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Local information need for Columbia River gorge WA USA

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Local information need for Columbia River gorge WA USA

Old 03-13-18, 04:17 PM
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derail3
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Local information need for Columbia River gorge WA USA

Am in the planning stage for a trip from Pasco WA to Portland OR, via the Columia River Gorge. I am see information that the "Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail" maybe closed and shut down to all vehicle traffic do to a fire last fall. Can anyone confirm the current status of this trail section? If autos are restricted can bikes still legally use the trail? If close when do they expect it to reopen? What section is closed, any work a Rounds? Is there a official web site to check status?
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Old 03-13-18, 06:56 PM
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adventurepdx
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Yes, as of now, the Historic Columbia River Highway is closed from Bridal Veil to Hood River. This includes both the section open to cars (Bridal Veil to Ainsworth) and the trail (Yeon to Cascade Locks, plus the small section around Starvation Creek.) And from what I gather, closed means closed. You may be able to sneak around barriers, but if folks are out working on the road/trail, they won't be happy to see you. Plus, there's the possibility of landslides on some closed sections, and they wouldn't be fun to deal with.

When exactly are you going to be touring the Gorge? It may be open sometime this summer, but it's going to be hard to say exactly when. You can always stay on the Washington side (SR 14) through the Gorge, but it won't have as many highlights as the Oregon side.
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Old 03-14-18, 09:57 AM
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Factored in some headwind?
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Old 03-14-18, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by adventurepdx View Post
Yes, as of now, the Historic Columbia River Highway is closed from Bridal Veil to Hood River. This includes both the section open to cars (Bridal Veil to Ainsworth) and the trail (Yeon to Cascade Locks, plus the small section around Starvation Creek.) And from what I gather, closed means closed. You may be able to sneak around barriers, but if folks are out working on the road/trail, they won't be happy to see you. Plus, there's the possibility of landslides on some closed sections, and they wouldn't be fun to deal with.

When exactly are you going to be touring the Gorge? It may be open sometime this summer, but it's going to be hard to say exactly when. You can always stay on the Washington side (SR 14) through the Gorge, but it won't have as many highlights as the Oregon side.
Thanks for the update. We are going in June. I think we will change plans and maybe go out to the coast.
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Old 03-14-18, 12:45 PM
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Bummer, that is some beautiful riding. I also remember some epic bike pushing up stairs with the bike gutter thing on the side haha.
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Old 03-14-18, 01:30 PM
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Wait!

I'm waiting to hear back from the Oregon DOT bike/ped coordinator.
Since the only alternatives are I-84 and WA 14 - and since Oregon is very bike friendly -
there might just be some cyclist access by late spring.
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Old 03-14-18, 02:06 PM
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Maybe they can apply some of the new Bike Tax revenue to fixing the trail.

Do you mountain bike? The John Wayne trail to the north might be an alternative. Are there other rails to trails?
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Old 03-14-18, 02:16 PM
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there was that big arson forest fire last summer.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_Creek_Fire



Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Factored in some headwind?
Yup, its a good section for Windsurfing, because of the narrow gorge ..
concentrating the air flow between the sides of the cascade mountain range..





...

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-14-18 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 03-14-18, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Factored in some headwind?
Indeed. Most cyclists do this trip in the other direction.
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Old 03-14-18, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by skimaxpower View Post
Indeed. Most cyclists do this trip in the other direction.
Yeah, for this Aussie, being blown uphill was awesome! Whoosh! And I'm glad we went down those stupid stairs and not up....
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Old 03-15-18, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by skimaxpower View Post
Indeed. Most cyclists do this trip in the other direction.
I did it in Fall (October) and got blown uphill going the other way (E to W). Just like the other poster, it was aaawwweeeesssssommmme getting blown uphill. I remember going about 45mph barely pushing on slight downhills, fully loaded. Of course there were broken tree branches to look out for from the super winds...
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Old 03-21-18, 05:56 PM
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Just got this dispatch from the Oregon Department of Transportation regarding the Gorge. I haven't edited it, but have emphasized a few areas in bold.

*****
Columbia Gorge Search & Rescue Incidents Highlight Dangers in Closed Areas

Many Oregon recreation sites, roads and trails remain closed in the Columbia River Gorge following the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire.

Local first responders, such as law enforcement and Search & Rescue teams, continue to be dispatched to rescue hikers who disregard signage and barricades and trespass into closed and dangerous areas.

Responders are placed at greater risk than normal when going into the burn-affected areas due to significant hazards, such as rockfall, landslides, and fire-weakened trees that remain in the aftermath of the Eagle Creek Fire.

Hikers who trespass into closure areas will be held criminally liable for their actions by the Hood River and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Offices.

Most recently, a rescue took place on the night of March 14, when the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team was summoned to help two hikers who jumped a barrier and became lost in the Angels Rest area. Prior to that, on February 10, the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office cited three juveniles for Criminal Trespass for hiking in the closed Herman Creek area and getting lost.

“Those who choose to trespass into closed areas face potential criminal charges, and the safety of volunteers will be weighed first when considering Search and Rescue response for those who become injured or lost,” said Deputy Joel Ives, with the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office.

With spring break just days away, the U.S. Forest Service, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Oregon Department of Transportation, and Hood River and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Offices remind the public to observe and adhere to signs and advisories and remain out of all closure areas.

Gorge visitation will increase as spring weather improves. Visitors need to respect signs and barricades blocking entry to the closed areas. Falling rocks, trees and other debris remain a threat and crews from multiple agencies are working to safely reopen the area closed by the fire.

Six miles of the Historic Columbia River Highway have been closed since Sept. 4, two days after the start of the fire. The section of road, from Bridal Veil to Ainsworth, is still getting hit by a barrage of rock and trees, which can fall without warning.

ODOT crews regularly use plows to remove rocks, trees and debris that fall on the road. ODOT crews have removed about 7,000 hazard trees from that stretch of road and continue to remove trees above the steep slope on the south side of the road. No date has been set for re-opening.


The following Oregon State Parks facilities remain closed.
  • Benson State Recreation Area
  • Shepperd’s Dell State Natural Area
  • Angel’s Rest Trailhead, the trail and parking
  • John B. Yeon Trailhead, trail and parking
  • Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail trailheads and trail between John Yeon and Cascade Locks, including:
  • Toothrock Trailhead, trail and parking
  • Ainsworth Day Use.
  • Starvation Creek State Park

All National Forest System lands remain closed within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area south of I-84, west of Starvation Creek, and east of Alex Barr and Thompson Mill Road with the exception of the Multnomah Falls lodge building, snack area, and plaza. For more details on the Forest Service closure and ideas for alternative recreation sites, visit www.fs.usda.gov/crgnsa.
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