How apocalyptic this fire season is

It’s still 2020 and the pandemic-/-climate change apocalypse just got even worse. The West Coast is burning. Residents of the San Francisco Bay Area awoke to dark orange skies, as a thick layer of smoke settled over Northern California. (Smoke scatters blue light, allowing only red and yellow to reach the ground.) It’s hard to overstate how really, terribly bad this fire...

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Enjoy late summer light on Hamilton Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge

Hamilton Mountain is one of the most scenic spots in the Columbia River Gorge, itself one of the most scenic destinations in the Pacific Northwest. The climb to the top is always nice, but it’s especially beautiful on summer’s late afternoons and evenings, when crowds are sparse and the light in the gorge can be downright glorious. A 3-mile trail takes hikers from the...

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New hiking permits for Oregon’s central Cascades are delayed until 2021

Those hoping to set off into Oregon’s central Cascade Mountains this summer won’t need to scramble for a hiking permit after all – once trailheads closed due to the coronavirus reopen to the public. New hiking permits set to roll out this month in Oregon’s central Cascades will be delayed until 2021, the U.S. Forest Service announced, due to the ongoing pandemic. “Given...

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Hiking Middle Pyramid in the Central Oregon Cascades

You don’t have to go to Egypt to see the Pyramids. That’s because the Three Pyramids, mountains created long ago by volcanic action, are in Oregon for the viewing and, at least in the case of the Middle Pyramid, for the climbing. Reaching the Middle Pyramid is a pleasant hike, only a little more than 2 miles from the trailhead. But that’s a challenging 2-plus miles...

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This lodge in the Oregon wilderness is anything but wild

Minam River Lodge is a rare piece of private property within Oregon’s 360,000-acre Eagle Cap Wilderness, which itself is located within the 2.3 million-acre Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. It was founded as a hunting camp in 1950 and even today the only ways to get here are to hike, ride a horse or have local rancher Joe Spence fly you there in his three-seat Cessna...

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Oregon experts warn of invasive species that hitched a ride on North Carolina Christmas trees

While families celebrate the New Year, many are getting rid of their Christmas trees this week. With that comes a warning from the Oregon Department of Forestry about an invasive insect that could pose a problem if you don’t dispose of your tree the right way. Experts say roughly 8,000 Fraser Fir trees shipped from North Carolina to big box stores on the West Coast had...

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New permit system will limit hiking in Oregon’s Mount Jefferson, Three Sisters wilderness in 2020

Hiking and camping in three of Oregon’s most popular wilderness areas will be restricted starting in 2020, an attempt by outdoor officials to limit damage from growing crowds of visitors. The U.S. Forest Service announced a decision to install a permit system limiting the number of people in the Mount Jefferson, Three Sisters and Mount Washington Wilderness areas....

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Oregon woman reunites girl with toy lion lost on remote hike

  A little girl who lost her beloved stuffed lion on a hike in the Oregon backcountry was reunited with her favorite toy over the weekend after a community effort to identify her. Hiker Holly Spaman, who recently moved to Bend, Oregon, from Yakima, Washington, ran into Audrianna Flores and her family as they descended Broken Top Trail on July 16 on their way...

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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...

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Wolves confirmed in Mount Hood National Forest

After years of whispers and reported sightings, wildlife officials have confirmed at least two wolves caught on trail cameras earlier this month roaming the Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon’s northern Cascade Mountains. It is the first time multiple wolves were detected in the area since the species returned to Oregon in the late 1990s. Conservationists cheered the...

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Forest Service closes in on plan to protect Oregon wilderness areas from overuse

After eight months and more than 500 comments from Oregonians, the U.S. Forest Service is closing in on a proposal that could protect central Oregon’s most scenic areas from overuse. The Forest Service kicked off the project in the spring by holding public meetings to gauge interest in changing the way trails and campgrounds in five popular wilderness areas,...

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New trail coming to Lemolo Lake, Oregon

Soon, outdoor enthusiasts will be hiking and mountain biking down a new trail through the shade-covered Umpqua National Forest, catching glimpses of Lemolo Lake between the evergreens. A trails enterprise team through the U.S. Forest Service started constructing 4.5 miles of new trail in the Diamond Lake Ranger District on July 19, 2017, connecting the freshly cleared...

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Best hikes of the Columbia River Gorge

Hiking season is underway in the Columbia River Gorge. While occasionally spectacular during the depths of winter, it’s the spring months of April, May and June when the Gorge reaches its scenic peak. Blooms of wildflowers, roaring waterfalls, panoramic viewpoints and mossy forest combine to offer singular hiking experiences up and down the national scenic area. To get...

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Trail photographers provide an eye into Oregon’s wilderness

Ever wonder what nature looks like when you aren’t watching it? If a critter scurries through the forest and there’s no one there to see it, is it still adorable? The answer is yes. We know this through the efforts of trail photographers who operate remote trail cameras that capture nature as it looks when no humans are there to disturb it. There is a part of...

