Closed Oregon Trails In Columbia River Gorge Jam Trailheads On Washington Side

More than 30 popular hiking trails on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge remain closed because of hazards left in the wake of last year’s Eagle Creek wildfire. That has park rangers wrangling crowds on the unburned Washington side of the Gorge.

Unsafe conditions will likely keep many trails on the Oregon side of the western Gorge closed until this summer or fall. The fire closure area covers terrain between Troutdale and Wyeth, including about 135 miles of trails.

The Eagle Creek fire was extinguished last autumn, but professional and volunteer trail crews need more time to repair damage, remove dangerous snags and allow landslide and rockfall risk to abate.

The spillover to Washington State Parks in the Columbia Gorge is already happening and they’re bracing for worse. Parks spokeswoman Meryl Lipman said the biggest challenge is parking.

There are no near-term plans to make more parking available, since the spillover is a temporary situation. Lipman said outdoor recreationists should keep the Gorge on their list, but plan their trips for off days and off hours. She suggests a sunrise or sunset hike.

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