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PNW regional trail, park, road closures due to Covid 19

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PNW regional trail, park, road closures due to Covid 19

Old 04-12-20, 01:07 AM
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Seattle Forrest
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PNW regional trail, park, road closures due to Covid 19

I'll update this list periodically when I find more info. Right now it's very WA centric but I'm going to dig up more info about our neighbors. This will always be an incomplete list. The hope is to help with planning for people who like to drive a bike to beautiful scenery, or even go hiking or spring skiing. I'll only ever get to roads that see a lot of use.
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Old 04-14-20, 01:33 PM
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Thanks for posting this all in one place. Sad times for outdoor enthusiasts.
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Old 04-15-20, 06:22 AM
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I live in Thurston County and they just allowed the 2 bike trails to re-open. The trails are the Chehalis Western trail that goes from Lacey to Rainier and the Tenino-Yelm trail that intersects with the Chehalis trail at Rainier. They are built along a old railroad and are 95% paved. I lived very close to the north end of Chehalis trail until May 2018 when I moved to Rochester/Tenino.

I now use Tenino-Yelm trail to Rainier and then use the Chehalis trail. The Chehalis is 21 miles one way and Yelm trail is 14.5 miles which I plan on riding Tenino-Yelm as soon as I get my bike endurance back up. I've been off the bike for 2 years and I am slowly building up strength and stamina. My weekend rides before were to Rainier and back which was 44 miles round trip and I would do training rides along the Chehalis during the week of anywhere from 10-25 miles.
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Old 04-15-20, 10:19 AM
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Mary's Peak Road off of hwy 34 is closed at the first gate (Connors Camp). This is a little over halfway up the mountain, so you can still get a lot of climbing in before turning around.
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Old 04-15-20, 12:29 PM
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Oh, and the entire Macdonald Dunn Research forest north of Corvallis, OR is closed.
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Old 04-16-20, 04:44 PM
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All lodging in Okanogan County, WA is closed: resorts, hotels, motels, time shares, short term rentals, campgrounds, RV parks, and private campgrounds. Anybody already in one of these places since March 17 may remain.

https://okanogancounty.org/ocph/docs...%2049-2020.pdf
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Old 04-18-20, 08:59 AM
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Between 11:00am & 3:00pm the chances of rain are in the 40-50% range. Tomorrow though, Sunday the 19th the chances are about 5%...I think I'm going to do a closure inspection of Highway 20 beyond Newhalem. Last year at this time they had the full highway cleared out to mile post 151.

Here is what it looked like at Mile post 151:
Mile marker 151 Washington Hwy 20 by Richard Mozzarella, on Flickr

Remember, the state highway is only closed to cars. It's only closed to pedestrians and cyclists during working hours: Monday through Thursday from 6am to 5pm. So, implicit to the sign: Friday through Sunday & anytime after 5pm or before 6am it's open for recreational purposes.

Wsdot.wa.gov
Winter recreation on SR 20
Hikers, skiers, snowmobilers and other recreationalists can access the closed portion of highway during the winter season. Users should park in designated parking areas to allow plow drivers the space they need to clear snow around the closed stretch’s access gates.
Here is a pic of the sign at the closure gate from last year:
Closed to cars & pedestrians during working hours. by Richard Mozzarella, on Flickr
















BTW: On Flickr these are right-side up. I dunno what's up with BF rendering of the photos. Way to go

Last edited by base2; 04-18-20 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 04-19-20, 03:20 PM
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Ok. So it seems that the Seattle City Light employee and the Phoenix Security guard with a gun have barricadded the highway & blocked off access to Newhalem.

They said the State Park was closed due to Covid. I told them I wasn't there for the state park, only the state highway. They didn't care & claimed the state highway was the state park. I told them they were wrong & they offered to call the County Sherriff.

I was going to argue further & ask them to get the Sherriff, but my wife turned on me, taking sides with the "not-authority-figures," making me the lone trouble maker.

I told the Seattle city light employee & the hired security guard to check the WSDOT website & they said they ain't gotta check nuthin'.

This Covid thing is garbage. I'm in Concrete now & going to ride on the Cascade Trail to Sedro Wooley. At least it doesn't look closed, yet.

