Dry Creek Falls to Herman Creek
Central Gorge, Oregon
On the Dry Creek Falls trail (photographer: Yeng Tang)
Hike Details
Type:
Out and back
Distance:
8.6 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:
750 feet
Difficulty:
Easy
Trail Features
Family Friendly:
No
Restrooms:
Yes
Trailhead Pass:
Trail Details
WildflowersWaterfallWaterfall
Begin at the Dry Creek Falls Trailhead, on the Oregon side of the Bridge of the Gods. Named after its past use as the water source for Cascade Locks, this waterfall is reachable via a segment of the Pacific Crest Trail. To access the trailhead, cross the road that leads to the Bridge of the Gods toll booth and start onto the PCT. Follow the trail under the highway and up the gravel road (about 100 yards). Then turn left onto the PCT. Head slowly uphill, climbing about one mile to an access road. Turn right and follow the road for 100 yards until the trail resumes. Follow the path downward through lava boulders until you reach the creek (about 1 mile), then turn right and continue another 0.2 miles to the falls.
 
Extension from Dry Creek Falls to Herman Creek Pinnacles
To see the pinnacles, backtrack to the junction with the bridge crossing. Turn right, cross the bridge, and continue 1.6 miles on the trail to the obvious humps and return, retracing your footsteps back to your car. Total mileage is 7.6 miles.

Driving Directions

Bridge of the Gods Trailhead or Toll Booth Park:  From I-84 take Exit #44/Cascade Locks. Follow the signs to Bridge of the Gods/Stevenson. Before crossing the bridge, you'll see a wooded park on your right. This is the trailhead. Park here. Please note this trailhead is closed during the winter months. If so, park near the Charburger restaurant or under the bridge. There's plenty of parking there. The trail begins across the road (south of the trailhead), passing under I-84.

Community Connection

Lyle Cherry Orchard’s trailhead is located approximately one mile from the Gorge town of Lyle and is home to the “Lyle” sign that sits above the community. Since this preserve was opened to the public the Lyle Cherry Orchard has provided the community with an accessible natural space right in their back yard. The sunny and dry preserve is the perfect hiking spot to visit during the rainier fall days in the western gorge. Visitors from the Gorge and beyond recreate on Lyle Cherry Orchard and in turn support the local economy.

Photo: View of town of Lyle from Lyle Cherry Orchard (Debbie Asakawa)

Preserve Story

The property where Lyle Cherry Orchard Preserve lies currently was once grazing land for cattle and as the name suggests the eastern part of the preserve held a cherry orchard. The orchard and its trees were well abandoned by the time Nancy Russell purchased the property piece by piece in the 1990’s and later donated it to Friends in 2009. Nancy purchased the property when it came up for sale because it was within key viewing areas on the Oregon side of the Gorge and would have most likely become subdivided for development.

The land is also home to remnants of Lyle Convict Road, a demonstration road built by Sam Hill to convince Washington legislators to fund a Columbia River Highway. When Washington showed no interest in Sam’s project, he invited the entire Oregon legislature to his Maryhill estate to see his "Good Roads" work and Oregon quickly agreed to build on their side of the river what is today the Historic Columbia River Highway.

The trail at Lyle Cherry Orchard was started in when Friends' founder Nancy Russell purchased the property and has been open to the public and maintained Friends and its land trust ever since. In 2019, Washington Trails Association started work to reroute some parts of the trail and add new trail to explore for the benefit of Gorge residents.

In 2013, the land trust and volunteers removed a dilapidated house and outbuildings on the southwestern end of the property. Countless hours were spent removing building materials, old vehicles, garbage, and debris. In 2015 volunteers removed over 1,700 feet of fencing material on the property to allow for the free movement of wildlife across the landscape. Without the help of Friends volunteers and Gorge community members, projects like this would not be possible.

Photos: Before and after cleanup at Lyle Cherry Orchard (Friends' archive)