Eagle Creek Overlook Hike

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Dustin DuBois
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Eagle Creek Overlook Hike

Post by Dustin DuBois » May 9th, 2018, 10:45 am

Regarding the Field Guide hike listed here: https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guid ... rlook_Hike

The article mentions that a reservation is required for camping at this spot from May 1st to September 30th. However, it doesn't state that the location is closed to hikers during those times. It hints at it, but it should be a little more blunt.

Beyond the entry gate, this location does NOT offer parking for Eagle Creek Trail - nor does it offer access to the Eagle Creek Trail. This location is not available for hiking during "all seasons", it is only available for open hiking and camping outside of the reservation season. It doesn't matter if the gate is latched or not.

When this campground is reserved, all other traffic is supposed to remain at the bottom of the hill, outside of the gate. Reservations are for the entire campground, not just individual fire-pits at the top.

It costs hundreds of dollars to secure this privacy for a weekend, and hikers need to start respecting that.

My family rents this campground every year, and we have to deal with a near-constant flood of hikers and people looking for parking so they can go to the Eagle Creek Trail. We've had to argue with numerous hikers, had to chase some down and tell them to come back and remove their vehicles from the grounds, and even had to chase some off of the grounds entirely because they kept coming back after being informed multiple times with decreasing degrees of patience.

Out of the 25 years I've been going to this campground, these issues have only started becoming prevalent in the last 3-5 years.

If you plan to do this hike between May 1st and September 30th (of any year), you must be part of the group that has reserved the campground (unless it happens to be vacant, though that is rare for this location). Otherwise, don't expect any sort of warm welcome to peoples' private rented space.

Hiking through here with impunity from May 1st to September 30th, is like going into someone's rented beach house uninvited, while there are people inside trying to enjoy what they paid for. It's just an open-air riverfront beach house. Treat it accordingly.


--edit---
I do recognize that most of this is rendered moot at present, as there should be very little reason for people to be in the area this season due to the fire damage and regional closures. We may still have our own reservation cancelled. However, it remains valid for most normal seasons.
Last edited by Dustin DuBois on May 9th, 2018, 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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retired jerry
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Re: Eagle Creek Overlook Hike

Post by retired jerry » May 9th, 2018, 10:56 am

Thanks

I've only been there when it was closed

Will it be open normally this year? The exit from the freeway was closed last I saw.

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Re: Eagle Creek Overlook Hike

Post by Dustin DuBois » May 9th, 2018, 11:00 am

retired jerry wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 10:56 am
Thanks

I've only been there when it was closed

Will it be open normally this year? The exit from the freeway was closed last I saw.
The off-season is still definitely a nice time to visit. Right now, the Overlook campground is closed entirely through June 15th, and all reservations from May 1st through June 15th have been refunded. That date may get pushed farther out still. There's also no running water there for 1-2 years. As far as I know, everything else in the area (the Eagle Creek trailhead, the other Eagle Creek campground, etc) is still closed indefinitely.

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/eagl ... rkId=75167
https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/crgnsa/ ... ecid=29908
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retired jerry
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Re: Eagle Creek Overlook Hike

Post by retired jerry » May 9th, 2018, 11:45 am

There was a piece on the TV yesterday?

Some people went in Eagle Creek 3 miles. One bridge burned (must have been the one that people thought was overkill). I think the Tish bridge across Eagle Creek was okay. Lots of landslides covering trail. It'll take some work to re-open.

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Re: Eagle Creek Overlook Hike

Post by Guy » May 9th, 2018, 1:45 pm

Would be good to know which bridge hopefully not high bridge!

I've seen photos that seem to show that the new plastic bridge survived.
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Re: Eagle Creek Overlook Hike

Post by Dustin DuBois » May 9th, 2018, 2:33 pm

retired jerry wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 11:45 am
There was a piece on the TV yesterday?

Some people went in Eagle Creek 3 miles. One bridge burned (must have been the one that people thought was overkill). I think the Tish bridge across Eagle Creek was okay. Lots of landslides covering trail. It'll take some work to re-open.
Yeah, even after cleanup, the seasonal landslides are gonna be worse for a while.

According to KOIN, it was the first bridge on the trail (the overengineered one I think), and the Fern Creek bridge.
KOIN wrote:Crews found several rock slides burying the trail. The fire also destroyed the first bridge on the trail and the Fern Creek Bridge, however, the Tish Creek Bridge remained untouched.

"There were more than 50 logs down the first 2.6 miles of this trail and I was told that that was the most amount of trees fallen across this trail in any assessment we've completed today," Lily Palmer, the public affairs specialist with USFS, said.

"One of the more dramatic things that were noted in the trail report was that there was a large section of cliff basalt cliff, just downstream from Punchbowl Falls that collapsed into the creek," Palmer said.

