Outdoors blog

Trails: Blue Mountains snow gone; blowdowns not cleared

HIKING -- A Tuesday report from the Blue Mountains indicates that the snow is gone in "most" of the critical areas, but Umatilla National Forest crews are just completing their work to clear roads and now they're starting to getting out to clear trails.

Here's the report from John and Diane Latta of Spokane after they hiked the trail to Oregon Butte:

"Great views from the lookout and other points along the trail.  You can see the Seven Devils, Wallowas and Elkhorn Ridge.
 
"The road is logged out all the way to the very nice Teepee Treailhead.  The recent big fires have not affected the area in the slightest.  We did find probably 100 blowdowns blocking the trail, many in large groups. We managed to find our way around, over and under them to make it back. 
 
"The old trail over West Butte avoids some of the worst blowdowns, but there are still plenty to contend with to get to the Lookout.  The camping sites near Oregon Butte Spring are covered with blowdowns as well.
 
"Only minimal patches of snow in the woods that will probably melt in the next few days."
 
A Northwest Forest Pass or federal equivalent is required on vehicles parking at trailheads in the Umatilla NF. 



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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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