Heading out? How to safely enjoy Gorge

Memorial Day marked the start of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area’s peak visitor season, but outdoor enthusiasts who plan ahead can experience the Gorge safely and sustainably.

Parking at destinations such as Multnomah Falls, Eagle Creek, and Dog Mountain is expected to be in short supply, so visitors should head out early or take transit. Gorge West End Transit (WET) connects commuters from Stevenson to the Dog Mountain Trailhead on Saturdays and Sundays through the summer.

Columbia River Gorge Express takes riders from Portland’s Gateway Center, offering roundtrips to Rooster Rock and Multnomah Falls.

Travelers can experience Eagle Creek via bike tour if they depart from Cascade Locks or other trailheads along the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.

Hikers can check Forest Service trail conditions at www.fs.usda.gov/crgnsa and should wear proper footwear, bring essentials including layers of clothes, water, charged cell phone, and extra food.

Forest Service maps and information are available at the following Gorge locations during the weekend: Skamania Lodge free information center, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Multnomah Lodge free information center, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Safety is the individual’s responsibility when heading onto trails and rivers, note USFS officials, who ask that recreationalists respect signs, barriers, and closures.

Learn more about the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area at www.fs. usda.gov/crgnsa.

Dog owners should bring a leash and bags to pack out their pet’s waste. Not all trails require leashes.

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