Tunnel Falls is often the destination of choice for hikers traveling the famous Eagle Creek Trail. The falls, arguably the best along the trail (perhaps tied with neighboring Twister Falls) plunge a sheer 165 feet into a bowl sculpted out of a contorted protrusion of columnar basalt. Of course the real thrill of this waterfall is walking through the namesake tunnel, which was blasted out of the cliff behind the falls so that the trail could circumnavigate the stream without an expensive bridge. There's really nothing like walking behind a waterfall, but not really, then emerging from the dark passage and literally being able to reach out and touch the falling water. Of course such a distinctive feature isn't without its hazards. As the trail passes behind the falls there is no hand rail to protect one from falling 60 feet to the rocks below, just a narrow cable bolted to the cliff on the other side of the trail. Exercise caution here.
- Tunnel Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
Tunnel Falls was named, quite obviously, for the tunnel blasted behind the falls so the Eagle Creek Trail could pass through the otherwise insurmountable canyon. When the trail was constructed or by whom the falls were named, I don't know.
Tunnel Falls is accessed from the Eagle Creek Trail near the Bonneville Dam in the Columbia River Gorge. Depart Interstate 84 at Eagle Creek (signed, but only accessible to eastbound traffic 0 westbounders need to turn around at the Bonneville Dam exit), turn left and proceed to the trailhead. Tunnel is passed approximately 6 miles from the trailhead and is impossible to miss. Don't stop here either, keep going the additional 1/4 mile to Twister Falls.