NW Oregon Trail Updates
100 Hikes/Travel Guide: NW Oregon & SW Washington, 5th Edition (c)2020.
(Next printing with updates on April 1, 2022.)
If you are using a book printed in 2019 or earlier, you will find that many of the hike numbers have been changed.
Be the first to report a trail update, and win a prize! Send updates to email@example.com.
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: All Oregon State Parks and all hiking trails in the Columbia Gorge waterfall corridor closed in late March, and many of the most popular trails in the Gorge remained closed throughout the summer of 2020. Most other hiking destinations in Oregon are now open, often with restrictions.
-- #21 Siouxon Creek -- Most of this area burned in a September 2020 wildfire, although trees near creeks or in steep canyons may have survived. The lowest part of the Siouxon Creek Trail (near Hickman Cabin site) also appears to have escaped the fire. The access road and trails are likely to remain closed until at least mid-summer 2021.
-- #48 Multnomah Falls -- As of August 27, 2020, access to Multnomah Falls & Historic Lodge is available by reservation only through recreation.gov or by Columbia Gorge Express bus. Same-day and on-site tickets are not available. Timed reservation tickets provide visitors access to the parking area via the Interstate 84 parking lot at exit 31, but does not guarantee a parking space at the time of arrival. Every visitor must have a ticket, including infants, and 6 tickets are allowed per transaction. Only the lower viewing platform is open at the falls, the trail to Benson Bridge and up to the top of the falls is closed.
-- #90 Table Rock -- Although the trail here escaped a September 2020 wildfire, parts of the access road burned, as did the ridgecrest trails near Rooster Rock. The access road and trails are likely to remain closed until at least mid-summer 2021.
-- #91 Table Rock's West Meadow -- All of the trails and roads in this area burned in a September 2020 wildfire. The access road and trails are likely to remain closed until at least mid-summer 2021.
-- #92 Memaloose Lake --All of the trails and roads in this area burned in a September 2020 wildfire. The access roads and trails are likely to remain closed until at least the fall of 2021. Ironically, the easy access via Road 45 to this trailhead had briefly opened in the spring of 2020, but closed again in July 2020 due to another, smaller fire. When and if the more difficult access road from the west opens, you can find this longer, alternate route by driving south of Estacada 4.7 miles on Highway 211 toward Molalla. Beyond milepost 29, turn left on Hillockburn Road through Dodge. In another 5 miles, after an open yellow gate, this route becomes one-lane Road 45. The next 15 miles is partly paved, but includes a miserably potholed gravel section before you finally reach the Memaloose Lake trailhead.
-- #93 Clackamas River Trail -- All of the trails and roads in this area burned in a September 2020 wildfire. The trailheads and trails are likely to remain closed until at least mid-summer 2021.
-- #94 Fish Creek Mountain -- All of the trails and roads in this area burned in a September 2020 wildfire. The trailheads and trails are likely to remain closed until at least the fall of 2021.
-- #99 Olallie and Monon Lakes -- All of the trails and roads in this area burned in a September 2020 wildfire. The trailheads and trails are likely to remain closed until at least mid-summer 2021.
-- #100 Jefferson Park -- All three of the trails leading to this popular alpine destination burned in a September 2020 wildfire. The trailheads and trails are likely to remain closed until at least mid-summer 2021. Even then, advance permits will be required to hike or backpack in this area each summer, beginning on the Friday of the Memorial Day weekend in May through the last Friday in September.. The limited entry permits will be available from recreation.gov for a processing fee.
-- #141 Observation Peak -- Many of the trails and roads near Observation Peak burned in a September 2020 wildfire. The trailheads and trails are likely to remain closed until at least mid-summer 2021. Lower portions of the Trapper Creek Wilderness avoided the 2020 fire.
-- #184 Dry Ridge -- The lower portion of this rough trail burned in a September 2020 wildfire. It is unlikely to reopen for years, if ever..
-- #185 Alder Flat -- All of the trails and roads in this area burned in a September 2020 wildfire. The trailheads and trails are likely to remain closed until at least mid-summer 2021.
-- #188 Riverside Trail -- All of the trails and roads in this area burned in a September 2020 wildfire. The trailheads and trails are likely to remain closed until at least mid-summer 2021.
-- #185 Alder Flat -- All of the trails and roads in this area burned in a September 2020 wildfire. The trailheads and trails are likely to remain closed until at least mid-summer 2021.
-- #191 Butte Creek Falls -- Most of the roads in this area burned in a September 2020 wildfire, but it is probable that the canyons with waterfalls did not. In any case, the trailheads and trails are likely to remain closed until at least the fall of 2021. Also note that a Weyerhaeuser gate blocked access to this trailhead as of August 2018. The gate is on Crooked Finger Road 0.2 mile before the turnoff to Butte Creek Falls, so it is possible to park at the gate and walk 2.1 miles on the ugly road to the old trailhead.
-- #192 Whetstone Mountain -- The trailhead and most of the trail here did not burn in a September 2020 wildfire, but the summit of the mountain did and the ridge in both directions did. The trailheads and trails are likely to remain closed until at least mid-summer 2021.
-- #195 Hawk Mountain -- Most of the trails and roads in this area burned in a September 2020 wildfire. It is unclear whether the old lookout cabin on Hawk Mountain survived. In any case, the trailheads and trails are likely to remain closed until at least the fall of 2021.
-- #196 Fish and Si Lakes -- The trailhead here did not burn in a September 2020 wildfire, but the area around the lakes did. The trailheads and trails are likely to remain closed until at least mid-summer 2021.
-- #197 Ruddy Hill -- All of the trails and roads in this area burned in a September 2020 wildfire. The trailheads and trails are likely to remain closed until at least mid-summer 2021.
