Emily Little: Zach Collier invited me to go explore the lush, beautiful Eagle Creek, a tributary of the Clackamas via hiking with our gear up the trail following the river and then taking our inflatable kayaks down. We started hiking on the wrong trail initially, but soon realized our mistake and turned around and tried again at a different trailhead. As we hiked further along the correct trail, glimpses of the clear blue creek showed through the mossy trees and ferns. The river was never right along the trail, always a bit of a distance away keeping us intrigued about what our paddle down would be like.
After three miles, we found a good spot to access the river from, pumped our duckies up and donned our drysuits and paddle gear. Eagle Creek was beautiful! The water was crystal clear and it contrasted wonderfully with the emerald ferns and bright mossy trees. I was happy to be in an inflatable kayak as there were quite a few log jams we had to quickly hop in and out of our kayaks to portage around. We paddled a couple miles, enjoying the scenery, geology, and whitewater. About a mile from the trailhead, we hiked off the river, put away our gear, and hiked out. It was a fun day combining hiking and paddling! I would love to go back and hike in farther upstream.