Oregon Trail Closure

Windigo and Potter Fire closure in Central Oregon

Updated 8/5/22 at 4:55 PM

The Pacific Crest Trail is closed for 60 miles between Highway 138 (mile 1,848) at the north boundary of Crater Lake National Park and Highway 58 (mile 1,908) at Willamette Pass. North of Highway 58, the Cedar Creek Fire next to Waldo Lake may end up closing the Pacific Crest Trail in the coming days. Be cautious and check for the latest information before heading north from Highway 58.

Multi-Forest Closure Required for Firefighter & Public Safety

This closure includes portions of the Umpqua, Deschutes, Willamette and Fremont-Winema National Forests

Roseburg, OR August 5, 2022—A multi-forest closure order is now in place to protect firefighter and public safety during suppression efforts associated with the Windigo and Potter Fires.

This area closure includes: a significant portion of the Diamond Peak Wilderness and Summit Lake; skirts the NW side of Crescent Lake, the northern portion of the Mt Thielsen Wilderness, several Forest Service roads, and numerous campgrounds and trails, including the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) from State Hwy 138 (PCT mile 1,848) to State Hwy 58 (PCT mile 1,908). All prior fire closures on the Umpqua NF associated with the Windigo Fire are now included in this larger closure order.

This large closure area is necessary to ensure that firefighters can focus on managing the fire versus having to focus on evacuating visitors should conditions of either fire change rapidly. We understand the inconvenience this creates for the recreation public. We sincerely appreciate your support while we stay focused on firefighting. We will reduce the closure area as soon as we can safely do so.

Detour options

Ride in a car

It is reasonable, cautious and of course, perfectly acceptable to ride in a car around around these fires. You may chose to skip a large section, or just the section that is actually closed. Currently, consider rejoining the PCT by driving to Cultus Lake and hiking along the Winopee Lake Trail up to the PCT at Desane Lake as outlined in the walking detour below.  It is smart to take smoke and air quality into consideration, and you can find smoke information in the layers list of our interactive map.

We have heard from many people in the community who are offering free rides around the closure. Thank you to all of them! As always, be wary of people who make you uneasy. Practice logical caution: not all hikers, or people you meet in town, are “angelic.” Learn more.

A hot, very difficult walk

Experienced and well prepared wilderness travelers who plan carefully may think about walking the Chemult snowmobile route to Crescent Lake and then either rejoining the PCT (which may be closed in the coming days due to the Cedar Creek Fire) or better yet, continuing north on a network of roads that loosely follows the mostly disappearing Metolius-Windigo Trail. This route has you hiking back to the PCT at Desane Lake (mile 1941.5). See the detour map.

Be careful! Plan carefully! Once you leave the crest, eastern Oregon can be VERY hot and waterless. The volcanic soils make for hot, difficult walking. There are LONG stretches without water.

You are on your own out there. If obtaining maps and researching the route is unfamiliar territory for you, consider riding in a car rather than walking through unmarked forest lands. Basically, don’t do it! This route is not marked and is likely challenging to follow in places. Do not rely on PCT navigation apps. Carry paper maps, leave a trip and communications plan with your support people should you get lost, travel with partners, and practice all of the generally important wilderness travel skills.

The Caltopo map we’re providing is just a suggestion. We welcome feedback from people who have traveled the route. Please be sure that you do not enter closed areas.

Documents

Resources

Closure map