Photo: Road near Ramona Falls/USFS
Many forest areas that were closed following the historic Labor Day windstorm that brought down thousands of trees and propelled the Riverside Fire will reopen on Saturday, September 26 at 12:01 a.m. The forest suffered extensive and severe damage as a result of the storm so many areas will remain closed or are still blocked by trees.
On the west side of the forest, areas north of US Highway 26 will reopen. Land, roads, trails, and recreation sites south of Hwy 26 will remain closed due to widespread damage, debris slides, and the Riverside Fire, which is just under 140,000 acres in size and 34% contained. The closed area includes all of Clackamas River Ranger District and a portion of Zigzag Ranger District. The Timberline Trail, Pacific Crest Trail (Timberline to Town Trail), Top Spur Trail, Sandy River Trail (Ramona Falls), and other trails in the immediate vicinity of Mt. Hood, while not formally closed, are nearly impassable due to downed trees.
A few sites south of Hwy 26 will reopen. These closure exceptions are:
• Forest Road 2618 (Old Salmon River Road);
• Mirror Lake Trailhead;
• Trails within the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness;
• The following trails: Mirror Lake (#664), Salmon River (#742), Still Creek (#780), McIntyre Ridge (#782), Bonanza (#786), Hunchback (#793), Flag Mountain (#766), Salmon Butte (#791), Green Canyon Way (#793A), Cool Creek (#794)
On the east side of the forest Hood River Ranger District and Barlow Ranger District will reopen except for a fire closure area surrounding the White River Fire. The White River Fire is about 85% contained but is still burning on the interior of the fire and will likely have burning stumps and smoldering hot spots for many weeks.
All campgrounds on the forest have closed for the season, except for the following sites on the east side: Lost Lake, Laurance Lake, Sherwood, Nottingham, Eightmile, Lower Eightmile, Pebble Ford, Wahtum Lake, and Knebel Springs.
Campfires are still prohibited on the entire Mt. Hood National Forest due to high fire danger and ongoing active fires. Portable cooking stoves and lanterns using liquefied or bottled fuel (like propane) are allowed as they can be instantly switched off.
Downed trees and hanging limbs are still being cleaned up. Please use extreme caution when out on the forest, including looking up and around you to assess hazards. While driving, watch out for fallen trees and debris on the roadway, as well as limbs extending over the roadway.