Lewis River area updates

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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drm
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Lewis River area updates

Post by drm » May 17th, 2021, 6:30 am

The big news here is that a new parking permit system is going into effect next month, on June 15. Parking on the Lewis River Road (FR 90) has gotten out of hand - it's a narrow road. Permits will be sold online for $2/day, and there are going to be quotas for each parking area. Anybody who has been there this year may have noticed all the no parking signs along the road. It won't cover the entire length of the road, it starts on the south end around Crab Creek Trailhead (which I am not familiar with) and extends up to Lewis River Horse Camp and Upper Falls. But they also said it extends for 14 miles, and the stretch I just mentioned is less than that. But it does not include the downriver areas around Curly Creek Falls.

I don't know how far in advance you will be able to buy them or all the details. I was told that there would be a big media campaign to get the word out and rangers will be onsite to help people and enforce the rules. I assume it will generally only be an issue on weekends and holidays, but we will see.

The second update has to do with the Crab Creek Slide. This is the roughly one mile length of this supposedly paved road just south of the FR 90 crossing of the river that has been unpaved and rough for years. There is a large-scale movement of the land here and so pavement won't work. The rangers say it is really bad but it has been worse in recent years, with tall dropoffs. Now if has steep ups and down. But it is less gravel and more smooth hardpan, which has pretty good traction - when dry. A prius got through this weekend. But all bets are off if it's wet - that hardpan could get really slick.

There isn't really a solution to this problem and I can't imagine taking large RVs on that road. Last year they recommended coming in from the other direction - a long detour if you are coming from the Metro area, but that road has not melted out yet. And note that even the smooth pavement along Lower/Middle/Upper Falls has some serious dips in it that are hard to see. The kind of dips that if you take them at 25mph, the pack in the back seat could hit the ceiling. The 90 road from Crab Creek up to just about the junction with 23 is in bad shape, with lots of nasty potholes up there. So just be patient.
lr21_2.jpg
Lower Falls of the Lewis River, in what must be near high water flow for this year

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drm
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Re: Lewis River area updates

Post by drm » May 18th, 2021, 5:58 am

More details:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/giffordp ... EPRD910884

Map of permit area: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DO ... 910851.pdf

20% of permits will be saved till 2 days ahead.

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naturallog
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Re: Lewis River area updates

Post by naturallog » May 18th, 2021, 9:06 am

Thanks much for these updates and the relevant links!

bushwhacker
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Lewis River Recreation Area Reservation System Announced

Post by bushwhacker » May 18th, 2021, 2:25 pm

Looks like you will need to visit everyone's favorite reservation site (Recreation.gov) and pick up a permit to park along a long stretch of the Lewis River beginning June 15. I am beginning to loose track of all the places now days that require advanced reservations :x . I predict chaos on sunny weekends.
fseprd910852.png
Details: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/giffordp ... EPRD910884

Webfoot
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Re: Lewis River Recreation Area Reservation System Announced

Post by Webfoot » May 18th, 2021, 2:31 pm

There is already a thread for this. viewtopic.php?f=7&t=29676

klar55
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Re: Lewis River area updates

Post by klar55 » May 19th, 2021, 1:12 am

drm wrote:
May 18th, 2021, 5:58 am
More details:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/giffordp ... EPRD910884

Map of permit area: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DO ... 910851.pdf

20% of permits will be saved till 2 days ahead.
Thanks, man! Gonna visit it soon, it's gonna be helpful.

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adamschneider
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Re: Lewis River Recreation Area Reservation System Announced

Post by adamschneider » May 19th, 2021, 7:27 am

Webfoot wrote:
May 18th, 2021, 2:31 pm
There is already a thread for this. viewtopic.php?f=7&t=29676
Yes, but this thread has a better title. And a map.


Anyway, I just read the details, and one clause is pretty outrageous: "Visitors must have a reserved parking ticket to park at any of these designated parking areas and are only permitted to park in the parking lot where they made a reservation."

So this means you can't park at Lower Falls, walk around, and then drive up the road to Upper Falls unless you bought a second permit?!

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Water
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Re: Lewis River Recreation Area Reservation System Announced

Post by Water » May 19th, 2021, 9:01 am

It would appear that is the case. Looking on rec . gov you can see each of the individual parking lots listed. What a joke.

How does rec.gov determine their fees for doing the same crap over and over and over again. Why is a parking pass $2, a reservation for MSHI group $6, and cost for a day hiking permit in central oregon $1? I'm sure it's in Booz Allen Hamilton's contract with the government but the public get a raw deal on that.

Side stepping FLREA but eventually will go through that way. Another 'Special Recreation Area' coming up. Because hiking is considered a form of special recreation, fully with the intent of the law when passed. :roll: :roll: :roll: ..it isn't
The reserved parking system in the Lewis River Recreation Area is not operating under FLREA. We are not implementing a new fee and will not be receiving any additional dollars as a result of implementing this change. This is a management tool being piloted to see if we can address the immediate concerns around crowding, resource damage, and public safety that have arisen in the past few years in this popular recreation area. This reservation system is designed to help mitigate the increased traffic, trash, and habitat degradation in the short term while we work on a larger planning effort needed in this area.



The Gifford Pinchot National Forest is in the process of developing a Lewis River Recreation area plan. It is hoped that this plan will help address many of the issues plaguing this corridor. Some ideas being considered are expanded public parking areas, installation of additional vault toilets and more. Tentatively the draft plan will be developed by the end of June and will go out for public comment and engagement in July or August. So, stay tuned for an opportunity to weigh in.



-Gala
Feel Free to Feel Free

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drm
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Re: Lewis River Recreation Area Reservation System Announced

Post by drm » May 19th, 2021, 10:54 am

adamschneider wrote:
May 19th, 2021, 7:27 am
So this means you can't park at Lower Falls, walk around, and then drive up the road to Upper Falls unless you bought a second permit?!
I guess you would have to hike. Lower Falls to Upper Falls is about 3 miles. I think people pretty much do that during busy periods anyway since once you get a parking space, you don't want to try and find another. Last weekend, with this system not in effect, people were just sitting in their cars at the edge of a parking area, waiting for a vacancy. We will see what happens during low-use periods. There is never a perfect solution.

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lordgares
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Re: Lewis River Recreation Area Reservation System Announced

Post by lordgares » May 19th, 2021, 11:41 am

My wife and I were there on 5/8 and while the parking lot at the lower falls was fairly full we had no difficulties finding a spot around 11am. When we made it up to the middle and upper parking lots there was almost nobody parked there. We were both fairly surprised as we were expecting FAR more people for a Saturday.

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