-- #198 Red Lake -- All of the trails and roads in this area burned in a September 2020 wildfire. The trailheads and trails are likely to remain closed until at least mid-summer 2021.
-- #199 Top Lake & Double Peaks -- All of the trails and roads in this area burned in a September 2020 wildfire. The trailheads and trails are likely to remain closed until at least mid-summer 2021.
100 Hikes/Travel Guide: NW Oregon & SW Washington, 4th Edition (c)2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014. All of the updates below have been incorporated into the new 5th Edition, available now in both print and as a downloadable eBook.
-- #1 (#14) Warrior Rock -- Parking permits for Sauvie Island are now $10 per day or $30 per year. To find the viewpoint of St. Helens at the northernmost tip of Sauvie Island, walk north along the beach from the lighthouse only 200 yards to a small concrete artillery platform. Turn inland to the left here on a small service road for 100 yards to a T-shaped road junction. The route back to your car is to the left, but first walk to the right along the old road 0.3 mile to the viewpoint at the tip of Sauvie Island. On your way back to the car, stick to the road, because the cow paths leading inland are overgrown.
-- #2 Aerial Tram & Council Crest -- Parking at the Zoo is now $2 per hour. The aerial tram no longer runs on Sundays.
-- #3 Washington Park -- A pedestrian footbridge on the Wildwood Trail opened over Burnside in October 2019, making this crossing much safer and more fun. Designed by Portland architect Ed Carpenter, the bridge is a curve of green and brown pipes. Meanwhile, the Japanese Garden is once again easy to access from the Wildwood Trail. A new connector trail avoids the detour route on Fairview Boulevard and Kingston.
-- #6 Northern Forest Park -- Drivers should note that Germantown Road is backed up with traffic during rush hours.
-- #10 Powell Butte -- Some trails have been renamed and relocated following the reservoir construction project that was completed in 2015. As before, start by following the paved Mountain View Trail to the summit. The Orchard Loop Trail is now Summit Lane. Once you are at the "Mountain Finder" viewpoint at Powell Butte's summit, continue on Summit Lane on a loop by keeping right at junctions for 0.8 mile until you reach a large gravel 4-way junction near the start of the loop. Turn right if you are ready to return to your car. For another mile-long loop, however, turn left on the Douglas Fir Trail (previously the Mt. Hood Trail). After half a mile, turn right on the Cedar Grove Trail and keep right for half a mile back to the summit meadow and the route back to your car. Pipeline Lane, the road/trail around the north side of the reservoir site, reopened in late 2015, now that construction of the new reservoir is complete.
-- #13 Champoeg Heritage Area -- The log cabin museum has been moved away from the eroding riverbank to avoid falling into the Willamette. It is now part of a new Newell Pioneer Village, a complex of historic buildings maintained by the Daughters of the American Revolution on Champoeg Road 0.1 mile west of the state park entrance. This excellent little museum complex is open Friday-Sunday from March through October. Pay your admission at the log cabin. The required guided tour takes you to the relocated Butteville schoolhouse and jail, and the 1852 Robert Newell house, where exhibits include gowns from Oregon's first ladies and baskets from Oregon tribes.
-- #13 Tualatin Hills Parks -- Several trails at the Tualatin Hills Nature Park have changed names recently. Notably, the Creek Trail is now an extension of the Old Wagon Trail. All this has been corrected in the 2019 printing of the book. Here's a current park map, sent in by alert reader Timothy Werth:
Cabins, Lookouts & Inns in SW Washington -- Although a fire in the Trapper Creek area burned the rentable Peterson Cabin at Government Mineral Springs, a replacement cabin of 1930s vintage was moved to the site and restored in 2018. The new/old cabin is now available for rent at www.recreation.gov.
-- #17 Silver Star Mountain -- The access road to this trailhead has become so deeply rutted that the final 2.7 miles on Road 4109 are impassable to virtually all passenger cars. The recommended trailhead is now where you turn sharply right off Road 1100 onto Road 4109 (GPS 45.7947 -122.2509), although this increases the round-trip distance to Silver Star Mountain to a 10.6-mile loop with 3020 feet of elevation gain -- and half of that distance is on an ugly, rutted road. For an easier, prettier route, start at the Grouse Vista Trailhead on the other side of the mountain, via Washougal. This route is described at the back of the book as Hike #114, "Silver Star Mountain via Grouse Vista." From the trailhead, take a rocky trail up to the right. This route is shown as a road on the map, but has become a wide, shady trail that is only steep and rocky for the first mile. From Grouse Vista, it's 3.3 miles to the summit of Silver Star Mountain, with 2020 feet of elevation gain. Returning on a loop via Sturgeon Rock and the Tarbell Trail would bring the mileage total to an 8.3-mile loop with 2100 feet of elevation gain -- although a logging operation will close half a mile of the Tarbell Trail near its junction with the Sturgeon Trail for the entire summer of 2018.
-- #18 Moulton Falls -- The Mt. St. Helens viewpoint that's recommended as a turnaround point ("Lunch Stumps") has been usurped by a new clearcut with a Mt. St. Helens viewpoint a quarter mile earlier. Also, because of increased traffic and more stoplights on the driving route through Orchards, Washington, it is now quicker to drive to the trailhead via Interstate 5 and Battle Ground. From Vancouver, take I-5 north 11 miles to Battle Ground exit #11, turn right on Highway 502 for 6.5 miles to a stoplight in Battle Ground, turn left on NW 10th Avenue (alias Highway 503) toward Amboy for 5.5 miles, and turn right at a sign for Lucia Falls onto NE Rock Creek Road for 5 miles to the Lucia Falls parking lot on the right. Moulton Falls is another 3.1 miles along the road.
