Wahclella Falls Trail, a waterfall hike in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, reopened Monday for the first time since Eagle Creek fire. 

The trail was closed the evening of Sept. 4, 2017, two days after the 48,000-acre Eagle Creek fire ignited.

In 2018, a Forest Service trail crew repairing the trail encountered large rocks, some as large as basketballs, falling from the slopes above the hike. By spring of 2019, landslides and rockfall had altered parts of the trail and more work was needed to clear and stabilize it.

The trail offers a 2.4 mile out-and-back day hike through a slot canyon to a waterfall. The main part of the trail has been cleared and stabilized, but the upper section of the trail’s loop remains closed due to a damaged bridge and washouts sustained during and after the fire. For your safety, respect closure signs and stay out of closed areas.

Another section of the Gorge 400 Trail, between Eagle Creek Recreation Area and the town of Cascade Locks, is also open for the first time since the fire. Note, nearby Ruckel Creek Trail and the Gorge 400 Trail between Angels Rest and Eagle Creek Recreation Area remain closed.

In these trails and in any backcountry environment, hikers should wear sturdy footwear and bring sufficient supplies to survive overnight (food, water, headlamps, extra clothing and shelter). Bring a map, compass, and flashlight, as burned areas can be hard to navigate, especially in the dark. Hikers should consider avoiding areas burned during the Eagle Creek fire during high winds, heavy rains, and winter storms, as these conditions can trigger tree fall and landslides.

Many hiking trails in the Columbia River Gorge remain closed due to hazards caused by the fire, which destabilized the landscape when it burned away the vegetation along steep slopes.

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