Hiker Headlines: Fire Closures, Burn Bans, Lookout Restoration, New ADA Trail
Active wildfires have led to the closure of several recreation areas. Burn bans have been extended throughout the state. High Rock Lookout is receiving long-awaited restoration work. The Erinswood trail is looking forward to some upcoming ADA improvements. And, extended gear sizes may be coming to a retailer near you.
It’s July 15. Active wildfires have led to the closure of several recreation areas. Burn bans have been extended throughout the state. High Rock Lookout is receiving long-awaited restoration work. The Erinswood trail is looking forward to some upcoming ADA improvements. And, extended gear sizes may be coming to a retailer near you. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.
Fire closures: Several wildfires are burning east of the Cascades, leading to trail and road closures as crews work to contain the blazes. In southeastern Washington, all lands in the Pomeroy Ranger District of Umatilla National Forest are closed due to the Lick Creek fire. In the Columbia Gorge, access to Lyle Cherry Orchard is closed due to the Lyle Hill fire. And up north, a 12-mile section on the eastern slope of Highway 20 is closed to cross-state travel as crews respond to the Varden fire. Hikers can view active wildfire locations on our Hike Finder Map by using the wildfire layer.
Burn ban: In addition to the many burn bans already set in place, Governor Inslee enacted a statewide burn ban that impacts all 39 counties. The ban prohibits all outdoor and agricultural burning, including campfires and bonfires. The ban is set to last through September 30 unless otherwise stated.
New life for an old lookout: As part of a multi-year restoration effort, the 1930's era High Rock Lookout is taking a brief hiatus from its perch overlooking Mount Rainier. The lookout was deconstructed earlier this month and flown off in pieces to be restored in Oregon. Reconstruction of the lookout is expected to take place in 2023.
ADA trail improvements: Just outside of Index, trail improvements are in the works to bring the 0.6-mile Erinswood trail up to ADA standards, thanks to funds from the Land and Water Conservation Act. The Erinswood trail is named after Erin Sample, a local resident with cerebral palsy who frequents the trail with her mother, Karen.
Gear for more hikers: A few major gear retailers are taking steps to get gear into more hands. Seattle-based Outdoor Research will be releasing extended sizes from XXS-3X for several of their best sellers this fall. REI Co-op will expand their women's range up to size 20 for gear and apparel by the end of 2021. And another local brand, Eddie Bauer, recently launched a new gear rental service for folks interested in trying out a new outdoor activity. (Here are more places to rent or borrow gear.)
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