditions: Webbing anchors are established at each rappel.

    Gear Recommendations: Longest rappel is 35’, but set back another 20’ – 30’ to anchors.
    Helmet, harness, rappel device, webbing, rapides, body armor, 2500-3000cu.in. pack, exposure protection, Topo map, GPS, eye protection for bushwhacking downstream, gloves


    Flash Flood Danger: Low

    The Exit

    After rappelling the last waterfall into Herman Creek, make your way downstream (to the right) to where a tributary creek feeds into Herman Creek from the right. Make your way up the slope loosely following the creek on your left back up to the Herman Creek Trail #406. Turn left and return to the trail-head. Recommend staying in wetsuit, as there is Poison Oak in the Columbia River Gorge.

    Red Tape

    A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the Herman Creek trail-head. These can be purchased at local sporting goods stores, or online.

    Group size limitations vary with different resources and management agencies, so check with the local land management agency, but as a general rule most areas limit groups to no more than 12.
  • Herman Creek Horse Camp is located just east of Cascade Locks and 47 miles from Portland. From Portland, OR: Follow I-84 eastbound and take Cascade Locks exit # 44. Drive under I-84 and through town 1.8 miles to the eastbound entrance ramp. At the stop sign, cross the road and drive east 1.6 miles toward Oxbow Fish Hatchery, then on to Herman Creek Campground. From Hood River, OR: Follow I-84 westbound and take Herman Creek exit # 47. Drive 0.6 mile west on Forest Lane to Herman Creek Campground. Drive through the campground to the far end of the loop. You will arrive at a large parking area and the signed trail-head.

    From the Trailhead
    Take the Herman Creek trail #406 from the parking lot. The trail will descend slightly before reaching a switchback and an unmarked junction. Stay left and continue to follow the switchbacks uphill. You will cross under some power lines and cross a jeep road continuing straight. At 0.6 miles you will arrive at the junction with Herman Bridge Trail #406E. Stay left, heading east. Trail 406 becomes more like a road as you proceed down the trail. At 1.4 miles is a clearing with a junction for Gorge Trail #400, Gorton Creek Trail #408, and the trail we want to continue on to the right (South), the main Herman Creek Trail #406. At 1.5 miles there is a junction with the Nick Eaton Ridge Trail #447; again, stay right and continue on the Herman Creek Trail #406. You will come to a very tall waterfall on your left and its creek which you will cross. Continue along the trail passing the wilderness boundary sign. Shortly after the sign you will reach Camp Creek. Camp Creek is around 2.5 miles from the parking lot.
  • The route entry point starts right where the Herman Creek Trail crosses Camp Creek. This is a very scenic and convenient place to get geared up and enter the creek. As will most all Columbia River Gorge creeks, the creek bed is very slippery, so slowly and cautiously make you way downstream.

    Important: The beauty of the entire Columbia River Gorge relies on visitors to tread very lightly throughout this wondrous treasure. Everything is covered in delicate mosses that can be easily disturbed. PLEASE be very aware of your foot and hand placements while traveling through streams and while setting up at waterfalls. Utilize natural toned webbing if needed, and practice good conservation ethics. We all enjoy a pristine setting, and one careless person can easily upset the balance between responsible public use/misuse.

    R1/R2 At around an 1/8th mile you will come to the first two waterfalls, each of which are around 35’ tall. The anchor is found on a tree to the left, and both waterfalls can be rappelled at once. A double 60 meter rope will just make it to the bottom of the lower waterfall.

    R3 Next in line is a small cascade which can be down-climbed, followed shortly by a 35’ waterfall. Currently there is an anchor placed high to the left on a very exposed outcropping which is poorly placed and should be avoided. A new anchor was placed to the right side which is easily accessed on a solid tree, and perfectly lined up for a nice rappel angle and easy pull. Run the rope under the horizontal log that crosses the top of the waterfall.

    R4 The last waterfall which lies immediately after the third, is 30’ high, and drops directly into Herman Creek. The anchor is from a log lying horizontally across the creek.

    Skills required: Down climbing

    Rappels: Four rappels, up to 35’.

    Water: After rappelling the last waterfall into Herman Creek, depending on water levels, a short swim of approximately 20’ may be required in mildly swift water.

    Anchor Conditions: Webbing anchors are established at each rappel.

    Gear Recommendations: Longest rappel is 35’, but set back another 20’ – 30’ to anchors.
    Helmet, harness, rappel device, webbing, rapides, body armor, 2500-3000cu.in. pack, exposure protection, Topo map, GPS, eye protection for bushwhacking downstream, gloves


    Flash Flood Danger: Low
  • After rappelling the last waterfall into Herman Creek, make your way downstream (to the right) to where a tributary creek feeds into Herman Creek from the right. Make your way up the slope loosely following the creek on your left back up to the Herman Creek Trail #406. Turn left and return to the trail-head. Recommend staying in wetsuit, as there is Poison Oak in the Columbia River Gorge.
  • A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the Herman Creek trail-head. These can be purchased at local sporting goods stores, or online.

    Group size limitations vary with different resources and management agencies, so check with the local land management agency, but as a general rule most areas limit groups to no more than 12.

Condition Reports for Camp Creek

  1. msmnificent
    Nov 30, 2020
    msmnificent

    Difficulty:

    NA

    Skill Level:

    NA

    Water:

    NA

    Thermal:

    NA

    Group Size:

    NA

    Total Time:

    NA


    Conditions report copied from RopeWiki:
    Be aware that Camp Creek was overrun by the Eagle Creek wildfire in Sept 2017. While the area has reopened and it's possible to run the canyon, the area is still very unstable. A number of trees killed in the fire may come down over the next few years.

    Posted Nov 30, 2020
The information provided here is intended for entertainment purposes only. The creator of this information and/or Canyon Collective are not liable for any harm or damage caused by this information. Conditions in the backcountry are constantly changing, only you are responsible for your safety and well being.