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Current Conditions

Fall Colors Coming In

By on September 26, 2016
Current PCT conditions in Oregon for the week of Sept. 26, 2016.

Weather

After a gorgeous weekend across the Pacific Crest Trail through most of Oregon, we’ll get to enjoy a few more days of sunny and dry trail conditions before rain and snow start coming in toward the latter half of the week. For the next few days, pack your sunscreen and enjoy the kaleidoscope of color on trail with the vine maple and huckleberry turning vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red. Then get ready to trade your sunscreen out later in the week for your rain gear and beanie—it’s going to get cold and wet!

Mt. Ashland: The week begins sunny and clear, but the clouds start building midweek, with good chances of mixed sun, rain and snow showers going into the weekend. Daytime highs for the week start comfy in the lower 70s, but drop off steadily into the chilly lower 40s into the weekend. Overnight lows start in the mid-50s and will dip just below freezing into the weekend.

Sky Lakes: The week begins sunny and clear, but the clouds start building midweek, with good chances of mixed sun, rain and snow showers going into the weekend. Daytime highs for the week start comfy in the mid-70s, but drop off steadily into the chilly lower 40s into the weekend. Overnight lows start in the mid-50s and will dip just below freezing into the weekend.

Crater Lake: The week begins sunny and clear, but the clouds start building midweek, with snow showers likely going into the weekend. Daytime highs for the week start comfy in the upper 60s, but drop off steadily into the chilly upper 30s into the weekend. Overnight lows start in the mid-50s and will plunge into the bitter upper 20s into the weekend.

Diamond Peak: The week begins sunny and clear, but the clouds start building midweek, with snow showers likely going into the weekend. Daytime highs for the week start comfy in the mid-70s, but drop off steadily into the chilly upper 30s into the weekend. Overnight lows start in the upper 40s and will plunge into the bitter mid-20s into the weekend.

Three Sisters: The week begins sunny and clear, but the clouds start building midweek, with rain and snow showers likely going into the weekend. Daytime highs for the week start comfy in the upper 60s, but drop off steadily into the chilly mid-30s into the weekend. Overnight lows start in the mid-40s and will plunge into the bitter upper 20s into the weekend.

McKenzie Pass: The week begins sunny and clear, but the clouds start building midweek, with rain showers likely going into the weekend. Daytime highs for the week start toasty in the lower 80s, but drop off steadily into the mid-40s into the weekend. Overnight lows start in the mid-40s and will plunge into the chilly lower 30s into the weekend.

Jefferson Park: The week begins sunny and clear, but the clouds start building midweek, with rain and snow showers likely going into the weekend. Daytime highs for the week start comfy in the upper 60s, but drop off steadily into the chilly upper 30s into the weekend. Overnight lows start in the mid-40s and will dip just below freezing into the weekend.

Mount Hood: The week begins sunny and clear, but the clouds start building midweek, with snow showers likely going into the weekend. Daytime highs for the week start cool in the mid-60s, but drop off steadily into the chilly mid-30s into the weekend. Overnight lows start in the mid-40s and will plunge into the bitter mid-20s into the weekend.

Cascade Locks: The week begins sunny and clear, with a chance for showers on Tuesday. Clouds start building midweek, with rain showers likely going into the weekend. Daytime highs for the week start toasty in the mid-80s, but drop off steadily into the cool lower 60s into the weekend. Overnight lows start in the upper 50s and will drop into the chilly lower 40s into the 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

As fall sets in, water conditions reports are fewer and farther between. Most lakes and larger streams are full and still running as of last reports; many of the smaller creeks and springs have gone dry for the year. Following are the most recent water alerts, still in effect.

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. The Willamette National Forest is about to begin their prescribed fall burns. There may be smoke visible from the PCT in some areas of central Oregon west of the Crest. Visit Willamette NF for more info.


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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