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Old 04-22-20, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Ok. So it seems that the Seattle City Light employee and the Phoenix Security guard with a gun have barricadded the highway & blocked off access to Newhalem.

They said the State Park was closed due to Covid. I told them I wasn't there for the state park, only the state highway. They didn't care & claimed the state highway was the state park. I told them they were wrong & they offered to call the County Sherriff.

I was going to argue further & ask them to get the Sherriff, but my wife turned on me, taking sides with the "not-authority-figures," making me the lone trouble maker.

I told the Seattle city light employee & the hired security guard to check the WSDOT website & they said they ain't gotta check nuthin'.

This Covid thing is garbage. I'm in Concrete now & going to ride on the Cascade Trail to Sedro Wooley. At least it doesn't look closed, yet.
Not a state park issue. SR20 passes through Ross Lake National Recreation Area. It's not listed as closed on the national list, but nevertheless, it is closed. My guess, by local Ross Lake authorities to make it impossible to have through traffic on SR20, since the highway doesn't pass through the closed North Cascades National Park. That way they can keep it closed at Early Winters because there's be no other reason to be on that road other than to visit the national park, forbidden. SR410 is easier to rationalize since it does pass through a national park. One crosses the border into the closed Ross Lake area just a few miles north of Marblemount.

WSDOT info is dated March 15, out of date. SR20 closed where you were stopped on April 3.
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Old 04-23-20, 06:08 AM
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I guess the rub is I had no intention of going Ross Lake or anywhere else & I fully intended to use the highway & the highway alone for recreational purposes because it was closed to cars & closed to cars only.

Maybe the idea that a person would literally go play in the street...for fun even, is just something that would never occure to someone who is not a roadie, or a hiker, or a walker, or a horseback rider, or a snowmobiler.

Oh, well. It's all water under the bridge. My Constitutional rights to utilize the public infrastructure I pay for have been violated & there isn't much anyone can do about it...As far as the park and public lands, I get it. They don't want people to congregate because giving your neighbor a disease is being a bad neighbor because it puts an unacceptable risk to their pursuit to life & liberty. Fair enough. I concede that point.

But the highway & the access to the town is a different matter. I don't need a reason to travel along the roadways to or from anywhere within our country...All the moreso when the purpose is to utilize the roadway itself for it's own intrinsic qualities. It literally is the dividend of my investment in my community.

...And ok, say the license or permit to operate a licensed means of conveyance there is revoked, closing the road to cars; A bicycle & my own two feet are not a "licensed means of conveyance," & thus are allowed.

What other town or public roadway is it ok to barricade & isolate, hold hostage & require a litmus test for entry? That question starts to sound pretty unAmerican pretty quick & I don't like it.

Last edited by base2; 04-23-20 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 04-23-20, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
*patriotic rant*
Man, I like the way you think.
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Old 04-23-20, 01:44 PM
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Is the McKenzie River Trail open?

I know all trailhead parking lots are closed, but many FS trails in Oregon are open as long as crowding doesn't occur. Does anyone know if the McKenzie River trail is closed? It appears open, but...
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Old 04-23-20, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Not a state park issue. SR20 passes through Ross Lake National Recreation Area. It's not listed as closed on the national list, but nevertheless, it is closed. My guess, by local Ross Lake authorities to make it impossible to have through traffic on SR20, since the highway doesn't pass through the closed North Cascades National Park.
The devil's in the details. North Cascades NP and Ross Lake NRA are technically different things, but they're both part of the North Cascades Complex. So is Lake Chelan NRA. It's my understanding that this section of Highway 20 is also part of the complex, I'm not completely certain. I know that during the previous gov't shutdown, LEOs were chasing people out of pullouts like at Washington Pass.

​​​​​​I need to PM you about an unrelated matter about Ross Lake.
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Old 04-23-20, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Maybe the idea that a person would literally go play in the street...for fun even, is just something that would never occure to someone who is not a roadie, or a hiker, or a walker, or a horseback rider, or a snowmobiler.
I'd love to share some photos I shot skiing Highway 20 this winter.

