Media Contact: Laura Pramuk 503-668-1791 Raven Reese 503-668-1776
September 23, 2016
The Mt. Hood National Forest is pleased to announce the re-route of the Eliot Branch crossing on the Timberline Trail (#600) is complete and open to the public. Completed on September 14, this 1.5 mile re-route is downstream of the original ‘round the mountain’ trail, which washed out in 2006 following a debris flow. Hikers will now be able to circumnavigate Mt. Hood along the entire 41 mile route. The trail travels through alpine vistas, waterfalls, meadows and west side Cascade forest as it climbs in and out of glacial fed drainages throughout its length. More than half of the trail is located inside the Mt. Hood Wilderness and is managed to preserve natural processes, provide solitude and primitive recreation, and to retain the primeval character of wild lands. Wilderness permits are required from May 15 to Oct. 15 and group size is limited to 12.
The re-route is not fully signed yet and the Forest Service will be working with volunteers to do pre-winter maintenance this fall. Trail Keepers of Oregon, Pacific Crest Trail Association, Mt. Hood Wilderness Stewards and Mazamas supported the re-route project. Oregon Woods from Eugene, OR constructed the re-route under contract with the USFS.
Most hikers find the fast moving river fords to be the most challenging part of the trail. There is no bridge at the Eliot Branch Crossing and most glacial river crossings on the flanks of the Mt. Hood Wilderness do not have bridges so hikers should be familiar with safe river crossing practices and be willing to turn back if conditions appear unsafe.
For more information about Timberline Trail and the Eliot Branch re-route the public should visit the Mt. Hood NF website at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mthood/recarea/?recid=53506 . Visitors may also visit one of our Visitor’s Centers: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mthood/about-forest/offices.
The Mt. Hood National Forest invites interested members of the media to participate in a Media Day on October 3 at Cloud Cap Saddle Campground to learn more about Timberline Trail and the re-route at Eliot Branch crossing. Forest Service staff will be available for interviews and small groups will be led on a guided hike along the re-route to the crossing for photographs and video. A short briefing will be included. Representatives from Trail Keepers of Oregon will also be in attendance.
Activities will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Depending on the number of participants, briefings and guided hikes will take place throughout the afternoon at scheduled times. In case of rain the event will take place on October 7 during the same time frame. More information will be shared with those who respond to this invitation regarding directions to the campground and the scheduling of the briefings and guided hikes.
Please RSVP to Laura Pramuk, Public Affairs Officer at 503-668-1791 & firstname.lastname@example.org or Raven Reese, Public Affairs Intern at 503-668-1776 & email@example.com if you would like to participate. Thank you