The Forest Service hoped to open up a nearby campground sometime in May (this should be Eagle Creek Overlook), but the rock and tree hazards continue to be a problem -- especially on the Eagle Creek exit people need to take to get there.

Kent Kalsch, the transportation maintenance manager with ODOT, said they've identified 70 and 80 hazards in the area and are working to remove them.

A big concern for crews is that more trees will continue to fall on the trail, which is why the Forest Service says they have no timeline on when they can reopen the Eagle Creek Trail.
http://www.koin.com/news/oregon/photos- ... 1169759760
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Re: Eagle Creek Overlook Hike

Post by retired jerry » May 9th, 2018, 3:23 pm

yeah, that's what I heard on the TV, thanks

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Re: Eagle Creek Overlook Hike

Post by squidvicious » May 10th, 2018, 8:24 am

I've also only ever been here when it was closed, and I can't think what signage I might or might not have seen around the area, but I have to say this surprises me--reserving a pavilion and/or campground does not typically reserve you exclusive access to the trails and entire surrounding area. If that is the case, are there clear signs up there that say the park is off limits in season? That's not made clear on the FS or recreation.gov sites. Or for that matter, on the big green USFS sign enticing people to the Overlook. I'm not surprised that people are walking around to take in the views.

Guy wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 1:45 pm
Would be good to know which bridge hopefully not high bridge!
I've seen info on the first bridge, Tish Creek Bridge, and Fern Creek Bridge, and I've seen lots of aerial photos of the areas just around High Bridge, but oddly I've not seen anything giving any hint about High Bridge. Anyone know if it was damaged?

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Re: Eagle Creek Overlook Hike

Post by Dustin DuBois » May 10th, 2018, 8:57 am

squidvicious wrote:
May 10th, 2018, 8:24 am
I've also only ever been here when it was closed, and I can't think what signage I might or might not have seen around the area, but I have to say this surprises me--reserving a pavilion and/or campground does not typically reserve you exclusive access to the trails and entire surrounding area. If that is the case, are there clear signs up there that say the park is off limits in season? That's not made clear on the FS or recreation.gov sites. Or for that matter, on the big green USFS sign enticing people to the Overlook. I'm not surprised that people are walking around to take in the views.
It's not a park.
Everything past the gate is the Eagle Creek Overlook Group Campground. The entirety of it is reserved by groups. If you didn't make a reservation during reservation season, you shouldn't be going beyond the gate uninvited. It isn't like the other campground nearby where you just have individual sites for whoever. We rent the *entire* campground at Overlook. It's a dead-end closed system, it's not a through-hike or anything. It's not connected to any official trail system, and the only "trail" it has, leads to the reserved campground. It's basically part of the driveway - and you have to be on the "reserved" side of the gate to even access the "trail". There are some picnic benches and a grill station at the bottom of the hill by the gate, those are usable without a reservation.

Furthermore, the Recreation.gov site makes it pretty clear that you have to book a reservation during the "season dates", and the Forest Service site does state that the campground is available by reservation only. Since the gate is the entrance to the campground, that should be clear enough. I can't recall off-hand the specifics of it, but it does have a sign at the gate stating that it is a reservation site.

Big green signs do not equal free admittance at any time. They're just green signs. People know that, many just choose to interpret things as they see fit in the moment. The gate itself (whether it's latched or not) should make people stop, think, look and maybe jump online before entering. I know, we all have that explorer spirit, but gates are in places for reasons.
squidvicious wrote:
May 10th, 2018, 8:24 am
I've seen info on the first bridge, Tish Creek Bridge, and Fern Creek Bridge, and I've seen lots of aerial photos of the areas just around High Bridge, but oddly I've not seen anything giving any hint about High Bridge. Anyone know if it was damaged?
I think I've only been able to find the same thing. Aerial shots in the area, but no pictures of the bridge. They may still have too much to contend with in the earlier sections of the trail.
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Re: Eagle Creek Overlook Hike

Post by Guy » May 10th, 2018, 12:02 pm

Dustin DuBois wrote:
May 10th, 2018, 8:57 am

Everything past the gate is the Eagle Creek Overlook Group Campground. The entirety of it is reserved by groups. If you didn't make a reservation during reservation season, you shouldn't be going beyond the gate uninvited. It isn't like the other campground nearby where you just have individual sites for whoever. We rent the *entire* campground at Overlook. It's a dead-end closed system, it's not a through-hike or anything. It's not connected to any official trail system, and the only "trail" it has, leads to the reserved campground. It's basically part of the driveway - and you have to be on the "reserved" side of the gate to even access the "trail". There are some picnic benches and a grill station at the bottom of the hill by the gate, those are usable without a reservation.
Sorry Dustin but I'm going to disagree with you unless you can point me to specific USFS information that states otherwise.

The public has every right to enter the area regardless of a reservation, take in the view and look around they just don't have the right to stay there overnight. Reserving a site or all sites there does not give you the right to keep others from entering the area.
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