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The most scenic stretch of the Oregon coast: Boardman State Park

It’s hard to pin down a specific stretch of coastline as the most scenic – isn’t the whole thing beautiful? – but then again, it’s hard to argue against Boardman State Park for the honor. Officially the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, the 12-mile stretch of coastline runs along the southernmost part of the Oregon coast,...

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Hiking to the birthplace of the Rogue

Boundary Springs, the headwaters of the Rogue, is where the river begins its 215-mile rumble to the Pacific Ocean. On its way west, it passes through a series of Oregon’s Jackson County communities — Union Creek, Prospect, Trail, Shady Cove, Gold Hill and Rogue River — before slicing past Grants Pass, Galice, Agness and Gold Beach. The river’s flow increases from...

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Fall is phenomenal in Fremont-Winema National Forest, thanks to rare Oregon aspen

Tamara Schmidt is a Colorado native, and knows a thing or two about aspens in the fall. “It’s just spectacular,” she said. “It adds that bright pop of gold to the forest. They’re special.” Schmidt, now the public affairs officer with Oregon’s Fremont-Winema National Forest, is fortunate enough to work within some of the...

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3 national parks in Oregon that never happened

Oregon is no stranger to National Parks. Since 1902, the state has been home to Crater Lake National Park, and over the last century four other spots have won lesser designations from the National Park Service. But in the mid-20th century, Oregon’s scenic beauty was prized by the park service, which proposed several sprawling national parks around the state. Three...

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Hiking on the roof

The Wallowa Mountains get all the attention as Eastern Oregon’s great hiking and backpacking destination, but if you actually go there you’ll drive right by the similarly scenic, much more accessible Elkhorn Range. So skip the crowds at Joseph and Wallowa Lake. Forget the long, dusty trudges hiking up to the high country of the Wallowas. At Anthony Lake in the Elkhorn...

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Amanda Trail is a beautiful hike with a dark history on the Oregon coast

As you leave the city of Yachats behind, cross Highway 101 and climb into the sprawling forest of Sitka spruce alongside the rugged and beautiful Oregon coast, a question lingers at the back of your mind: Who is Amanda? This scenic 3.7-mile stretch of the Oregon Coast Trail, running from Yachats up to the top of Cape Perpetua, is officially known as the Amanda Trail...

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Pittock Mansion hike is Portland hiking at its best

A stroll through an enchanted forest, a steep climb up muddy switchbacks, a hilltop view of the largest city in Oregon and a tour of a 100-year-old mansion – all of that, incredibly, can be found on one hike in Portland, what might very well be the best trek in the city. The centerpiece of the famed Pittock Mansion Hike is Forest Park – the city’s own 5,157-acre...

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Search & rescue team gives Multnomah Falls some much needed TLC

At 620 feet, Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in Oregon. It’s awe-inspiring, making it one of the most popular destinations in the Pacific Northwest. Each year, 2 million people visit the dramatic, two-tiered falls, taking pictures from all angles, but very few get to see it suspended on a rappel rope, from below the footbridge. Tony Hobkirk and his search...

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Hiking Mount Tabor: The best way to explore Portland’s urban volcano

For Portlanders, “getaway” might be a bit of a stretch when it comes to Mount Tabor, but whether you live around the city or are touring it for the first time, the scenic city park is a perfect place to get away from the urban environment – without really leaving it at all. Built atop an old volcanic cinder cone, Mount Tabor is beloved by runners, walkers,...

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Hike to Silver Falls’ lesser-known waterfalls

It wouldn’t be fair to call them the “forgotten waterfalls of Silver Falls State Park.” After all, the five cascades smack in the middle of Oregon’s largest state park are still part of the Trail of Ten Falls, one of the most famous hikes in the Pacific Northwest. But the truth is, this quintet of waterfalls get far fewer visitors than the most crowded sections of the...

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The Oregon Terrorist’s Biggest Foe May Be Birders

Ammon Bundy and his band of terrorists have pissed off a lot of people since they took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, last week. Liberals, conservationists, and Black Lives Matter activists are all avowed foes. Now add another powerful group to the list: birders. “Just a friendly warning from the birding and wildlife photography community...

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Can we save America’s largest parcel of wild, unprotected public land in the lower 48?

The Owyhee Canyonlands of southeast Oregon spans about 9 million acres along the Owyhee River, which carved the landscape’s dramatic contours over the course of millions of years. It is considered one of America’s most intact stretches of high desert, a type of dry landscape far above sea level that is characterized by stunning geology and diverse wildlife, and contains...

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Take a hike during whale-spotting week on Oregon Coast

Whale-watch week, Dec. 27-31, is prime time to spot migrating leviathans while stretching your legs on a beautiful shore. One of the greatest privileges of being in the Pacific Northwest is the knowledge that whales, those largest and most magnificent of mammals, are often seen off the coast. And while winter and spring can bring their share of headaches, those seasons...

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Oregon Is The Latest Target Of Right-Wing Effort To Get Rid Of National Forests

A draft bill recently released by U.S. Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) proposes to dispose of hundreds of thousands of acres of national forest land in Oregon’s Klamath River Basin so that it can be clear-cut or auctioned off to the highest bidder. The proposal, which is the latest in a series of attempts by right-wing politicians to seize or sell-off national public...

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