Our Portland weekend was jam packed (exactly the way we do every weekend getaway), and it started out exploring The Columbia River Gorge. My heart aches over the state of the gorge right now. I can not believe that we were on the trail as the Eagle Creek Fire started, and we are majorly counting our blessings that we weren’t caught on the other side of it at Punchbowl Falls.

We started the morning at Oneonta Gorge, and it was even more special because we got to take my sister and her kids with us! The girls were in heaven having older cousins to help them along the way, and I was excited to be there with my sister for our first time at the Gorge.

We happened to be there over Labor Day weekend, which meant HUNDREDS of people exploring the gorge. I feel like sometimes we can get a little annoyed or discouraging when there are sooooo many people… but I try and love the fact that sooooo many people are out and taking in the beauty of this natural wonder!

We are so incredibly lucky to live close to amazing waterfalls, hikes, mountains, trails, lakes… and while we are perhaps able to go on weekdays and on the “off-seasons” to most of these places – sometimes, you just go on a holiday and take it in with the rest of the world ;)

So, just a few hundred feet into the gorge, I knew this was going to be my all time favorite hike ever. Fern Canyon has been topped!

I will say, the beginning was HARD with three little kids. We all had to scramble (along with tons of other people) to get over the mountain of fallen tree limbs and rocks to get to other side of the gorge.

But once we got to the other side, safely, it was incredible! We got to wade through water, walk along logs, and end it with a waterfall!

Luckily, we went in 100 degree weather, so wading through water wasn’t as frigid as it could have been!

After our hike through Oneonta Gorge, we drove up to Vista House at Crowne Point and had a picnic lunch.

The view of the Columbia River gorge was amazing from up there!

On our way back from Crowne Point, we decided to try and stop at Multnomah Falls. The holiday traffic was so horrendous, that we were stuck for an hour just trying to get to the falls. We decided to turn back and see Multnomah from the highway on our way to Punchbowl Falls.

I have never been so thankful for traffic because along our hike towards Punchbowl Falls on the Eagle Creek Trail, we were about half way along the trail when a fire started just up the trail from us. It spread so fast and quick that everyone on the other side of the fire was stuck. We turned around and booked it back to our car. So incredibly sad for the gorge and the destruction the fire has already done! Thankful we were stuck in traffic, otherwise we most likely would have been among those stuck on the other side of the fire with our three young kids. Thankful that we got to enjoy the gorge that morning, in all it’s glory!

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