Nesmith Point trail open and other gorge stuff (Oct 20, 2022)

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johnspeth
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Joined: July 30th, 2013, 8:33 am

Nesmith Point trail open and other gorge stuff (Oct 20, 2022)

Post by johnspeth » October 21st, 2022, 5:23 am

Good News: It looks like the Nesmith Point trail is open now (see here). I passed by the trailhead on Oct 20, 2022 and any closed signs or blockages are no longer there. There is still a red "closed" tag on the mileage board for Nesmith Point.

Bad News: Car break-ins are a problem.

Yesterday I toured the Oregon side of the gorge to hike a few short waterfall hikes. I like long hikes so I've avoided these short hikes for many years, especially because of the crowds. It's been 20 years since I hiked them. I parked at Latourell, Wahkeena, Horsetail, and Elowah, and Cascade Locks PCT parking lots. At those trailheads, I found no places to park that didn't have shattered glass covering the pavement, an ominous sign for what was yet to happen.

I've read that the Elowah Falls parking lot is especially bad for car thefts. I arrived at about 3pm and parked near a minivan filled with two women getting their five kids ready for a hike. I spent 1.5 hours on my hike to Elowah Falls. When I returned, the minivan occupants were cleaning up the glass from their smashed in window. My car was untouched. I dodged that bullet. All my stuff was hidden in my trunk which seems to me to be an insignificant deterrent to somebody with a window breaking hammer.

I'll bet this crime is common knowledge to many who visit the gorge. It was alarming for me to see it first hand.

squidvicious
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Joined: May 11th, 2015, 8:41 pm
Location: Troutdale

Re: Nesmith Point trail open and other gorge stuff (Oct 20, 2022)

Post by squidvicious » October 21st, 2022, 7:04 am

Yes, Nesmith and Wyeth just reopened. And no, car break-ins aren't even a little bit surprising, unfortunately. When I parked at Barlow Pass the other day I noticed they had signs posted around with a QR code you could scan to make a police report. How efficiently disheartening.

I'd guess traveling with five kids in a minivan you probably have ipads or gaming systems to keep them occupied, so sad to say families are probably a prime target. Glad to hear they didn't smash your car, at least.

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BigBear
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Re: Nesmith Point trail open and other gorge stuff (Oct 20, 2022)

Post by BigBear » October 21st, 2022, 5:30 pm

I'm surprised Nesmith Point is open. I thought its closure was permanent due to the slides at the top of the slope where the spring has compromised the ground's stability. I didn't see any mention of Elowah Falls and Upper McCord Falls which had closed due to a rockslide (as a I recall).

Yes, there is plenty of "pond scum" out there who love to ruin peoples' days for little personal gain. Keep hoping they will run across someone with the ability to serve a little justice. You know, the kind of justice that changes a person's behavior. In all of my decades of hiking, so far all of my break-ins have been in downtown Portland (2) or in Salem (1), not out in the woods. For all their effort, all there was for them was loose change and some very used sunglasses.

My apologies to the algae that grows on the surface of ponds.

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adamschneider
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Re: Nesmith Point trail open and other gorge stuff (Oct 20, 2022)

Post by adamschneider » October 21st, 2022, 8:47 pm

BigBear wrote:
October 21st, 2022, 5:30 pm
I didn't see any mention of Elowah Falls and Upper McCord Falls which had closed due to a rockslide (as a I recall).
A rockslide took out the bridge at the bottom of Elowah Falls, but the Upper McCord Creek Falls Trail has been open for a while. The trail down to the bottom of Elowah is open too, but technically it's "closed" before the buried bridge.

CRGNSA
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Joined: October 25th, 2022, 8:13 am

Re: Nesmith Point trail open and other gorge stuff (Oct 20, 2022)

Post by CRGNSA » October 25th, 2022, 8:40 am

Hey John and friends,

Thanks for the heads up on the sign - I've forwarded that to our trail crew and they will be removing that ASAP. We are super excited about both Nesmith Point and Wyeth Trails re-opening...and yes, unfortunately vehicle break-ins remain a concern. We always recommend removing anything/everything from your vehicle that you don't need and to hide anything remaining PRIOR TO your arrival to the parking lot. Anything you have of value - definitely take with you on your hike.

And...be careful out there during/following inclement weather. :)

~Karen

Karen A. Davis
Public Affairs Officer
Forest Service
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

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