Current Conditions

Welcome to … Spring?

By on March 21, 2017

In typical Northwest fashion, we ushered in spring of this year under chilly, gray skies with scattered showers and snow still falling across the Cascade Range and Pacific Crest Trail. This past winter was especially brutal in Oregon and Washington, and has resulted in widespread damage to trails in both states—and that’s just what we’ve been able to see so far. Much of the PCT in the higher elevations will continue to be buried under cold, white stuff (up to 150% of normal in some areas) long into the spring months, meaning we won’t have a good look at trail conditions until possibly May or June. One spot of good news: the bridge over Tish Creek on the popular Eagle Creek alternate route has been replaced, so barring any other damage, that trail will be usable again this summer.

Through the spring months, continue to follow PCT: Oregon’s Facebook and Twitter feeds for the latest trail news and updates. Weekly conditions updates will return in late spring or early summer as the Pacific Crest Trail starts to reveal itself from its winter slumber.


Weather

Spring weather in the Northwest Cascades typically entails snow, rain, fog and cool to cold temperatures. Sunny days do occur, and those are excellent days to get out and explore Oregon’s wilderness areas on day trips and weekend outings. Be aware of the forecast for the area you’re planning to visit. Remember, weather can change quickly, so plan accordingly and be prepared. Click on these locations for current daily and weekly forecasts at NOAA.

Weekly weather updates will return to PCT: Oregon as the 2017 hiking season nears.


Avalanches

Springtime is when avalanches occur more frequently with heavy rain in the mountains and sudden warming conditions. If you’re planning on exploring the backcountry this spring where slopes and trails are still under several feet of snow, check for avalanche warnings in the area.

Northwest Avalanche Center
Central Oregon Avalanche Association

Trail/Road Closures

Most of the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon will continue to be under snow through the spring months. Most of the main highways remain open through the spring season, however chains and/or traction tires may be required if snowy conditions persist. Most smaller forest roads will remain inaccessible until summer.

• Crater Lake National Park – The southern entrance road, Steel Visitor Center and Rim Village Cafe are open, but with limited hours. All other park roads, facilities and campgrounds are closed until summer.

• Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway (OR-46) – Closure in effect between Mount Bachelor ski area and the Willamette Pass Hwy (OR-58). Elk Lake resort can be accessed via resort snowcat service.

• McKenzie Pass Hwy (OR-242) – Seasonal closure in effect from milepost 62 to 84, between the town of Sisters and US-126. This highway usually reopens in June.

Check Oregon’s road conditions at ODOT.


Contributors

PCT: Oregon will be looking for Oregon hikers to help contribute trail condition information to this site for the summer 2017 hiking season. If you’re interested in helping out your fellow PCT hikers by sharing news and info on trail conditions in your area, please contact site admin here. Thank you!


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.

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2 Comments
  1. Reply

    Brad

    April 1, 2017

    Enjoying reading “Hiking the PCT: Oregon.” It is helping me plan another section hike.

    Minor correction: Mt. Hood isn’t the most recently active Cascade volcano after Mount St. Helens. That distinction belongs to Mt. Lassen that erupted violently 100 years ago.

    Thanks for all the info on the the website!

    • Reply

      Eli Boschetto

      April 4, 2017

      Hi Brad! Thanks for your comment—you are absolutely correct. That passage was intended to suggest volcanic activity in the Northwest. I see how that wasn’t clarified. I’ll make note of your observation and make sure that’s corrected in the next edition. Cheers!

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