-- #19 Siouxon Creek -- The bridge just before Chinook Creek Falls has been replaced, so it is crossable without worry. Also, some spur roads have been closed, so the driving directions to the trailhead are a little different, and a little simpler. The route to the trailhead is still entirely paved, but the final 3 miles have deteriorated, so drive carefully. The simplest route to the trailhead is to take Interstate 5 north of the Columbia River to Battleground exit 11 and take Highway 502 into Battleground 6 miles to a light at 10th Avenue. Turn left on Highway 503 for 11 miles, making several sharp turns to stay on Highway 503. Beyond Amboy 4 miles (and immediately after the Mt. St. Helens National Monument Headquarters), turn right on NE Healy Road for 10.4 miles -- the route narrows and roughens but remains paved. Then turn left on paved, one-lane Road 5701 for 3.8 miles to the trailhead at road's end.
-- #20 Coldwater Lake -- The Coldwater Visitor Center, closed for years, has been renamed the Science and Learning Center at Coldwater. It is open only in summer, and only for special programs and as a rental space. At the Coldwater Lake picnic area/boat launch/trailhead, visitors are officially supposed to wear armbands purchased from the Johnston Ridge Observatory, but this awkward rule is not enforced.
-- #21 Johnston Ridge -- A new section of the Boundary Trail, 1.6 miles from the Johnston Ridge Observatory, bypasses a steep, exposed portion of the old trail that led directly to the "great viewpoint" on the Devils Point ridge end. To reach that viewpoint now, continue straight on the Boundary Trail another 0.4 mile and then turn right on a deadend trail for 0.3 mile to the viewpoint. Because this cutoff shortens the Boundary Trail a bit, round-trip mileages to Harrys Ridge and Coldwater Peak are now 0.4 mile less.
-- #23 Ape Cave -- A 0.8-mile, above-ground viewpoint trail from Ape Headquarters has been completed, giving hikers the option of hiking to a viewpoint of Mt. St. Helens, If you've brought kids who need to run, this is a better place to do it, because it isn't possible underground. The new path gains 400 feet of elevation, climbing northwest from the Ape Headquarters parking lot along overgrown logging roads, past an old quarry. The trail ends at a switchback of the paved one-lane Road 8303, so it would be possible for wheelchair users to park here and go just 100 feet on an all-accessible portion of the trail to the viewpoint.
-- #24 Mt. St. Helens Rim -- The permits for climbing Mt. St. Helens are no longer picked up at the Lone Fir Resort in Cougar. In winter, from November 1 to March 31, you simply fill out a free, unlimited permit at the Marble Mountain Sno-park. The rest of the year you must buy your permit online at www.recreation.gove. It costs $15 and is limited to 100 people a day in summer, and 500 people a day from April 1 to May 15. Each year's signup begins on January 1. Summer weekends fill quickly.
-- #27 Lava Canyon -- If you plan to shuttle car to the lower trailhead on gravel Road 8322, be warned that it has become so rough that some passenger cars choose to turn back.
-- # 28 Windy Ridge -- If you are hiking the difficult loop to the Plains of Abraham, be warned that the short, steep trail section down from Windy Ridge to the Plains of Abraham is covered with slippery pea gravel. A walking stick and boots with grippy soles are recommended. Also, note that a trail to the crater viewpoint above Loowit Falls (proposed in 2014) will probably not be built, both because of a lack of funds and because of concern that the crater area should be reserved for scientific research.
-- #31 Lewis River Falls -- Repairs to Road 90 were completed in December 2018, so access to this trailhead is again open.
On the Lewis River Trail itself, a washout just downstream from Middle Falls now requires a detour on the half-mile-longer loop uphill past Copper Creek Falls for this middle section of the trail.
-- #32-36 -- The Bridge of the Gods now charges a $2 toll instead of $1 for cars to cross the Columbia River at Cascade Locks. Also, in August of 2019 a traffic circle was built where the Wind River Road 30 joins Highway 14. If you're driving to Carson you cross the Bridge of the Gods, turn right on Highway 14 for 5.9 miles to a roundabout, and turn left through Carson on Wind River Road 30.
-- #34 Thomas Lake -- Camping is now allowed only at 16 backpacking campsites in the Thomas Lake and Blue Lake areas. The designated sites are marked by numbered posts; a map at the trailhead shows the locations. Also, a washout on Road 65 closed the driving route described in the book as of August 2019. Fortunately, a shorter and better route to the Thomas Lake Trailhead is open. To find it from Highway 14, drive Wind River Road 30 north through Carson for 29 miles. At milepost 29, turn right on gravel Road 6507. Signs warn that this road is rough but it's actually a good gravel road. Stick to the larger road at junctions to keep on Road 6507 for 4 miles. At a T-shaped junction, turn left on gravel Road 65 for half a mile to the trailhead parking area on the right.
--#35 Junction Lake -- A small 2017 fire, ignited by a lightning strike on East Crater, burned down the cinder cone to the shore of Junction Lake. The fire only touched a small portion of the trail, and doesn't diminish the quality of the hike.
-- #37 Sleeping Beauty -- Disregard the comment "(from Road 5800)" in the information block. The hike has only one trailhead (on Road 040). And the trailhead parking area has been expanded, so it now has room for more cars.
-- #38 Mount Adams Meadows -- The Bird Creek Meadows area closed in July 2018, but it is rumored that the Yakama Nation may reopen the area (and perhaps also the very rough access road) in September 2019. The area is known as "Tract D", a wedge-shaped portion of the Yakama reservation that includes the meadows, Hellroaring Viewpoint, and Iceberg Lake. Until the tribe officially reopens this area, non-tribal hikers on the Round-The-Mountain Trail from the South Climb Trailhead will need to turn back at the reservation boundary. The Cougar Creek Fire of August 2015 burned across the road to the Bird Creek Meadows trailhead on the Yakama reservation. That road has been gated closed and undrivable since then. The fire burned spottily throughout Bird Creek Meadows.
