TRAIL CONDITIONS: 8.14.18
This Week on the PCT:
More Sun, More Smoke
Following a cloudy and cooler weekend, the mercury has been ticking up across Oregon for another spell in the higher temperatures—and it’s looking to carry on a similar trend going into this weekend and next week. Wildfire smoke is going to keep air quality poor, especially in the southern regions, and reduce visibility considerably (see Weather). As summer wears on, many of the seasonal water sources (e.g., creeks and springs) are beginning to diminish, so be sure to check water reports (see Water) and know where your next reliable fill-up will be. On the bright side: berries are flourishing! Eat up!
Thanks again to our fellow PCT author Tami Asars, who picked up the reporting baton here in Oregon when we had to jump off the trail last month. Much of this report’s info and photos come courtesy of Tami. If you’re out there hiking the PCT in Oregon and have conditions info to share, send us an email with your update.
The best way to get the most recent info and photos from Oregon’s PCT is to follow us on Instagram. We’ll be posting and sharing news and updates here as often as we can.
Latest Trail News
ALERT: A Fire Weather Watch has been issued for the southern Oregon region (Mt. Ashland thru Crater Lake NP), with chances of dry thunderstorms.
The next week is looking to be a repeat of the last. Daytime highs along the Crest will be in the upper 60s to lower 70s across much of the state. Temps in the lower valleys and in some of the open, central areas may reach into the 80s and 90s. There’s a slight chance of thunderstorms later in the week. The weekend will cool a bit, with temps rebounding into next week. Overnights will be a little warmer, mostly in the 50s. For area-specific forecasts, visit our conditions page and click the icons for the latest regional weather.
ALERT: Hikers have reported a dead horse in Russell Creek (HM 2031.9). You should not draw water from downstream of the carcass. Be extra vigilant for animals that may be prowling in the area.
CREEKS, SPRINGS & LAKES: Most of these water sources remain reliable, with the best options at any of the larger lakes and ponds on or near the trail. Many springs and smaller creeks still have some water, though recent reports indicate that this is beginning to dwindle. Latest updates:
- Honeymoon Creek is dry (HM 1802.1)
- Six Horse Spring is a trickle; proceed below the stagnant pools (HM 1872.1+0.5)
- Limiti Creek is dry (HM 2054.6); proceed to nearby Trooper Spring (HM 2055)
- Teakettle Spring is running very low (HM 2139.0); fill at Wahtum Lake (HM 2130.6)
PUMPS & FAUCETS: The pump at Brown Mtn Shelter has been fixed and is usable (HM 1763.3). The faucet at Hyatt Lake has been turned off (HM 1742.8).
WATER CACHES: Hiker reports indicate that caches at Red Cone TH (CLNP; HM 1839.2), Thielsen Wilderness Boundary (HM 1848.4), and Windigo Pass (HM 1878.3) still have water available. This could change at any time depending on the number of hikers passing thru. It’s best not to rely on caches and be prepared by carrying a little extra. Click here for the full Oregon Water Report.
There are still several wildfires burning in Oregon, but none near the PCT. Smoke from these fires, as well as fires in California and Washington, is greatly contributing to poor air quality and limited visibility along the Crest. For the latest up-to-date fire info in Oregon, visit InciWeb.
ROADS & TRAILHEADS
All major roads and highways accessing the PCT in Oregon are open.
TRAIL ALERTS & CLOSURES
Hikers should continue to expect above-average blowdown in many areas along the Crest, especially in recently burned areas. Trail crews are tackling as much as they can, but in wilderness areas where work has to be done by hand, it can be slow going. The Forest Service recommends that hikers not loiter or camp in burn areas, and avoid hiking thru these areas if high winds are occurring.
ALERT: PCT from north Sky Lakes Wilderness to south CLNP. (PCT: OR: Sec. 2 miles 33–44; HM: 1807–1818) This area was heavily damaged from last year’s Blanket Creek Fire, with significant portions of the trail destroyed and lots of downed trees and debris. Several hikers have reported getting lost in this area. Use a map and compass or GPS to navigate and help you stay on track.
CLOSED: PCT from Bybee Camp to Bald Crater Loop* in Crater Lake National Park. (PCT: OR: Sec. 2, miles 55–60; HM: C10–C11, miles 1829–1834) Hikers can use the Rim Trail alternate route.
CLOSED: Whitewater Creek Trail in Mt. Jefferson Wilderness. This trail connects the PCT with a trailhead on the west side of the Crest. Hikers can use the Woodpecker or Pamelia Lake trails as alternates.
ALERT: PCT from Indian Springs to Cascade Locks in Mt. Hood Forest and Columbia River Gorge. (PCT: OR: Sec. 6, miles 31–50; HM: G5–G8, miles 2128–2147) The Forest Service has implemented a 25-foot buffer zone thru this area that was burned in the Eagle Creek fire last year. Hikers must stay within 25 feet of the trail for all camping and toilet use. More info here.
CLOSED: Eagle Creek Trail in Columbia River Gorge. This popular alternate route from Indian Springs/Wahtum Lake to Cascade Locks remains indefinitely closed. Hikers should stick with the official PCT, or use the Herman Creek Trail as an alternate-alternate route.
Are you weekend, section- or thru-hiking any of the PCT in Oregon? If you are, send us an email with info and a few photos on what you’re seeing out there. We’ll share your news with fellow PCT hikers so we can all stay safe and in-the-know.
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