Burned trees contrast with blooming undergrowth along the newly opened Multnomah Falls to Wahkeena Falls trail. (photographer: Debbie Asakawa)
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Please consider these safety tips as you hike on recently reopened trailsMore than a year since the Eagle Creek fire started, public access to some of the Columbia Gorge's most beloved and popular trails was recently restored, coinciding with the reopening of the Historic Columbia River Highway in the Waterfall Alley. Newly opened trails include Angels Rest, Wahkeena Falls, Angels Rest to Devil's Rest, Multnomah-Wahkeena Falls loop, and Horsetail Falls to Ponytail Falls.
Hiking through these fire-affected areas requires extra caution. Before heading out with out-of-town guests or for a nature adventure during the holidays, Friends asks you to consider the following tips:
- If it's nasty out there, just don't risk it! Risks of falling trees, flash floods, landslides, and debris flows are highest during high winds and during and after heavy rains and winter storms.
- Less experienced hikers should consider an alternative to these areas while these conditions exist; all hikers with dogs or small children should consider safer options. Check our trails database for plenty of places to go.
- Report what you find and join us for a trail stewardship work party; we'll continue to be out there but need all of you to be our eyes and ears!
- Stay on the trail and clean your boots before and after you hike. Sensitive areas in fire zones still need time to heal and hikers (and their dogs) are a common vector for spreading invasive seeds.
More resources before hiking in a burned area (and in general):
- Remember the 10+ Essentials
- Video: Trailkeepers of Oregon Executive Director Steve Kruger reminds us to look up, down, and around when hiking in burned areas
- Friends Executive Director Kevin Gorman talks trail safety on Oregon Public Broadcasting's Think Out Loud
- Learn more about which trails are open and the work that went into opening these trails
- In general, plan ahead and be prepared before heading out with Ready, Set, Gorge
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