-- Climbing Mt. Adams -- Climbing passes are required for anyone venturing about the 7000-foot level on this mountain. In 2020 these passes can still be purchased at the Trout Lake Ranger Station and at popular climbing trailheads. By 2021, however, it is likely that only a limited number of climbing passes will be issued (probably about 100 per day) and they will only be available for purchase online at recreation.gov , probably for about $15 per person. This will be similar to the system of limited advance climbing permits that has been used at Mt. St. Helens for years. More information about the new Mt. Adams climbing rules is at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/mtadams .
-- #39 Cape Horn -- Because of some rerouting to make the lower, western part of this loop safer, the trail no longer switchbacks down a rockslide, visits a viewpoint above the train tunnel, or ducks behind a waterfall. The trail is still spectacular, but those things are now on unofficial side trails. Meanwhile, the purchase of additional land by the Friends of the Columbia Gorge will make possible a more scenic trail route along the crest of Cape Horn, east of the Russell Overlook.
-- #41 Beacon Rock -- You can now use a credit card to pay for your Discover Pass, but only at the Beacon Rock Trailhead by the rock on Highway 14. The pass costs $11 per day or $33 per year.
-- #42 Aldrich Butte & Table Mountain -- The ONLY legal trailhead for this hike is now the Bonneville Trailhead (also for the Pacific Crest Trail) on Highway 14, next to Bonneville Dam. This access to Table Mountain and Aldrich Butte adds 3 miles to the hike, each way. The old trailhead at Bonneville Hot Springs is NOT open to the public as of January 2017. The hotel has been sold to Foundations Recovery Network, an addiction treatment company from Tennessee. The new owners have gated the area for construction, and probably will keep it gated. The undeveloped "Aldrich Mountain Trailhead" a mile south of Bonneville Hot Springs, off Shelley Lane, is also off-limits. It is on land that was purchased by Pete Kamm. He posted No Trespassing signs there in the summer of 2016, after 30 cars parked haphazardly on the BPA road, under the powerline, and on his property. Meanwhile, the Bonneville Trails Foundation is partnering with the new owners of the Bonneville Hot Springs resort in the hopes of establishing a new trailhead somewhere in the community of North Bonneville. Because this route would cross private land and land managed by a variety of public agencies, the new trailhead is unlikely to open before 2020, and possibly several years later than that. So plan on starting at the PCT Trailhead! And be aware that the Bridge of the Gods now charges a $2 toll.
-- #45 to #50 (Angels Rest to Herman Creek) -- These very popular hikes burned in the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. Trails in the Herman Creek area reopened in the summer of 2018 (including the Pacific Crest Trail, Indian Point, and Dry Creek Falls). The Angels Rest-Multnomah Falls-Larch Mountain area reopened in November 2018, along with the Historic Columbia River Highway there. The Wahclella Falls trail reopened in August 2019, but without the northern portion of his final 0.2-mile loop. The Eagle Creek Trail area will reopen in the spring of 2020. The trails at Oneonta Creek, Elowah Falls, and Ruckel Creek are unlikely to open until 2021. The fire actually left most trees alive, and understory plants have come back green, so most areas look surprisingly good. Some areas and most ridges, however, burned so thoroughly that hikers can expect black snags and views for quite a while.
After the August 2017 Eagle Creek Fire, a few trails on the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge remain closed by rockslides, downed trees, and washouts, as here at Wahclella Falls (USFS photo).
-- #44 Latourell Falls -- This trail reopened in November 2017. Although this area did not burn in the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire, the section of the Historic Columbia River Highway from Crown Point to Bridal Veil was closed from September to November 2017 while crews repaired fire damage nearby.
-- #45 Angels Rest -- This trail reopened in November 2018 after a 2017 wildfire. The fire did not burn the trailhead, but it burned more than half of the trees along the route to the viewpoint, and widened the viewpoint itself by clearing trees near the top of the ridge. The trail was cleared and rebuilt by the Trailkeepers of Oregon.
-- #46 Multnomah & Wahkeena Falls -- The trails here have reopened since the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. Although the Larch Mountain Trail is open, remember that snow blocks the upper trailhead in winter. Trails west to Oneonta Creek will probably remain closed until 2021. Despite the fire, the view atop Devils Rest is still blocked by trees, but a side trail before the summit leads north to a cliff-edge viewpoint. A $5 shuttle bus from the Gateway Transfer Center in East Portland to Rooster Rock and Multnomah Falls offers 12 trips a day from May through September. If the Multnomah Falls parking lot is full, signs direct drivers to park at Rooster Rock and use the shuttle bus.
-- #47 Oneonta and Horsetail Falls -- A 2017 wildfire burned over all the trails in this area, leaving only patches of green trees. The Horsetail Falls Trailhead reopened in November 2018, and it is now possible to hike the first 0.4 mile of trail as far as Ponytail Falls, where closure signs block further travel. Oneonta Gorge and other trails (including Triple Falls) are likely to remain closed until 2021. The historic, wood-framed highway tunnel at the mouth of Oneonta Creek also burned, and will be closed indefinitely. Wading up Oneonta Gorge from the historic Columbia River Highway is also not allowed. For the Forest Service trail damage assessment as of January 2018, see https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd569550.pdf
-- #147 (#48) Nesmith Point -- A 2017 wildfire burned all of this trail, leaving some patches of green. Trees on ridges burned more thoroughly. The trailhead and trail are closed, and are not expected to reopen until 2021.
