More trails impacted by Eagle Creek fire now back open

Upper Multnomah Creek along the Larch Mountain Trail. (Courtesy the Oregon Dept. of Transportation.)

Officials reopened several trails in the Mount Hood National Forest on Friday that were closed as a result of last year’s Eagle Creek fire.

Visitors to the Columbia River Gorge can now hike the Starvation Ridge Trail (#414) and the Mount Defiance Trail (#413). Both trails can be accessed from the newly reopened segment of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail that starts within Starvation Creek State Park.

The park is accessible to eastbound traffic on Interstate 84, which is about 10 miles east of Cascade Locks. The U.S. Forest Service encourages people to head to the park early in the morning or go midweek, since there is only 29 parking spots.

Also now open are several short trails that lead to lakes within Mount Hood National Forest. Those lakes are: Wahtum, Black, Bear, North, Rainy, and Warren. Hikers can get to those trails from Forest Road 2820 or Forest Road 1310.

The newly reopened trails and lakes reside near the eastern perimeter of the Eagle Creek fire, according to the Forest Service.

The Forest Service warns hikers that hazards and damage from the fire remain along the trails and they should use caution. Additionally, several trails remain closes and hikers are asked to stay off of them. Violators could face citations and fines.

For an up-to-date full list of Eagle Creek fire closures, click here.

The Forest Service also released the following information that breaks down the re-openings in more detail as well as provides more information.

Post-Eagle Creek Fire – Sites Reopening May 17, 2018

Questions and Answers:

Q:Which roads reopened on May 17, 2018?

Forest Road 1310 is now open to motor vehicles, previously it was only open to foot traffic.

Q:Which trailheads and trails reopened on May 17, 2018?

Mt. Defiance #413

Starvation Ridge Trail #414

Bear Lake Trail #413A

Black Lake Trail #409A

Mitchell Point Trail #417 (Note this is a trail on the Mt. Hood National Forest, The State Parks Mitchell Point Trail accessed from I-84 is already open.)

Rainy Lake #423-A

Rainy/Wahtum Trail #409

Wahtum Express #406H

Warren Lake Trailhead and Warren Lake Trail #417A

The following trails only have select sections open:

Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, the segment which starts at Starvation Creek and ends at Lindsey Creek is now open. (In addition, the segment from Viento State Park to Starvation Creek State Park was already open.)

Anthill Trail #406B – from Wahtum Lake to the Rainy-Wahtum Trail #409

North Lake Trail #423 – open from Rainy Lake Trail to North Lake

Wyeth Trail #411 – only open from Mt. Defiance Trail to North Lake on the Mt. Hood National Forest; the entire section on the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area remains closed

Q:Which lakes on Mt. Hood National Forest reopened on May 17, 2018?

Wahtum Lake

Black Lake

Bear Lake

North Lake

Rainy Lake

Warren Lake

Q:Is it legal to fish the newly reopened lakes?

Yes.

Q:When will the rest of the trails impacted by Eagle Creek Fire reopen?

National Forest System trails east of Cascade Locks are expected to in summer 2018, likely before the end of June.

National Forest System trails in the Columbia River Gorge west of Multnomah Falls are expected to open by the end of calendar year 2018. This includes Larch Mountain Trail, Wahkeena, Devil’s Rest, Angel’s Rest, and the Return Trail.

National Forest System Trails in the central part of the fire zone (between Cascade Locks and Larch Mountain Trail) currently have no timeline for reopening. Some of these trails have not yet been assessed. The Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail between Cascade Locks and Toothrock State Park also has no current timeline for reopening.

Q:How do I check what’s open before heading out?

It is always a good idea to directly check the website of the land manager (Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Mt. Hood National Forests, Oregon State Parks) before heading out, as the managing agency will list alerts. However, there are a couple of options that can help you if you are not sure:

There is a list of open versus closed sites related to Eagle Creek Fire at bit.ly/eaglecreekfireresponse

In the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, you can check ReadySetGorge.com

Q:What are the four waterfalls on the newly reopened section of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail?

Cabin Creek Falls

Lancaster Falls

Hole-in-the-Wall Falls

Starvation Creek Falls

Q:What’s the best time to go to Starvation Creek State Park?

We highly recommend heading out before 10 am or mid-week. Due to crowding on weekend afternoons, parking will be hard to come by. Park only when there's room and it's safe to do so

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