All Willamette National Forest Trails into Mount Jefferson and Jeff Park Will Remain Closed For the Foreseeable Future

Release Date: Aug 8, 2017   Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

Contact(s): Eclipse Closure Information Line, 541-912-7548

Whitewater Fire Area Closure Includes Several Deschutes National Forest Trails into Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

(Springfield, OR) As a result of the Whitewater fire, the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests have closed a portion of the Mount Jefferson Wilderness. All Willamette National Forest trails that access popular destinations like Jefferson (Jeff) Park and Mount Jefferson peak are closed for the foreseeable future, including for the eclipse. With the northern section of the Wilderness area closure in the path of totality for the 2017 solar eclipse, visitors should make alternate plans for viewing this event.

From the east, Deschutes National Forest eclipse-viewing destinations that are now closed include Rockpile Lake, Cabot Lake, Carl Lake, Shirley Lake and Table Mountain. The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) from Minto Pass north to Breitenbush Lake is closed, PCT hikers will need to reroute. These closures will be in place until rescinded.

With changing conditions, the public is reminded to have alternate plans to view the solar eclipse and to KNOW BEFORE YOU GO. Our eclipse planning page contains a series of maps that show adjacent National Forest lands that are currently open and lie in the path of totality of the eclipse. Visitors may want to consider these nearby sites to view the eclipse. For further information about the continued closure contact (541) 912-7548.

“We understand this is a disappointment to residents and visitors who looked forward to the opportunity to experience the eclipse in this area. Unfortunately, the risk is too great, and our highest responsibility must be visitor safety,” said Forest Supervisor Tracy Beck. “Fueled by the excessively hot conditions of the previous weeks, this fire has burned very erratically and some nights has moved more than a mile through thick forests.”

The size of the closure reflects the unpredictable fire behavior that fire managers witnessed during the recent hot spell. To protect the public, all trails leading into the closed area will be staffed 24 hours a day to inform visitors and enforce the closure. Given the weather forecast and already dry forest conditions, the fire could continue to grow and additional closures could take place.

State officials predict thousands of travelers will visit Oregon to experience the eclipse on public lands. Expect crowds, traffic congestion, difficulty finding a campsite or parking spot, and limited supplies in smaller communities. It is recommended you bring a generous amount of water, food and emergency supplies.