You’ve probably heard by now that despite last month’s conflagration in the Columbia River Gorge, Portlanders’ worst fears about the destruction didn’t come true.
But keeping track of where you can and can’t hike and bike through the Gorge right now is more complicated than usual. That’s where the Friends of the Columbia Gorge come in.
“There is a long journey ahead, but the Gorge is a resilient place,” the group writes in its online list. “While some popular Gorge spots remain closed to the fire, there are many trails and recreation areas to explore within the Gorge and neighboring areas.”
As KGW News and the Statesman Journal reported Monday, keeping the Gorge as vibrant and interesting as it is may depend on making more people aware that our local wonder of the world is still a good place to visit. Small businesses and their employees in the area could hardly afford to lose two weeks’ business when they were closed for the fire itself; they’re now hoping for a burst of fall tourism to help mitigate those losses.
But getting out to the Gorge this fall might be a great idea whether or not you spend money there. Nature lovers know that seeing the first stages of recovery can be as magnificent, and as psychologically reassuring, as anything this planet has to offer.
— Michael Andersen: (503) 333-7824, @andersem on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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Just remember, a bit of rain, does NOT end the fire season, especially east of Hood River/White Salmon…no fires, no smokes, no fireworks! But Fall colors are coming.
Certainly folks should be careful and some wildfires are still active, however this is not entirely accurate.
Campfire & Public Use Restrictions Lifted for the entire Mt. Hood NF
USFS Fire Danger Assessment Maps
I’m especially curious about how far the HCRH is open. ‘Mike M’ on OBRA said it’s open just past Womens Forum. I know Larch is closed at the 10mi gate, so I assume Larch is accessible. Hopefully someone will pipe up if/when Crown Point and further destinations are accessible by bike.
I went out there on Sunday; HCRH is closed at the Larch Mountain turn off. Larch Mountain Rd. has a posted sign for the closure you mentioned, but then is closed around mile 6.
Today I learned that we have an acronym for the “old highway”. http://www.hcrh.org/
For the Gorge itself, like many of Oregon’s natural areas now, it might be most helpful to give it a break from people and tourists altogether. For people/businesses, the towns are charming and well worth a visit.
This is one thing I like about bad weather….
But please consider buying gift cards or helping the local businesses out as much as possible. This has been really hard on them.