Waterfall Corridor Permits Start Tuesday

Photo: ODOT

A new Timed Use Permit for personal vehicles along the Waterfall Corridor in the Columbia Gorge goes into effect Tuesday to help reduce congestion, increase safety and improve the overall visitor experience.

Between May 24 and Sept. 5, 2022, the Timed Use Permit will be required for personal vehicles to access federal lands adjacent to the Waterfall Corridor between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., seven days a week, between the Bridal Veil off-ramp (I-84 Exit 28) and Ainsworth State Park (Exit 35).

Multnomah County, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, the Oregon Department of Transportation and the U.S. Forest Service launched the joint project to create a more reliable, safe, predictable and enjoyable experience for all users visiting trailheads, waterfalls and viewpoints.

In addition to the Waterfall Corridor Timed Use Permits, the USFS will reinstate Multnomah Falls Timed Use Permits for visitors using the I-84 (Exit 31) parking lot during the same time period. The permits are two separate systems and are not interchangeable. 

"The Columbia River Gorge is one of Oregon’s most iconic and popular destinations,” said Multnomah County Commissioner Lori Stegmann. “But for both residents and visitors the traffic congestion has contributed to frustration and long waits. With this permit pilot program our goal is to provide easier access while improving the safety and experience for those traveling through the Gorge’s majestic beauty. The benefit of a pilot program is that we can modify it as needed to enhance its effectiveness and ensure it works for residents and visitors alike."

How the Waterfall Corridor Timed Use Permit system will work:

·    All personal vehicles using the Waterfall Corridor to access National Forest System lands will need a Timed Use Permit seven days a week between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. from just east of the Bridal Veil off-ramp (Exit 28) to Ainsworth State Park (Exit 35) from May 24 through Sept. 5, 2022.

·    Waterfall Corridor Timed Use Permits will be available online for a $2 transaction fee. Permits will be released approximately two weeks prior to the visit date. There will also be a limited amount of in-person, same-day permits (no fee) at locations such as the Gateway to the Gorge Visitor Center in Troutdale and the Cascade Locks Historical Museum. 

·    Each permit lists a time slot. Arrive at either end of the Waterfall Corridor at one of two check-in points (just east of the Bridal Veil off-ramp at Exit 28 or Exit 35 at Ainsworth State Park) anytime during your time slot. Arrive at a check-in point on time. If you arrive after your permit time slot, please consider going by public transit, tour or bike instead. Once you arrive, you can stay as long as you like.

·    Parking is not guaranteed anywhere along the Waterfall Corridor. Only park in marked parking spots.

Options for visiting the Waterfall Corridor without a permit:

·    Leave your car at home and take public transit (Columbia Area Transit), including service from Gateway Transit Center in Portland, Cascade Locks, and Hood River. 

·    Take a tour: Sasquatch Shuttle and Gray Line Waterfall Trolley service the Waterfall Corridor with hop-on, hop-off shuttles.

·    Get out into that fresh air and ride your bike along the route. 

·    Modify the timing of your trip to before or after the permit times and peak visitation (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

·    Plan your visit to the Waterfall Corridor prior to Memorial Day and after Labor Day, when there is less visitation demand.

Learn more: www.WaterfallCorridorPermits.org

Reserve your Timed Use Permit: Recreation.gov

Source: U.S. Forest Service

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