This morning started at sunrise like all the rest. Our early morning hike today was to Fairy Falls. Please note in our revised itinerary, we recommend you hike to Fairy Falls on Day 2 after Wahkeena. It will save your feet some miles. :)
On our hike up to Fairy Falls, we saw another Pika going into its burrow. We heard its call first. We had been hearing them all morning. It sounds a bit like a bird coming from the trees at first. The pika throws its call to sound like it is farther away. Fairy Falls is different than the other waterfalls we had seen as you can tell from the photo where it cascades down the rocks without a long free fall. The hike is a bit more strenuous with many switchbacks.
After Fairy Falls, you guessed it! We returned to the Bridal Veil Lodge for breakfast consisting of a breakfast herb omelette with fresh plums and gluten free toast. After breakfast, we packed lunch and snacks and drove to the Ponytail Falls trailhead. This is the loop trail behind Horseshoe Falls.
We continued on this trail passing under Ponytail Falls and walked as far as Middle Oneonta Falls. This is a waterfall at the top of the gorge. Look downstream and you can see where the water drops off into the Oneonta Gorge. We photographed this waterfall from an "overlook" near the bridge.
We drove to the Eagle Creek Trail to eat lunch then hike the two miles to Punchbowl and Lower Punchbowl Falls. We spotted another snake on this trail. There was a nice rocky beach here to play in the water or swim to Punchbowl Falls. The rocks were slick in and near the water. We saw a few people slip and fall. You really can't get a nice view of Punchbowl Falls unless you get into the water. For the very brave adventurers, people were cliff diving at Lower Punchbowl Falls. We did not partake in this activity. :)
On the return hike, we took the short side trail and walked to the Metlako Falls overlook. We were too tired to hike on to Tunnel Falls. Next time, we would plan this hike first thing after breakfast to spend the entire day on this trail and hike on through to Tunnel Falls.
We were really tired after this day of hiking so we decided to treat ourselves to the Cultured Caveman again! We tried the chicken tenders, slaw, pork carnitas tacos and bacon wrapped dates. We also tried the chocolate popsicle and Portland Paleo peppermint ice cream sandwich. We stopped at a Fred Meyers to buy a raft and foot pump for our next day's adventure. (See Day 2 for reason why we needed a raft.)