Hikers desperate for a view of Multnomah Falls no longer risk a $300 dollar fine for sneaking into a hazardous closure area.
The Columbia River Gorge Forest Service announced today that the lower-falls viewing platform, which was closed down last September by the Eagle Creek fire, has re-opened, the Oregonian first reported.
The nearby Multnomah Falls Lodge has been open since November, but protection against landslides was needed to make the viewing platform safe again. (That didn't stop selfie-seekers from entering the closure area this winter anyway.)
"The new fence will protect visitors on the platform from trees or rocks that may fall from the hillside," the Gorge Forest Service notice reads. "The U.S. Forest Service also hired contractors to fell hazard trees and conduct rock scaling, measures which will limit the amount of dangerous debris that can fall unexpectedly."
The site, which the USFS says is one of the area's most popular, attracting "millions of visitors each year," is one of few to re-open after last summer's over 40,000-acre fire.
Hikers have been warned by government agencies that venturing into those trail areas that are still closed could result in a criminal trespassing charge.
The USFS notes that an upper-falls viewing platform and the trail to the Benson Bridge—which connects the two platforms—are among the sites still shuttered for repairs.