Forest Service warns hikers winter dangers remain

Trail cleanup starts in April

Rescue crews used rope to get 12 hikers down from a trail above Multnomah Falls, March 14, 2017. (Corbett Fire)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As Oregonians start itching to get outside and enjoy the area’s many hiking trails, it’s important to know that it will be a while before spring trail cleaning starts.

This crack appeared above and near West Burnside in Portland, March 16, 2017 (PBOT)
This crack appeared above and near West Burnside in Portland, March 16, 2017 (PBOT)

The Forest Service says trails may still be dangerous due to winter conditions and hikers need to know when to turn around.

“The trek to certain points can be very dangerous,” Matteo Ramich with the U.S. Forest Service said.

Wear and tear from winter storms can turn an easy or moderate hike into a rigorous adventure. One slide and you could find yourself in serious danger.

Twelves hikers who visited Multnomah Falls on a spring break trip from Texas found themselves in need of a rope rescue when one of their party fell into a snow fill. They all made it back safely, but things could have been worse.

“This isn’t spring or summer conditions, we are still in winter time,” Ramich said. “Things are going to take a lot longer because of the snow.”

There are countless obstacles, from landslides, high water and slippery ground. Trail managers from the U.S. Forest Service said trails won’t start being cleaned up until April. Hikes may still be dangerous until conditions start to warm up.

“I want everyone to be safe and be able to go home and not get hurt over a hike,” Ramich said. “It’s something you can do easily another day or plan to do in the summertime.”