Multnomah Falls Trails Closed Indefinitely Due To Unstable Rock

Apr 15, 2019
Originally published on April 13, 2019 1:16 pm

Multnomah Falls trails have been closed since a rockslide last week. The discovery of more unstable rock will prolong that closure until further notice.

"We knew that there were some potential unstable rocks in the area, so we sent some Forest Service geologists in to have a look," said Rachel Pawlitz, public affairs officer for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. "What we learned is that there’s an overhanging rock that is unstable."

Pawlitz said that there have been situations like this in the past at Multnomah Falls, even before the Eagle Creek Fire.

"So there is a solution for it. We can have a contractor come in and do rock scaling, which is where they intentionally cause it to fracture and fall in a somewhat controlled way so that it’s no longer hanging there leaving us with uncertainty about it," she said.

There is no timeline yet for when that work can get done, Pawlitz said, as contractors need to have a window of clear weather.

For now, the trail between Benson Bridge and the upper overlook at Multnomah Falls is closed. Part of the nearby Wahkeena Trail, which connects to that area in a loop, is also closed.

The Forest Service hopes to release more information about a potential timeline soon, Pawlitz said.

Copyright 2019 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.