Walla Walla Ranger District to delay opening Mill Creek Road (Forest Service Road 65)

Contact(s): Darcy Weseman (541) 278-3722

PENDLETON, Ore. - The Walla Walla Ranger District of the Umatilla National Forest will delay opening the gate on Mill Creek Road (Forest Service Road 65) that accesses Tiger Canyon until further notice. This decision aids the city of Walla Walla’s upcoming repair activities on the water pipe system and aligns with direction from the Oregon Governor’s executive order to avoid unnecessary travel and reduce pressure on emergency services in local communities.  
This road is one of many on the Forest that seasonally close each winter until April 1 to protect wildlife when they are most impacted by disturbance and to provide the public with winter recreation opportunities. Most seasonally-closed Forest roads will open on April 1 as planned. However, flood repair activities are also ongoing and several roads and trails are closed in areas with the most significant flood damage.
Additionally, the public is reminded that all campgrounds, trailhead facilities, picnic areas, rental cabins, Sno-Parks, and boat ramps are temporarily closed to limit the spread of COVID-19. Forest roads, trails, and general forest lands remain open to the public, but all visitors are strongly urged to practice social distancing.
All closure signs will be posted on the ground and detailed maps of closure information is available on the Forest website and at any Forest office.
Umatilla National Forest officials urge visitors to plan ahead and contact their local ranger district prior to starting their trip. Most Forest roads are still not accessible due to mud, snow or snow drifts.  In addition, traveling on thawing, saturated, and muddy roads can result in resource damage and serious safety concerns, especially if visitors are unprepared.
As we work through this unpredictable and rapidly changing situation, health and safety remain our top priorities. We are committed to supporting our communities and fulfilling our mission as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19.  
Additional information about the Umatilla National Forest is available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla.