Gorge Waterfall Corridor to Close Today To Prevent Spread of Coronavirus

Contact(s): Rachel Pawlitz

Bridal Veil, Ore. — March 23, 2020 — Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

The Historic Columbia River Highway will close between Bridal Veil and Ainsworth this afternoon, along with all recreation sites along this stretch of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, known as the “Waterfall Corridor.”

The closure is designed to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote social distancing.

The closure area does not include any residences.

Agencies are working together to minimize the impacts and spread of the COVID‑19 coronavirus.  

All Oregon state parks and campgrounds will close by 5:00 p.m. today, so this new closure includes Waterfall Corridor of the Historic Columbia River Highway and the Forest Service sites at Angels Rest, Wahkeena Falls, and Horsetail Falls. Oneonta Trail and Lower Oneonta Falls were already closed due to increased landscape hazards from the Eagle Creek Fire in 2017.

Though many other trails in the Columbia River Gorge remain open, it may be hard to maintain the recommended six feet of space from other hikers on popular trails, as they attract people from miles around. Scenic area leadership will continue to evaluate risks at other “close proximity” recreation sites and may implement new closures with little advanced notice, if the situation warrants.

If an area is too crowded to maintain six feet of distance from other hikers, please do not exit your car. Have a backup plan and consider a walk in your local neighborhood.