Hiker Headlines: WTA’s March Madness, Closures, Waterfall Corridor Permit System Ends
Join in on the fun for our annual March Madness, Washington Wildlife Edition! Be aware of some road and area closures in Olympic National Park and the Skagit Wildlife Area. The Oregon Department of Transportation is ending its “Waterfall Corridor” permitting program. And, the Forest Service has invested nearly $25 million in wildfire risk mitigation and response projects.
It’s March 23. Join in on the fun for our annual March Madness, Washington Wildlife Edition! Be aware of some road and area closures in Olympic National Park and the Skagit Wildlife Area. The Oregon Department of Transportation is ending its “Waterfall Corridor” permitting program. And, the Forest Service has invested nearly $25 million in wildfire risk mitigation and response projects. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.
Join us for WTA’s March Madness: Our annual Washington Wildlife Edition of March Madness is back! The powerful pika won last year, but will it have the juice to do it again? Follow our @washingtontrails Instagram stories over the next few weeks to vote in our daily bracket to discover who is Washington's favorite critter of all.
Rialto Beach parking: Rialto Beach has begun construction to improve its toilet facilities, and the area will have some access changes through April 10. Every Monday through Thursday, visitors will not be able to access the main paved parking lot, but limited parking will be available in a nearby gravel lot. Every Friday through Sunday, there will be limited parking from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the main paved parking lot. Please consider carpooling as parking will be very limited. Overnight parking is not allowed during this time and the restroom facilities will be closed. Please also note that there will be no public access to Rialto Beach on March 28, and the road will be closed at the Mora Ranger Station.
Hurricane Ridge closed until Memorial Day weekend: Hurricane Ridge and Hurricane Ridge Road will be closed from March 27 until Memorial Day weekend due to improvement projects at the Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge. Hurricane Ridge will reopen to the public on May 26, but there may be some closures beyond that as construction continues. Throughout the summer, please be aware that parking may be limited, some sidewalks will be closed, temporary restrooms will be available for use and all lodging amenities — cafe, gift shop, rental shop — will be closed.
And more closures: The Sol Duc Area seasonal opening is delayed beyond March 31 due to an underground water line leak. Sol Duc Road and any trails along it are closed until repairs can be made. Additionally, the Skagit Wildlife Area Headquarters Unit will be closed through November 2023, which restricts access to the Skagit Wildlife Area and Wiley Slough trail.
“Waterfall Corridor” permitting system ends: The Oregon Department of Transportation is ending its permit system for the “Waterfall Corridor” along the Columbia River Highway after one summer of the program due to a lack of funding. The permit system was initially started to reduce large crowds at the waterfalls. Although the program will shut down this year, Multnomah Falls — the most popular waterfall destination along the corridor — will continue to require timed-use permits to access the parking area, starting May 26. Permits can be purchased at recreation.gov.
Funding for wildfire fighting: The Forest Service is investing nearly $25 million for wildfire projects across Washington state as part of the Community Wildfire Defense Grant program. The funding will be used for projects that mitigate wildfire risk and further develop wildfire response strategies, including several projects organized by the Department of Natural Resources.
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