Eagle Creek Trail Closed
Near the end of summer 2017, wildfire devastated many of Oregon’s Columbia Gorge Trails. The Eagle Creek Trail, the popular PCT alternate route from Wahtum Lake to Cascade Locks was at the epicenter of the wildfire and has been closed indefinitely. Through 2018, the Forest Service will be assessing the damage and making trail repair plans. The PCT and nearby Herman Creek Trail were also damaged in the fire, but they are expected to be opened at some point in summer of 2018. Follow PCT: Oregon’s news feed to keep up on the latest info.
PCT: OR: Sec. 6, 3/4A Alternate | Halfmile: Sec. G6A
Santiam Pass Trail Realignments
The Pacific Crest Trail Association will continue work started in 2017 to realign some sections of the PCT between Santiam Pass and Minto Pass. They will be adding a few switchbacks to keep the trail off the fall line of the ridge heading north to Three-Fingered Jack. The new trail is expected to add about 1 mile of distance in the area. It will be remapped and recalculated when work is complete.
PCT: OR: Sec. 5, mile 1.1 | Halfmile: Sec. F3, mile 2000
Windigo Pass Water Cache Removed
The volunteer-maintained water cache at Windigo Pass was removed in 2016, by order of the Forest Service after the site was vandalized. This creates a potentially 17-mile waterless stretch between 6-Horse Spring and Summit Lake. In early season, there may be a standing pond on the ascent to Cowhorn Peak, north of Windigo Pass. Be prepared to carry extra water and dry camp.
PCT: OR: Sec. 3, mile 30.3 | Halfmile: Sec. D6, mile 1876
Jefferson Park Permits Removed
After only the first season, Willamette National Forest has rescinded the permit requirement for Jefferson Park. Campers are still asked to utilize designated campsites whenever possible. When designated sites are not available, visitors should select previously-impacted sites at least 250 feet from water sources. The Forest Service is currently examining a new permit system that will go into effect in 2019.
PCT: OR: Sec. 5, mile 32.3 | Halfmile: Sec. F8, mile 2031
Metlako Falls Overlook Collapsed
The popular Eagle Creek Trail alternate route, from Wahtum Lake to the Columbia River Gorge, took quite a beating over the 2016–17 winter, resulting in an extended closure of the trail. Among the extensive blowdown and washed out bridges, the short side trail to the Metlako Falls viewpoint has collapsed. Unfortunately, this has rendered this point inaccessible, and the falls are no longer viewable.
PCT: OR: Sec. 6A, mile 41.2 | Halfmile: Sec. G6A, mile 10
TOP PHOTO: Metlako Falls, in Eagle Creek Canyon, now no longer visible following the collapse of its viewpoint.
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