Winter Driving Conditions
Are there any major highway closures?
2/28/2019 update: Two northbound lanes and one southbound lane of U.S. 101 12 miles north of Brookings are closed due to a sunken grade. Northbound traffic is being detoured on Carpenterville Highway. For updated conditions, please check TripCheck.com.
What do I need to know about Oregon winter conditions?
Oregonians know that winter weather here can change in a minute, so always check road conditions on TripCheck.com before you go. If you know how to drive in the snow (you know who you are), make sure to carry chains and know how to use them. Or, invest in snow tires for the season. See the Oregon Department of Transportation’s tips and handy videos on everything related to winter driving.
Whether you’re heading to a winery or hiking trail, it’s always a good idea to call ahead to your destination to confirm accessibility and condition — avoid hiking when conditions are icy. Know that even if a trail or road is technically open, it may not be maintained, so check with the U.S. Forest Service ranger district or look for alerts on the Oregon State Parks and Recreation website if you’re not sure.
Winter is a great time to consider leaving the car at home and traveling by shuttle, train, ride share, public transit or another mode. Find car-free trip ideas to Mt. Hood, Oregon’s North Coast and Central Coast, Bend, Willamette Valley wine country and the Columbia River Gorge (with exception of the Columbia Gorge Express, which reopens for the season in the spring.)
If you are driving, load up a full tank of gas, printed maps (available at Oregon’s Visitor Centers) and extra water, snacks and supplies (such as medication) in case of a weather-related emergency.
Wildfire & Travel Conditions
Is it safe for visitors to travel to Oregon during wildfire season?
Oregon is a big state and we are welcoming visitors. Travel Oregon’s first priority is the safety of our residents and visitors, so we always recommend consulting official resources prior to traveling to ensure access to your destination is safe.
For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, check out this guide to what you need to know about wildfire season in Oregon.
Are there currently wildfires in Oregon?
For current wildfire information around Oregon and Washington, including an interactive map showing fire incidents, visit NW Coordination Center. Check TripCheck.com for the latest road conditions in Oregon. This interactive map monitors the latest air quality information.
Thank you to all the firefighters who are working to keep Oregon’s residents and visitors safe.
Is the Historic Columbia River Highway/Multnomah Falls open?
Due to hazards from the Eagle Creek fire of 2017, several areas of the Columbia River Gorge remain closed to protect public safety. Multiple trails between Wyeth and Troutdale in Oregon are closed because of fire. Since then, the Forest Service has reopened the Multnomah Falls trail, as well as the connecting Wahkeena Falls trail loop, but hikers should still heed caution.
On Nov. 22 a six-mile stretch of the Historic Columbia River Highway that runs between Larch Mountain Road and Bridal Veil reopened, meaning the full length of the scenic byway is now accessible. Several hiking trails also reopened, such as Angle’s Rest, Wahkeena Falls and Larch Mountain. The opening of the roadway from Larch Mountain Road to Bridal Veil now provides access to local businesses and the post office, but restrictions remain on recreation.
While the eminent hazardous trees and rock fall dangers have been mitigated, travelers need to remember that the Gorge is chronically prone to slides and should continue to use caution and respect all closure points and private property boundaries.
Areas along the route are evaluated for hazards on a case-by-case basis. Visitors are reminded to respect private property rights and closures and be aware of the hazards that exist as winter sets in. Fire impacts have heightened these risks. No stopping or parking is allowed on the shoulders. Crews installed no parking signs in places along the highway and put up barricades to keep travelers from using recreation areas that remain closed. Find information about trails that remain open at the Forest Service and Friends of the Gorge websites.
Here is a look at what’s closed in the six-mile stretch:
- Shepperd’s Dell Falls trail is closed.
- Trail between Ponytail Falls to Horsetail Falls is closed.
- John B. Yeon Trailhead to Elowah Falls, Nesmith Point and Upper McCord Creek Falls is closed.
- Wahclella Falls trail is closed.
- Eagle Creek trail to High Bridge, Punchbowl Falls, Tunnel Falls and Wahtum Lake is closed.
Are there any areas of the state travelers should avoid visiting, or alternative routes to consider when traveling across the state?
Please visit the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) website for current information on travel and safety conditions.
Before venturing out, check these resources for the most up-to-date information on current wildfire conditions:
- Hood-Gorge.com — Information and resources about the region
- Friends of the Gorge Travel Resources — FAQ about the Eagle Creek Fire and how you can help
- Ready Set Gorge — Trip planning resource to help ensure a safe, sustainable and enjoyable time in the Gorge
- Northwest Interagency Coordination Center — Interactive map depicting fire incidents
- Oregon Department of Forestry — Current and historical Oregon wildfire information
- TripCheck — Interactive map featuring current road conditions, closures and delays
- Oregon Smoke Information — Blog reporting on Oregon smoke forecasts and air quality updates
- Keep Oregon Green — Fire prevention tips
- Red Cross — How to donate to relief efforts in Oregon
Will road construction affect summer travel?
Algae Bloom Advisories
The Oregon Health Authority monitors popular water recreation areas for signs of harmful algae blooms. Check the current map of advisories here.