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Current Conditions

It’s Time for Fall

By on September 19, 2016
Current PCT conditions in Oregon for the week of Sept. 19, 2016.

Weather

This week, Fall conditions come to Oregon and the PCT. The last few days of summer will see a mix of sun and clouds, but once the season switches over, the remainder of the week is looking cold and wet—and possibly even snowy in some of the higher elevations. If you’re out on trail this week, be sure you’re packing your rain- and cold-weather gear. Next weekend is looking at some warming temps and possibly sunny skies, particularly in the southern half of the state.

Mt. Ashland: The week begins with a mix of sun and clouds, with Wednesday looking the nicest. Later in the week, rain comes in, with a chance of snow on Thursday. Daytime highs start in the upper 50s and dip into the lower 40s by midweek, before bouncing back up to the mid-60s next weekend. Overnight lows start in the lower 40s and drop into the lower 30s by midweek, then rebound back to the upper 40s next weekend.

Sky Lakes: The week begins with a mix of sun and clouds, but things start to turn on Wednesday with a chance of showers. Later in the week, rain is likely, with a chance of snow. Daytime highs start in the lower 60s and dip into the mid-40s by midweek, before bouncing back up to the upper 60s next weekend. Overnight lows start in the lower 40s and drop into the mid-30s by midweek, then rebound back to the upper 40s next weekend.

Crater Lake: The week begins with a mix of sun and clouds, but things start to turn on Wednesday with a chance of showers. Later in the week, rain is likely, with a chance of snow. Daytime highs start in the mid-50s and dip into the lower 40s by midweek, before bouncing back up to the mid-60s next weekend. Overnight lows start in the upper 30s and drop into the lower 30s by midweek, then climb into the mid-40s next weekend.

Diamond Peak: The week begins mostly cloudy, with increasing chances of rain and snow by Wednesday. Later in the week, rain is likely, with an even greater chance of snow. Daytime highs start in the mid-50s and dip into the lower 40s by midweek, before bouncing back up to the mid-60s next weekend. Overnight lows start in the upper 30s and drop into the lower 30s by midweek, then climb into the upper 40s next weekend.

Three Sisters: The week begins mostly sunny, but things turn on Wednesday with a chance of rain and snow. Later in the week, rain is likely, with possibility of even more snow. Daytime highs start in the mid-40s and dip into the lower 40s by midweek, before bouncing back up to the upper 50s next weekend. Overnight lows start in the mid-30s and drop into the lower 30s by midweek, then climb into the mid-40s next weekend.

McKenzie Pass: The week begins mostly sunny, but things turn on Wednesday with chances of showers into the weekend. Daytime highs start in the mid-50s and dip into the upper 40s by midweek, before bouncing back up to the mid-60s next weekend. Overnight lows start in the mid-30s and drop into the upper 20s (!!!) by midweek, then climb into the lower 40s next weekend.

Jefferson Park: The week begins mostly sunny, but things turn on Wednesday with chances of showers into the weekend. Daytime highs start in the upper 40s and dip into the mid-40s by midweek, before bouncing back up to the upper 50s next weekend. Overnight lows hover in the mid-30s for most of the week, then climb into the mid-40s next weekend.

Mount Hood: The week begins with a mix of sun and clouds, but things turn on Wednesday with chances of rain into the weekend, and snow possible on Wednesday and Thursday. Daytime highs start in the lower 40s and dip into the upper 30s by midweek, before bouncing back up to the lower 50s next weekend. Overnight lows hover in the upper 30s for most of the week, then climb into the mid-40s next weekend.

Cascade Locks: The week begins with morning fog and afternoon sun, but things turn on Wednesday with chances of showers and rain into the weekend. Daytime highs hover in the mid-60s through the week, before inching into the lower 70s next weekend. Overnight lows start in the mid-40s and dip slightly into the lower 40s by midweek, then climb into the lower 50s next weekend.

Weather conditions and forecasts are subject to change. Click on individual locations for detailed daily forecasts at NOAA.gov. Check for PCT: Oregon’s midweek updates on Twitter.


Water

With the hiking season waning, water conditions reports are fewer and farther between. Most lakes and larger streams are still running as of last reports, with smaller creeks and springs having run low or dry. With rain returning to Oregon, these will begin to pick up a bit.

Water Alerts:

Section 2 (B): Fish Lake to Cascade Crest

  • Honeymoon Creek (Sky Lakes Wilderness): muddy and stagnant
  • Jack Spring (Sky Lakes Wilderness): dry

Section 3 (C): Cascade Crest to Willamette Pass

  • Six Horse Spring (Mt. Thielsen Wilderness): upper pools stagnant; proceed to lower cascade

Section 4 (E): Willamette Pass to Santiam Pass

  • Washington Ponds (Mt. Washington Wilderness): stagnant; not recommended

Section 5 (F): Santiam Pass to Timberline Lodge

  • Jude Lake (Warm Springs Reservation): becoming stagnant
  • Lemiti Creek (Warm Springs Reservation): stagnant; not recommended

Section 6 (G): Timberline Lodge to Cascade Locks

  • Indian Spring: questionable
  • Teakettle Spring: questionable

For more detailed information on Oregon’s PCT water conditions, visit the PCT Water Report.


Obstructions

Sections 4/5 (F): Santiam Pass Trailhead

  • OPEN: OR 20 – ODOT has completed their work on Highway 20 and the PCT trailhead at Santiam Pass can once again be accessed from the west side (Salem/Albany) on this route.

Section 6 (G): Timberline Lodge to Cascade Locks

  • NOT RECOMMENDED: Eagle Creek Alternate Route – Despite what other sources may report, the Forest Service is requesting that thru-hikers stick to the official PCT from Wahtum Lake to Cascade Locks and not use the alternate Eagle Creek Trail due to the bridge washout on Tish Creek. In addition to the crossing being unsafe, officials are noticing that hikers ignoring this recommendation are beginning to have a negative impact on the creek’s watershed due to trampling and stream damage. Please be considerate of this recommendation.

Wildfires

There are currently no wildfires or closures that affect the PCT in Oregon.

Gap Fire (Northern California): At nearly 34,000 acres, the fire is now 98% contained. The Forest Service reopened the PCT through the Seiad Valley on 9/14, and the trail can once again be accessed from Highway 96 in California. If hiking through this area, you should stick to the trail and not wander into the burn area. More info at InciWeb.


Critters!

  • Mosquitoes: As summer ends and cooler temps return, the coast is pretty much clear.
  • Bears: Bear activity typically increases in late summer/early fall as the furry critters are gorging themselves in preparation for their winter naps. Make sure you are keeping a clean camp and storing/hanging your food properly.

Hunting Season

Hunting season will soon begin in Oregon. The burned wilderness areas in Central Oregon (Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson) are popular during the High Cascade Hunt for the good visibility for hunters and the fresh shrubbery for deer. When hiking in these areas, it is advisable to wear bright colors to identify yourself as a hiker, and if hiking with a dog, keep it on leash. More info here.


The information on this page is collected from a variety of sources, including NOAA, PCTA, PCT Water and the U.S. Forest Service. For more information on PCT Conditions in Oregon CLICK HERE. This page will be updated on a weekly basis during the summer hiking season.

If you have trail condition information to contribute, CLICK HERE.
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