Reopening Of Trails Difficult To Forecast
122 miles of trail in the Mount Hood National Forest and the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area remain closed in the aftermath of September’s Eagle Creek Fire, and when they will open will remain a question for some time. Rachel Pawlitz of the U.S. Forest Service Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area says she is hopeful that some of the trails will open in mid- to late-spring, but some assessments won’t begin until spring, when freeze/thaw cycles that can trigger landslides will have played out. Pawlitz reminds people that the closures are for the public’s safety, noting the trails are a network, and some locations may remain closed because of how they can access trails that are unsafe for use. Multnomah Falls Lodge opened one week ago but the nearby waterfall viewing areas, including the popular lower viewing platform, and the surrounding trail system remain closed until the next round of repairs is completed.