-- #48 (#49) Elowah and Wahclella Falls -- The Wahclella Falls trail reopened in August 2019, but the return portion of the final 0.2-mile loop has been abandoned, probably forever, so the hike is now up-and-back, round-trip 2 miles. Also note that there are only ten parking spots at the Wahclella Falls Trailhead, so on busy days you should expect to drop off hikers here and park half a mile away at the (free) Tooth Rock Trailhead for the State Highway Trail. Meanwhile the Elowah Falls trail remains closed due to the 2017 wildfire, probably until the summer of 2020. The Elowah Falls area burned lightly, so there are many green trees. The Wahclella Falls area burned a little hotter, leaving more snags. For a Forest Service assessment of trail damage at Wahclella Falls, see https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd569591.pdf.
The 2017 Eagle Creek Fire burned moss that had stabilized talus slopes. Rockslides temporarily closed many trails in the area (USFS photo).
--#50 (#149) Tooth Rock and Wauna Point -- A 2017 wildfire burned this area, closing trails. The Tooth Rock Trailhead reopened in 2019, along with the paved path along the route of the old Columbia River Scenic Highway. The side trails to Wauna Viewpoint are abandoned and overgrown, and may not reopen until 2022. Wauna Point burned very hot, leaving only black snags. The unofficial scramble trail to Wauna Point is now dangerous and may never officially reopen.
-- #49 (#51) Eagle Creek -- This trail closed when a wildfire began here in September 2017 when teenagers were illegally playing with fireworks. The footbridge over Tish Creek, just beyond Punchbowl Falls, had just been replaced, but eight bridges will now have to be replaced that were lost in the fire. The section of trail where a cable handrail helps people cross a notch in the cliff will need serious work because rockslides have eroded the trailbed there. The trailhead and trails are expected to open in the spring 2020. Until then, fines are being issued to people who violate the closure. The Gorge Trail footbridge across Eagle Creek from the Eagle Creek trailhead was also lost in the fire. Because it carried a pipe with fresh water for the campground, the campground will have no water until the bridge is replaced, possibly by 2021.
-- #150 (#52) Ruckel Creek -- The trail up Ruckel Creek and the route up Ruckel Ridge burned in August 2017, although the Benson Plateau did not burn, so the very tops of both routes are still in green woods and the Pacific Crest Trail is open. The Gorge Trail #400 between Eagle Creek and Cascade Locks reopened in 2019, but the Ruckel Creek Trail remains closed. It will need some rebuilding, and the Forest Service has given it a very low priority, so it might not open until 2021, if then. The Ruckel Ridge Trail is an unofficial scramble route, so it will not be rebuilt. Because it follows a rocky crest it may be nearly as passable for adventurers as before the fire -- but with more views. Those who are headed up Ruckel Ridge will find that the "Buck Point" sign is still there at Eagle Creek Campground's site #5, but the trail is closed and unmaintained.
-- #50 (#53) Herman Creek -- The powerline near the trailhead served as a fire break for the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire, so the Herman Creek Trailhead is still green, but most of the trail itself is in the burn zone. The fire burned lightly in this area, so virtually all of the trees are green, with char marks near the bottom. The trailhead opened in 2018, and hiking is now allowed on all trails in this area, including the Pacific Crest Trail, the loop to Indian Point, the Gorton Creek Trail, Nick Eaton Ridge, the Benson Plateau, and the entire Herman Creek Trail to Wahtum Lake. Note that the Herman Creek Campground has been permanently closed, so you simply drive past it to the trailhead. The only severely burned areas are on ridgecrests, where fires tend to flame out. For the Forest Service assessment of trail damage in this area, see https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd569549.pdf.
-- #51 (#54) Wahtum Lake -- The access road and trailhead here closed in August 2017 because of the Eagle Creek Fire, although the fire did not actually burn the area around Wahtum Lake. The trailhead reopened in the summer of 2018. The only trail in this area that is closed is the Eagle Creek Trail below Wahtum Lake, and that route will remain closed until the spring of 2020.
-- #52 (#55) Mount Defiance -- All of the trails here are open as of May 2018. Meanwhile, a new paved section of the historic Columbia River Highway has been completed for hikers/bikers/equestrians from Starvation Creek Exit 55 west to Lindsey Creek 1.2 miles. An additional 3.3-mile section west to Wyeth Exit 55 is expected to open in late 2018. The new bike path at the start of the Mt. Defiance hike is described in the 2018 version of the book. If you have an earlier version, you will want to follow the bike path 0.8 mile and turn left 100 feet to a circular stone patio with a view of Hole in the Wall Falls. Continue toward the falls, cross the creek on a footbridge, and follow the Starvation Ridge Trail 0.1 mile uphill to its junction with the Mount Defiance Trail under a powerline. If you are climbing Mt. Defiance, you will climb for 3 miles up a ridge that served as the eastern boundary of the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire, so the trail weaves in and out of the burn zone.
-- #53 (#56) Mitchell Point -- The Wygant Peak Trail was restored by The Trailkeepers of Oregon in 2018. The lower trail crossing of Perham Creek has no bridge, but logs make it easy to cross. The entire trail to the summit of Wygant Peak has been cleared. Trailside poison oak is still a problem until you climb above about 1000 feet of elevation. The "clifftop viewpoint" mentioned in the book as a destination was bypassed by the new trail route. There still is no view at the summit, but an obvious footpath leads SW 0.3 mile to a hillside meadow with a nice view west. The Chetwood Trail around the upper part of the Perham Creek canyon is still unmaintained and abandoned, and the bridgeless upper Perham Creek crossing is not easy.