I didn't get any say in any of these decisions, I'm just trying to share the bit of info I have. And this is only conjecture. When the stay at home orders went into place, the national parks announced that there would be no entry fees, to encourage distancing. And then they (NPs generally, not NOCA) got slammed with visitors, many from out of state because they suddenly have time to travel. This resulted in parks closing. The hiking trails near Seattle have been mobbed, Rainier is a highly used park, I think a blanket decision was made at a regional level without that much thought.

​​​​​​The section of 20 you're talking about doesn't need to be closed. It doesn't make sense for it to be. There's nothing but hiking trails for 60+ miles, and those trails don't melt out until June. If I was in charge, it would be open.

Last I heard, the highway is closed at Newhalem. That's 20+ miles to Diablo Lake. There's a LEO presence in Newhalem.
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Old 04-23-20, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
I know all trailhead parking lots are closed, but many FS trails in Oregon are open as long as crowding doesn't occur. Does anyone know if the McKenzie River trail is closed? It appears open, but...
​​​​​​I did some googling, couldn't find anything definitive. Is it singletrack or a rail trail? Is it on national forest land?

In WA the trails in NFs are still open, but the trailheads are closed. Meaning it's legal to park in a pullout and then walk or ride to the trail. WA and OR NFs are managed very similarly. I'd call the ranger station on the phone.

Sorry I don't have better info on this. I'll try to find time to look in more detail. I'm surprised how busy I've been lately.
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Old 04-23-20, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​I did some googling, couldn't find anything definitive. Is it singletrack or a rail trail? Is it on national forest land?
Thanks! I Googled it also and didn't see any information about closures. Thanks to you starting this thread, I learned from another poster the Mac Forest out of Corvallis is closed. I might've tried to go there if I wouldn't have learned it was closed.

The McKenzie trail is single track and it's very popular. It'd be great to ride there if it's not too busy. You'll have to find an excuse to get down to check it out once the shelter in place order is lifted.

I read many of the trails near the Portland area are having problems with too many people trying to access the same area. It's causing parking problems along with crowding issues. Places are closing when they get too crowded.

FYI. Oregon still has a few possible places to backcountry ski if one plans carefully. I went last Saturday by parking off a hwy on a melted out dirt road with good access to some higher elevations. I checked out a few other dirt roads at lower elevations that have access to higher elevations and discovered them to be closed due to yahoos driving into difficult conditions and getting stuck in the snow. The Brietenbush Hwy between Detroit and Estacada is closed for similar reasons.
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Old 04-27-20, 12:00 PM
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BLM lands in WA and OR have reopened.
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Old 04-28-20, 06:32 PM
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Folks;
I just did a video on what's happening to a few parks in Bellingham, Washington. Basically, physical distancing seems to be well followed. City parks are open, but playground and covered picnic areas are taped off and people seem to be obaying the tape.

Bicycle traffic on the trails here is manageable. The video includes one of the busiest parks in Bellingham (Boulevard Park).

View the video and draw your own conclusions. Please, though, don't drive up here from Seattle just to use Bellingham's fragile park system. Please just convince your own neighbors and friends to please conduct themselves prudently in your parks during this Covad-19 event.

https://vimeo.com/411937050

I luv you all!

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Old 04-29-20, 11:26 AM
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Sorry to all that I haven't kept the list updated. I planned to. At this point it sounds like we're starting to re-open outdoor recreation, so I hope we won't need a list.

I don't think the closures were very useful. A few trails probably should have been shut, but not everything. I need exercise for my health, and outdoors to stay on an even keel. This has been very frustrating.
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Old 04-29-20, 02:33 PM
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Same thing in BC. National, Provincial, and most regional parks closed. Some only closed to vehicles, so you can hike or bike in if you're fit (some trailheads near me would require several miles of pushing a bike uphill!) If you have some idea of the population density of Canada you will appreciate the ridiculousness of this government overreach. We're a docile bunch up here, but I'm a little surprised you guys are not a chafing more under these restrictions. These are good times for the rules-makers and rules-enforcers among us. Of course, if it's taxable, like liquor or cannabis, it's open!
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