The Willamette National Forest has re-opened nearly all of the trails closed by last summer’s wildfires. All trails in the Three Sisters Wilderness are now accessible. The Pacific Crest Trail through the Mount Jefferson Wilderness is now open in its entirety.
Hikers and others planning to visit the forest this spring can help plan their trips using new burn severity maps, linked below. Chiara Cipriano with the Willamette National Forest says users should be aware that these maps were created using satellite imagery and will not precisely forecast on-the-ground conditions. The maps mostly mimic the number of burned trees, but more information about the trail tread itself will only be known once the snow melts. The maps are labeled by the name of the fire: Whitewater Fire was located in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness, Rebel, Avenue, Olallie, Nash, Roney, and Separation Fire, were located in the Three Sisters Wilderness.
Although many trails and roads have reopened, there are two places where fire related closures remain: the Whitewater and Jones Fire areas.
Remains Closed: The Whitewater Trail (#3429), trailhead and Whitewater Road (#2243) and its spur, Forest Service Road 440, remain closed. Grady McMahan, Detroit District Ranger, found that the Whitewater Trail received extensive damage: “Many trees are down across the trail. In several locations, the fire burned roots under the trail causing the trail surface to collapse. We are keeping the entire trail closed until we can get in there and get it cleared and reconstructed so hikers once again have a safe, well developed trail to get in and explore their wilderness. We appreciate everyone’s patience; we’ll get on this as our first priority when the snow melts.”
NOW OPEN: Woodpecker Road (FSR 040), Woodpecker Ridge Trail (#3442), Cheat Creek Trail (#3441), Triangulation Peak Trail (#3373), Crag Trail (#3364), and Pacific Crest Trail (#2000). Access to Jefferson Park is possible via the Pacific Crest Trail (2000) from the South and north as well as South Breitenbush Trail (#3375) from the west.
Trail and road closures remain. A revised closure order will be issued in the upcoming weeks.
To view the burn severity maps, visit: https://go.usa.gov/xQ9H8 .
For more information on the Mount Jefferson Wilderness, call the Detroit Ranger District at (503) 854-3366, for more about Three Sisters Wilderness call the McKenzie Ranger District at (541) 822-3381, and for more about Jones Fire road and trail closures call the Middle Fork Ranger District at (541) 782-2283.