-- #56 (#59) Dog Mountain -- As of 2019, advance permits are required to hike this trail on weekends from April 20 to June 16. In addition, cars at the trailhead must display a NW Forest Pass or a $5 parking permit purchased at the trailhead. Parking has always been tight at this popular trailhead. The Forest Service cracked down on "wildcat" parkers in 2017 by demarcating 70 official parking spaces and putting up "No Parking" signs everywhere else. On weekends from mid-April to mid-June, it is recommended that you park at the Skamania County Fairgrounds in Stevenson and ride a $2 shuttle bus back to the trailhead. Everyone who rides this shuttle will be given a hiking permit at the trailhead. The bus leaves every half hour, on the half hour, from 8:30am to 1:30pm. The last bus back from Dog Mountain leaves at 4:30pm. Well-behaved dogs are allowed on the bus. Call 541-296-2266 or check Skamania Transit's Facebook page for details. Those who do not ride the shuttle on these busy weekends must compete in advance for one of the 165 hiking permits issued each day for Dog Mountain at www.recreation.gov. The online permit costs $1.50 and is non refundable.
-- #58 (#60) Coyote Wall -- The trailhead was upgraded and expanded in early 2015. Now when you turn off Highway 14 onto Courtney Road, you turn RIGHT into a large, new paved parking lot with an information kiosk and a restroom. Parking is tight on spring weekends.
-- #59 (#61) Catherine Creek -- Parking at the gated road to the Indian Pits is no longer allowed. Walk there in from the official Catherine Creek parking area, either along the highway (not recommended) or on the old road/trail system across the plateau above the highway. Also, the trail on the plateau above the rock arch has been rerouted somewhat. If you are doing the loop here, you will be encouraged to take a new trail that avoids the viewpoint at the top of the arch -- this has a fragile plant ecology that is being hurt by hikers, and it is a sacred place for the Klickitat tribe. At the end of the loop, instead of walking back to your car along Highway 14, a safer, nicer return trail has been opened that parallels the highway.
-- #62 (#60) Lyle Cherry Orchard -- The Friends of the Columbia Gorge have begun work on a trail that will connect the plateau trail junction with a new trailhead in the town of Lyle itself. Meanwhile, several changes have been made to the trail to the Cherry Orchard. After the 4-way junction, a new large switchback adds 0.3 mile to the distance but reduces the grade up to the plateau. Closer to the cherry orchard, a new loop trail veers to the right from the old path, loops around the cherry orchard meadow, and returns to the north. The old trail to the cherry orchard is still there, but it is abandoned because of the new loop.
-- #63 Klickitat Rail Trail -- This trail is still open and public! If you see a sign claiming that a 2014 Supreme Court ruling closed this old railroad right-of-way to the public, ignore it. The Washington attorney general has ruled that the case does not apply here. You may also be talked at by the squatters who illegally built homes here in the 1980s. These people do not own land and do not pay taxes. They have not harmed hikers, but they occasionally harass hikers in the hopes that the squatters can claim the land by default. Ignore them politely. The trail is public.
-- #64 Wildwood Area -- The Bonanza Trailhead described as an option at the end of this page has always been confusing and contentious. Local landowners try to block hikers (although the Forest Service does have a legal right of way) by limiting parking and removing signs. Now there isn't even a sign that says "Narrow Bridge". Where the sign used to be, turn right on Bridge Street, cross a narrow bridge, and then turn left at confusing signs for East Grove Avenue and East Grove Drive. The start of the correct trail is still difficult to find, but then it is in good condition.
-- #71 Ramona Falls -- The seasonal footbridge across the Sandy River a mile from the Ramona Falls Trailhead washed out unexpectedly in August, 2014, resulting in a fatality. The bridge was not replaced in 2014, and now the Forest has decided not to replace it at all, for liability reasons. There are unofficial crossing sites in the area on logs, but they differ each year, and all of them are less safe than the Forest Service's seasonal bridge would have been. Cross at your own risk, and then continue on the maintained trail on the far shore.
-- #72 McNeil Point -- The unofficial loop trail around Bald Mountain has now been signed by the Forest Service as the "Cutoff Trail." When you are hiking the Timberline Trail to the right around Bald Mountain's viewpoint meadows, you don't need to count steps or check a GPS. Just watch for the "Cutoff Trail" sign to the left. And certainly don't wait to find a stock gate that blocks horses. That gate has been removed.
-- #75 Laurel Hill -- A widening project with a median divider on Highway 26 has made it impossible to cross the highway from the Laurel Hill pullout to the Pioneer Bridle Trail that leads toward Little Zigzag Falls. It is still possible to explore the Laurel Hill wagon chute area if you drive Highway 26 eastbound toward Mt. Hood and park in a very small pullout by the Historic Oregon Trail signboard. To visit Little Zigzag Falls and the attractions on the north side of Highway 26, however, you will need to turn off the highway between mileposts 48 and 49 (4 miles east of Rhododendron) at a sign for Kiwanis Camp Road 39. Follow this paved road (which is a portion of the original 1926 Mt. Hood Highway) for 2.1 miles to its end at a big parking area. A NW Forest Pass or other parking pass is required here. From here the trail to Little Zigzag Falls heads upstream 0.3 mile. Or you can walk past boulders on an abandoned section of the old highway 0.2 mile to the tunnel at the crossing of the Pioneer Bridle Trail.
-- #75 (76) Mirror Lake -- The Forest Service relocated the Mirror Lake Trailhead in October 2018. The new parking lot, on the loop road next to Ski Bowl, has room for 50 cars. From this starting point, the trail to Mirror Lake is half a mile longer than before, but much gentler, with 250 feet less elevation gain. The first 0.2 mile of the new trail, switchbacking down to Camp Creek, is paved and accessible to wheelchairs. The old trailhead is closed and parking is banned along Highway 26 near the old trailhead's site.
