John B. Yeon State Park

October 28, 2007: John B. Yeon State Park, Multnomah County, Oregon: Even though it was Sunday and the crowds would be out because it was a beautiful sunny day Chris and I decided to drive into the Columbia River Gorge and visit the John B. Yeon State Park. It was about forty years ago when I last stopped there.

We weren’t alone. About eight or nine cars were in the parking lot when we arrived. We locked up our valuables as suggested by the park sign and headed up the hill.

Forest Scene
Forest Scene John Yeon Park 10/28/2007 Multnomah County

The path starts with a stroll through stately Douglas fir trees. It looks peaceful here but the roar of vehicle traffic on nearby I-84 is disturbing.

Elowah Falls
Elowah Falls 290 feet John Yeon Park 10/28/2007 Multnomah County

Our first stop was at Elowah Falls. Much of the internet literature claims a drop of nearly 290 feet but we have to think the measurement must have included both the upper and lower falls. By our guess the water shown here drops about 200 feet, coming off that impressive wall of basalt rock. Huge house sized boulders litter the creek below giving testimony to the forces of erosion. We took a few pictures and then decided to backtrack and try the trail to Upper McCord Creek falls.















It is an interesting trail to the top of the bluff. Switchbacks make for an easy climb. At one place an old water pipe, about two feet in diameter, crosses the trail headed straight for the river. I’m unsure what it was used for and so far I haven’t found any reference to the pipe. It is rusted through in many spots so it has been in place for a long time. Perhaps the community of Warrendale used it to provide their water supply.

Cliffside Trail
Cliffside Trail Upper McCord Creek John Yeon Park 10/28/2007 Multnomah County

The trail edges along the cliff but a railing provides some comfort for the nervous hiker.

Round leaf Bluebell
Campanula rotundifolia Round leaf Bluebell Multnomah County

We spotted a couple late blooming wildflowers. This Round-leaf Bluebell (Campanula rotundifolia) was a delightful surprise.

Upper McCord Creek Falls
Upper McCord Creek Falls John Yeon Park 10/28/2007 Multnomah County

The Upper Falls used to be a twin falls but changes in the flow of water have reduced one of the falls to a mere trickle.

On the way back to the parking lot we passed a number of hikers headed up the hill. About twenty cars filled the lot to overflowing. Nice weather brings out the hikers.


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