Last year's Eagle Creek fire forever changed the way we will experience the gorge, and definitely how we hike it. Fortunately, Adam Sawyer, the author of "The Best Outdoor Adventures Near Portland, Oregon" gave us a rundown of some of the best hikes you can take right now on the Oregon and Washington side of the Gorge...and what will be re-opening soon. Click here for more information about Adam...and click here for his most recent article about this topic.
Hiking Cape Horn
The 8-mile loop hike (shorter options) on the Washington side of the Gorge is a short drive from Portland. Sweeping views, a waterfall, varied forest, and relatively lighter crowds than other Gorge hikes make it a great option.
The 7.5 mile loop hike gains 2,100 feet of elevation. Along the way, the trail by passes a pair of waterfalls, through dense forest, beside wildflower meadows, and up to a number of majestic viewpoints.
The 2.4-mile loop that visits two cascades was completely spared by the blaze. And thank the powers that be for small favors, because the 224-foot Latourell Falls is one of the true headliners along Waterfall Alley. Above it, the trail traces a scenic Latourell Creek to another impressive, twisting 120-foot upper falls.
Tom McCall Nature Preserve (McCall Point Hike)
Known for its spring wildflower explosion, the 3.5-mile out and back hike up to McCall Point is great any time of year thanks to inspiring views of the Columbia River as well as Mt Adams and Mt Hood, if weather conditions allow.
Expected to reopen soon: Dry Creek Falls
Contrary to its name, Dry Creek Falls flows steadily all year long. From the Bridge of the Gods Trailhead in Cascade Locks, a 4.2-mile long out and back hike traces the Pacific Crest Trail to a lightly visited 75-foot waterfall.
The amount of damage to each section equates directly to the estimated timeline for trails to reopen. The first section, expected to come back online sometime around the beginning of summer, is from Cascade Locks out to the east. Next, trails from Multnomah Falls heading west are due to open by the end of 2018. And unfortunately, there is no timeline yet for most of the trails near the epicenter of the blaze between Multnomah Falls and Cascade Locks.