-- #79 (80) Umbrella Falls -- The trail sign is fallen that marked the turnoff to Sahalie Falls. When you hike this loop, listen for the sound of the waterfall and look for the concrete bridge down through the trees to the right to find the steep, scrambly side trail down to the historic highway bridge.
-- #80 (81) Elk Meadows -- The hike as described is fine, but if you take the Bluegrass Ridge Trail shown on the map (to the south and east of Elk Meadows), you traverse an area burned by the 2008 Gnarl Ridge Fire. The Bunchgrass Ridge Trail has been reopened, but the little switchbacking tie trail down to Elk Meadows has been abandoned.
-- #84 Timberline Trail at Cloud Cap -- The Timberline Trail had been closed between these hikes for years because glacial floods reamed out the Eliot Branch creek crossing, but the round-the-mountain trail is now open, thanks to a new trail segment at the Cloud Cap Trailhead that opened in the fall of 2016. The new segment detours downhill from the trailhead 0.8 mile to a BRIDGELESS crossing of the Eliot Branch. Do not expect to cross dry-footed on a log, because there are few logs in this timberline chasm. Wading this torrent is particularly dangerous (or impossible) in the afternoon, when snowmelt increases the stream flow. If you make it across, it's 5 miles to Elk Cove. Entire mileage for the whole of the Timberline Trail is now 40 miles.
-- #87 -- Fret Creek & Oval Lake -- About 100 blowdown trees were across the trail along Fret Creek to Oval Lake and out to Flat Point in early July of 2016. Hikers can step over the trees, but it is tiring. The Forest Service is low on manpower to clear trails such as this, and are looking for volunteers who are willing to train for the service.
-- #88 -- Butte Creek Falls -- A Weyerhaeuser gate blocks access to this trailhead as of August 2018. The gate is on Crooked Finger Road 0.2 mile before the turnoff to Butte Creek Falls, so it is possible to park at the gate and walk 2.1 miles on the road to the old trailhead. This walk, however, is fairly ugly, descending through a clearcut before you get to the lovely Butte Creek Falls trail. The new gate does not block access to Abiqua Falls, although that hike is still not recommended. Not only is Abiqua Falls on private land, but the access road is too rough for most vehicles and the trail itself is a very rough scramble route.
-- #90 Memaloose Lake -- The shorter, paved access to this trailhead reopened in September 2019 after Road 45 was finally repaired after damage from a wildfire in 2014. It is no longer necessary to drive the confusing, arduous back road from Highway 211 south of Estacada.
-- #92 Fish Creek Mountain -- When driving up the Clackamas River on Highway 224, the turnoff to the Indian Henry Campground is just before the fourth green bridge, not the third. Also, in August 2014, a dozen trees were down across the upper part of the trail, and three large trees were down across the side trail to High Lake.
-- #95 Bagby Hot Springs -- In the off-season from about November to April, and whenever a uniformed employee is not at the trailhead, the private concessionaire has self-pay envelopes at the trailhead (instead of wristbands) where you can pay the $5-per-person fee to use the hot springs. Parking is always free for hikers who do not intend to soak.
-- #96 Pansy Lake -- The "three confusing trail junctions" described in the book are no longer confusing. The side trail at the first junction is so faint that it is no longer tempting. The main junction at the start of the loop is well marked, with Trail "549" going left to Dickey Lake and Trail "551" going right to Pansy Lake.
-- #100 Jefferson Park Ridge -- The detour to Pyramid Butte has become much less fun since a 2010 fire burned the forest there. The section of the old Skyline Trail to Pyramid Butte is findable but unmaintained, blocked by downed logs. The same fire destroyed the footbridge 0.6 mile from the Breitenbush Trailhead that used to mark the fork for the Skyline Trail loop. Fortunately the PCT is still quite nice in this area, so follow it straight up to Park Ridge.
Advance permits to enter Jefferson Park will be required as of May 2020. The number of permits will be limited per day, and will be available for $6 per group on www.recreation.gov. The permits will be required both for backpackers and for day hikers from the Friday of Memorial Day weekend in May to the last Friday in September.
For the summer of 2019, advance permits are not required, and in fact, backpacking campsite reservations will not be available for the 30 posted legal lakeside campsites in Jeff Park. For this summer it's first-come-first-served, but camping is still only allowed in posted sites. If the sites are full, you must camp at least 250 feet from any lake.
The 2017 Whitewater Fire burned nearly all of the Whitewater Trail, but none of Jefferson Park, the South Breitenbush Trail, or the PCT in this area.
-- #114 Silver Star Mountain via Grouse Vista -- A logging operation has closed half a mile of the Tarbell Trail near its junction with the Sturgeon Trail during the entire summer of 2018. It may be possible, but is not recommended, to ignore the warning signs and hike through while the closure is in effect. The logging will leave a large clearcut in this area.
-- #115 Tarbell Trail -- This long, woodsy trail along the west side of Silver Star Mountain is popular with equestrians, but the 5-mile section from the Tarbell Trailhead to Hidden Falls is short enough and scenic enough to be great for hikers too. The book's directions to the trailhead are accurate, but these directions are clearer: From Vancouver, drive Interstate 5 north 11 miles to Battle Ground exit #11, turn right on Hwy 502 for 6.5 miles to a stoplight in Battle Ground, turn left on NW 10th Avenue (alias Highway 503) toward Amboy for 5.5 miles, turn right at a sign for Lucia Falls onto NE Rock Creek Road for 8.5 miles (a quarter mile beyond Moulton Falls), turn right on NE Sunset Falls Road for 2 miles, turn right across a bridge onto NE Dole Valley Road for 2.4 paved miles, turn left on gravel Road L1100 for 2.1 mile to a big junction, and turn right for 300 feet to the Tarbell Trailhead, where a Discover Pass is required (but cannot be purchased here). Half a dozen picnic tables are hidden in the woods along the start of the trail uphill.
