Section F Oregon

Oregon US 20 closure impact on PCT

By: J.
March 30th, 2016

ODOT will be doing a road closure on US20 that will affect travel from the PCT to Albany/Corvallis, and vice versa. Travel to Bend and the trail, Salem to the trail and Eugene and the trail will not be affected.

US20 will be closed west of the trail for all of August and September of 2016. It may reduce vehicle traffic past the PCT and potentially affect hitchhiking from the trail into Bend. Here is a link to more information:–.aspx

Oregon Skyline Trail Alternate Route

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By: Laurie Meade
July 16th, 2015

I just finished a three day loop along the suggested Alternate Route (Pacific Crest Trail guide book)of the old Oregon Skyline Trail from Santiam Pass, starting at Santiam Lake Trail #3491. The trail was clear for the first six miles to Santiam Lake. Beyond that it is NOT MAINTAINED. Four miles of blow down and bush-wacking to the Marion Lake Trail #3437. This trail up to the PCT at Wasco Lake is also in need of clearing. Best to stay on the PCT north of Santiam Pass.

Mt. Jefferson Wilderness fire closure

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July 26th, 2014

The PCT is open again in the area. Side trails to the PCT on Willamette and Deschutes National Forests remain closed.

Wildfires continue to burn in the area. PCT travelers should expect to see smoke.

Other sources

Published 7/25/14.

Published 7/25/14.


Published 7/25/24.

Published 7/25/24.



MODIS on 7/18/14.

MODIS fire layer for the Mt. Jefferson area. There are multiple smaller fires in the area that do not appear on MODIS. Image taken at 12:57 on 7/17/14

MODIS fire layer for the Mt. Jefferson area. There are multiple smaller fires in the area that do not appear on MODIS. Image taken at 12:57 on 7/17/14

July 30, 2012

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Jefferson Wilderness. Thru-hikers report extensive blow-downs in the Minto Pass area and some snow patches at Shale Lake. Otherwise trail is clear from Santiam Pass to Mt. Hood. Milk Creek is flowing strongly but Russell Creek is still a snow bridge and requires care when crossing.

July 20, 2012

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I hiked section F 12 -17 July, but bypassing portion between Minto Pass and Olallie Lake.

Trail good up to saddle between Belknap Craters, then ~1/4 mile solid snow. Easy to walk across in my trail runners, but needed GPS to keep on trail. No snow after I dropped below ~5500”, but then some easily-crossed timber downfall. Trail then clear and in good condition until
Three-Fingered Jack.

Hit snow on south side of Three-Fingered Jack at Halfmile’s ~2011.5 (~5800′), and snow coverage increasing with altitude. I used ice axe to cut steps in places to cross safely, and would have been uncomfortable (and probably wouldn’t have done) crossing of some of them without axe. Worst place was in the trees below the switchbacks on north side of Jack. Some timber downfall, extensive in one place, after I dropped below snow and before reaching Minto Pass.

I went off PCT at Minto Pass, and out at Marion Lake trailhead. This trail in good condition except for a some easily-managed downfall first couple of miles below Minto Pass.

Although I did not try to cross Russell Creek, or pass through Jefferson Park, I got reports from hikers who just did. A group of 3 said Russell Creek was easy to cross because it was “frozen over” (they might have meant “snow bridge”). They said Jeff Park was completely snowbound, but didn’t indicate particular difficulty getting through. Another hiker whent up Whitewater Creek trail to avoid Russell Creek, and crossed Jeff Park without notable problem. All of these were backpackers well-experienced in snow.

Got back on trail at OIlallie Lake. Trail from there to Barlow Pass in excellent condition.