Over two million hikers turn to the trails in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area for exercise and adventure. Each year several individuals or parties get lost or hurt in the woods.
Most commonly, hikers get lost going off-trail and then lose the trail or fall from steep edges or cliffs that are all over the area. Before venturing into the Gorge we recommend the following Outdoor Safety Tips.
Please take precautions against theft when visiting recreation sites within the Gorge by leaving valuables that you don’t plan on carrying with you at home or in your hotel room.
We encourage you to only carry key valuables such as your driver's license, debit/credit card, cell phones, and cameras with you when exiting your vehicle.
Laptops, MP3 players, tablets, GPS units, purses, and backpacks are at risk of theft if left in a vehicle while visiting the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. If you must leave valuables in your vehicle, place them in your trunk BEFORE you get to your destination so as not to alert opportunistic crooks that you have placed valuables in your trunk.
Finally, please report any suspicious activity immediately and minimize your opportunity to become a victim of a car prowl.
I-84, the main access route to the Columbia River Gorge, will undergo construction in 2015-16 as Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) repaves and replaces center barriers and repairs rockfall and bridges from east of Troutdale, OR to Rufus, OR. Review TripCheck.com for current traffic conditions or sign up for construction update email around the region.
Thanks for your patience - the project will result in a smoother ride, increased safety and extend the life of the highway.
Catherine Creek Day Use Area/Trailhead, Catherine Creek Trail #4400
Date(s): Feb 6, 2012
The Catherine Creek Arch area is closed for the protection of the geologic and cultural resources permanently. Please click here for a map of the area closure. The closure area is deliniated on the ground by fencing. Please click here for the forest order.
Balfour-Klickitat Day Use Area/Trailhead, Klickitat Trail, Lyle Trailhead
Date(s): Jul 4, 2016 - Oct 28, 2016
Announcing the Closure for the Summer of the Swale Canyon section of the Klickitat Trail due to Fire Hazard. This is from MP 16 in Wahkiakus to MP 28.5 at Harms Road. Whenever the DNR classifies the fire danger in Klickitat County to be High, Swale Canyon is closed by Washington State Parks.
This section of the Trail will open whenever DNR re-classifies the fire danger back down to Moderate, which usually occurs in late September or early October.
The rest of the Klickitat Trail is open year round. If you go, please take plenty of water and sun protection.
Mt. Defiance #413, Starvation Ridge Trail #414 and Starvation Cutoff #414B will be closed 7 days a week July 22 –September 24, 2016 due to construction of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.
An exception will be Labor Day weekend, when the trails will temporarily be re-opened.