Gorge trails still closed due to wet weather, slides

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — More soggy, wet weather is creating potentially dangerous conditions in parts of the Columbia River Gorge. 

A week’s worth of rain has led to the closure of trails due to the risk of landslides. 

Some hikers were disappointed this weekend to find the Multnomah Falls Trail and other areas closed. 

“We wanted to burn some calories but we weren’t able today,” hiker Giovanni Bazan said. 

The trail at Multnomah Falls is fenced off and locked beyond the Benson Bridge.

The Larch Mountain Trail from the bridge to the top of the falls is closed and the trail from the bridge to the entry point at Wahkeena Falls is also closed. 

Hikers Emily Dyer and Eric Sandoval opted to hike some of the open trails near Horsetail Falls instead.

“It was a little muddy, but the conditions were definitely walkable and worth it,” Dyer said. 

“Just little tiny rocks, no big boulders in the middle of the trails,” Sandoval said. “Yeah. Pretty reasonable.”

Earlier in the week, there was a serious rockslide about 100 yards past the bridge. US Forest Service officials said it’s not safe for the public to pass. 

The area is already a trouble spot because it was destabilized by the Eagle Creek Fire. It has very little tree cover, which allows the constant rain to saturate the ground and make it more susceptible to a slide.

“There’s just more rocks that have fallen, what we’re looking at too is that our infrastructure that we put in post-Eagle Creek Fire is getting damaged, so I’ve heard also that we’re going to take that out,” Multnomah Falls site manager Matt Ramich said.

They are hoping to get engineers there Monday to determine when it might reopen but it might be a while. 

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