Yes, Multnomah Falls is a beautiful. No, it's not worth potentially getting crushed by rock fall to snap a selfie in front of it.
That hasn't stopped more than 150 people from trying this month.
Rachel Pawlitz, public affairs officer for the Gorge Forest Service, says officers have been doling out a lot of warnings, and a handful of citations, to tourists bypassing closure signs to get to a waterfall viewing platform.
The fenced-off area was declared hazardous after destruction from the Eagle Creek fire, which damaged the rock wall that normally keeps the area secure from falling objects.
This month, 157 warnings have been given out—with five citations being issued this week.
"We've been asking ourselves why people are doing this, and the answer is painfully simple," Pawlitz says. "Frankly, people don't like being told they can't do something. They see a place they can sneak into the fence and get a picture—usually a selfie—and they do it."
Before the fire, a rock wall kept debris from cascading down the steep, stadium-like walls of Multnomah Falls onto the platform that is now fenced-off. The failed rock wall is in the process of being cleared and reconstructed, Pawlitz says, making the area an active construction site.
"The hazards," Pawlitz says, "include rocks, trees and landslides falling from the surrounding slopes."
Earlier today the agency's twitter account posted a pointed warning: "If you sneak into the Eagle Creek Closure area even 'just to get a quick photo' you can still get an expensive ticket."
A $300 ticket, to be exact.