-- #128 Quartz Creek Ridge -- After driving up Road 90 you should turn left on Road 9075 (not 9025). Also note that motorcycles are allowed on the trail.
-- #146 Stebbins Creek -- The trailhead was blocked by a fallen tree in April 2018, and the trail beyond was obliterated by logging. The Washington Department of Natural Resources commented on these disruptions, "Well, logging happens a lot around here." The trail is currently unfindable for most of its route, and the DNR has no timeline for rebuilding it.
-- #147-148 -- The 2017 Eagle Creek Fire thoroughly burned Munra Point and Rudolph Spur, so these unofficial scramble trails are dangerously unstable, sooty, and unattractive. The Toothrock Trailhead, however, is open as of July 2019, so access to the State Historic Columbia Highway Trail is fine both toward Eagle Creek/Cascade Locks and to the west. Side trails to Munra Point and other destinations remain closed.
-- #149 Dry Creek Falls -- A 2017 wildfire burned all of this area down to the I-84 freeway, although many green trees remain. The trailhead by the Bridge of the Gods was narrowly missed by the fire. The trailhead and the Pacific Crest Trail reopened in 2018.
-- #153 (#156) Wyeth Trail to North Lake -- The first 5 miles of this trail burned in 2017 and will remain closed until at least 2020, but the final 0.7 mile and the area around North Lake remain intact.
-- #155 (#159) Rainy Lake -- The driving directions are fine until the end. Instead of ending "continue on gravel Road 2820 for 1.5 miles," you need to "continue on gravel Road 2820 for 11 miles to a fork. Veer right for 0.2 mile to reach Rainy Lake. If you veer left to stay on Road 2820 for a mile you will be at Black Lake."
-- #155 Hood River Mountain -- The SDS Lumber Company which owns the trail system here replaced the popular 0.9-mile trail from the Pass to the Summit with an active logging road in April 2015. Bulldozers flattened the mountain's summit viewpoint for use as a log-yarding deck. This is private land, so this is their right. The new logging road is closed to the public during the operation, but is likely to reopen for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians within a year. The summit and road itself will recover somewhat with time. Meanwhile, the trails along the ridge south of the summit are still intact and open to the public, so you can start your tour at the gated road to the radio tower instead.
-- #157 Wildcat Mountain -- Yahoos have not only removed all signs from this area, but in 2019 they also chainsawed posts off at the trailhead parking lot and drove vehicles up the first mile of trail into the Wilderness, widening the trail to a Jeep track. It's still a nice hike, especially beyond that point. Without signs, be sure to follow these new driving directions: Drive Hwy 26 east of Sandy 2 miles, veer right onto SE Firwood Road for 0.7 mile to a stop sign, and turn right to stay on Firwood Road another 2.6 miles. At another stop sign, turn sharply left onto SE Wildcat Mtn Road for 9 miles of two-lane pavement and another 4 miles of one-lane pavement, keeping straight at junctions. The road turns to very rough gravel at a paved turnaround spot where low-clearance vehicles should park. Otherwise continue 0.4 mile to road's end at a rough dirt parking area marked only by a "No Shooting" sign spray-painted on a boulder. From that boulder the trail (now a Jeep track) climbs up to the right. Vehicular damage to the trail ends in a mile, at a switchback beyond the 3600-foot-elevation viewpoint.
-- #169 Paradise Park -- This trail was impassable at the 4-mile mark in July 2017. It was even worse in June 2018, almost unfindable due to blowdown logs. It may not be cleared until 2020.
-- #170 Timberline Trail -- The Eliot Branch crossing reopened in 2017 with a 0.8-mile detour. See Hike #83/84 above.
-- #176 & 177 Elk Cove Trail & Pinnacle Ridge -- These adjacent trails on the north side of Mt. Hood were overswept by a 2011 fire. Despite maintenance you can expect some fallen black snags across both trails.
-- #187 Eagle Creek (Clackamas) -- This trailhead reopened in 2018 when the Forest Service put a sign at the trailhead and convinced the Weyerhaeuser timber company that they cannot block the public right-of-way with a gate. The access road remains confusing and unmarked, and does cross private timberland, so the right-of-way battle may not be over.
-- #190 Old Baldy and Tumala Mtn -- If you start at the Baldy Trailhead it is easy to overlook the left-hand trail that leads north to Old Baldy. The more obvious trail leads to the right toward Tumala Mountain. If you pass a sign marking the relatively well-traveled Eagle Creek Cutoff Trail you will know that you are headed south toward Tumala Mountain.
-- #195 Whetstone Mountain -- Road 7030 is overgrown and washed-out, so take a different route to the trailhead. From the Bagby Hot Springs trailhead, continue west on paved Road 70 for a mile, turn left on gravel Road 7020 for 7 miles, and turn left on the short spur Road 028 to the Whetstone Mountain Trailhead.
-- #202 Fish and Si Lakes -- The final 0.7 mile of Road 120 to the lower easy trailhead has been blocked by a ditch and a berm, although high clearance vehicles can drive around it.
-- #205 Butte Creek Falls -- A Weyerhaeuser gate blocked access to this trailhead as of August 2018. The gate is on Crooked Finger Road 0.2 mile before the turnoff to Butte Creek Falls, so it is possible to park at the gate and walk 2.1 miles on the road to the old trailhead. This walk, however, is pretty ugly, descending through a clearcut before you get to the lovely Butte Creek Falls trail.