|Resting at Hole in the Wall Falls|
Starvation Creek State Park. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Oregon. April 26, 2013. A. F. Litt 2013
Restoring Warren Creek Falls | WyEast Blog: "Until the 1930s, Warren Creek was much like it’s neighbors to the east and west in the Columbia River Gorge, plunging in a spectacular waterfall as it reached the final wall of cliffs lining the river. For millennia, the stream had slowly carved a huge amphitheater in sheer basalt, thundering into a deep splash pool at the base of the cliffs, before rushing to the Columbia.
The railroads crossed Warren Creek in the late 1800s, and by the 1920s, Samuel Lancaster’s iconic Historic Columbia River Highway had been constructed, and passed the stream near the falls. Sometime in the late 1930s, the Oregon Highway Department determined that Warren Creek posed a risk to the highway grade, and made the improbable decision to re-route the falls through a tunnel, depositing the stream a few hundred yards to the west."
Starvation Creek Loop Hike | WyEast Blog: "After taking in the scene at the former Warren Falls, retrace your steps on the boot path to the footbridge and turn right, continuing along the main trail for your return to the trailhead (note: the restored Historic Columbia River Highway and trail will soon be constructed in this area, with a new trailhead for the Starvation Ridge Trail relocated to this spot). The route briefly passes an open area, and then re-enters forest. Watch for old, stone foundations covered in ivy in this area — you’re passing turn-of-the-century homesteads lost to time. Sharp-eyed hikers will also spot a pair of enormous anthills, each measuring six feet in height. A bit further, and you’ll also pass dome-shaped stone bake ovens, possibly built in the early 1900s by highway workers (see the map below for help in finding these traces of human history in the Warren Falls area)."
|Map of Warren Falls History by Tom Kloster http://wyeastblog.org/|
Warren Falls Mystery… Solved! | WyEast Blog: "It was the summer of 1939, and Depression-era Americans were escaping the hard times with the theater releases of “Gone with the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz”. In Europe, Hitler’s invasion of Poland in September of 1939 ignited World War II.
Against the sweeping backdrop of this pivotal year in history, a odd story was playing out on obscure Warren Creek, near Hood River in the Columbia River Gorge. This is the story of how today’s manmade Hole-in-the-Wall Falls was created, and Warren Falls was (temporarily, at least) lost to time. "
|"Historic site map of the Warren Falls diversion project (1939)" Source: WyEast Blog. Tom Kloster. http://wyeastblog.org/|
Warren Falls Solutions | WyEast Blog: "The strange history of Warren Falls began shortly after completion of the Historic Columbia River Highway in the 1920s, when unruly Warren Creek repeatedly pushed debris against the modest new highway bridge that spanned the stream.
The first Warren Creek bridge was replaced as part of the waterfall diversion; no photos of the original structure survive.
Oregon highway engineers subsequently diverted the creek in 1939 through a bizarre tunnel that survives to this day. The diversion created today’s manmade Hole-in-the-Wall Falls when an accompanying flume was removed sometime in the early 1960s, leaving an eerie, dry cliff where Warren Falls once thundered.
This article proposes a few solutions for restoring Warren Falls to its former glory in tandem with the ongoing ODOT project to restore the Historic Columbia River Highway."
|The 1939 construction drawings for the diversion project show the v-shaped vault carved into the lip of Warren Falls, leading to the diversion tunnel (cross-section view) http://wyeastblog.org/2012/02/27/warren-falls-solutions/|
Warren “Barney” Cooper | WyEast Blog: "While tracking down the human history behind the mysterious (and temporarily defunct) falls on Warren Creek in the Columbia River Gorge over the past year, I was surprised to learn that “Warren” is not the surname of a local homesteader or early explorer.
Instead, it is the first name of an early Forest Service ranger, Warren “Barney” Cooper, whose own surname puts him among Mount Hood’s pioneering royalty: the remarkable Coopers of the Hood River Valley."
Warren Falls Lives! (temporarily, at least) | WyEast Blog: "It was remarkable to be in the amphitheater with water cascading over the escarpment, once again, and even if only temporarily. The small amount making its way over the brink completely changed the place from an eerie, somber cavern to a bright, sparkling glen. It was even more exciting to imagine the full force of Warren Creek plunging over the high cliffs, given the thundering display at Hole-in-the-Wall Falls (which is created by the bypass tunnel)."
Warren Falls Lives… Again? | WyEast Blog: "March 16 was a good day for Warren Falls: in the morning, the Historic Columbia River Highway Advisory Committee (AC) allowed me time on their agenda for a second pitch to restore Warren Falls as part of the larger historic highway trail project. After the meeting, I visited Warren Falls and was able to capture it flowing, thanks to the unusually heavy rain we had experienced in early March. Here are the highlights:"
“Warren Falls, we’re ready for your close-up…” | WyEast Blog: "This was the second trip to Warren Falls for Oregon Field Guide producer Vince Patton and videographer Michael Bendixen. Both had joined me for a first look at the area on a particularly icy January day last winter when the Gorge was at its worst — freezing rain and sleet over a crusty layer of snow."