PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Multnomah-Wahkeena Loop Trail, one of the more popular hiking spots in the Columbia River Gorge, remains open after a landslide washed away a 20-foot section of the paved path about a half-mile past Benson Bridge, near Multnomah Falls.
U.S. Forest Service employee Karen Davis, who serves as a spokesperson for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, told KOIN 6 that the damage was reported to the Forest Service on Dec. 28.
A photo of the slide provided by viewer Gregory LaVallee shows steep, icy conditions along the route. However, Davis said that the damaged section of the trail would not be open if it was deemed hazardous for able-bodied hikers.
“As long as it’s passable, we’re not going to close it,” Davis said.
USFS crews are actively working on the damaged section, removing ice and laying down caution flags. Temporary fixes are planned for the broken trail, Davis said — but workers will need to wait for drier spring weather to fully restore the path.
The region’s recent wave of harsh weather reportedly caused the slide, which also downed a nearby tree, contributing to the damage. Davis said that hikers are advised to be mindful of the winter conditions and to wear proper shoes and clothing when hiking in the Columbia River Gorge.