Photo: Mt. Hood National Forest
The western side the Mt. Hood National Forest suffered extensive and severe damage as a result of the historic Labor Day windstorm that brought down tens of thousands of trees and fueled wildfires across the Cascades. After weeks of work, most trails outside of wilderness on the Zigzag Ranger District have been cleared of fallen logs, but visitors should continue to be aware of existing hazards such as fallen trees, hanging branches, loose rocks, and unstable slopes.
Numerous trails in the Mt. Hood Wilderness remain blocked or damaged. The Timberline Trail and Pacific Crest Trail were hit particularly hard by the windstorm, with thousands of trees still down on the trails. Wilderness trails require that crews use crosscut saws and other non-mechanized tools to preserve the Wilderness character but are slower than power tools such as chainsaws.
“Forest Service crews, joined by our partners, Pacific Crest Trail Association and Trailkeepers of Oregon, have been working tirelessly to clear trails,” said Zigzag District Ranger, Bill Westbrook. “However, we only have a few more weeks before winter weather ends the work season, so many areas will not be cleared until late spring or summer of 2021.”
Some recreation areas are open to hikers, as well as other non-motorized use, but are gated and remain closed to vehicles; this includes Trillium Lake and Old Maid Flat. If there is no available safe and legal parking, please visit an alternate location.
Be aware that all campgrounds on the Forest are closed for the season.
Please use extreme caution when out on the Forest, including looking up into the tree-cover above and the forest floor for unusual obstacles and hazards, and check the weather report to confirm safe conditions. Take especial care at stream crossings in case trail bridges or railings suffer damage from fall and winter storms. While driving on Forest roads, beware of fallen trees and other debris, and branches extending over the roadway.
Source: Mt. Hood National Forest