Gorge-bound hikers already dealing with timed ticketing and permits in order to get to their destinations now have another hurdle: construction on Interstate 84.
Starting today, Exit 41 is closed to the public while the latest road project gets underway. That off-ramp leads to the Eagle Creek Recreation Area—the forested canyon with a wildly popular trail that takes you to past five named waterfalls, including one you can walk behind. It’s also where the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire began after a Washington teenager tossed fireworks into the ravine.
The forest has started to recover, and the route officially reopened to hikers in late 2020. But for the next six weeks, you’ll need to find another way to access the trailhead. Not only is Exit 41 closed, but the parking lot most people use to get to Eagle Creek will also be off-limits.
Recreationalists coming from the west should plan to use either the Wahclella Falls or Tooth Rock trailheads, while those traveling from the east are advised to get there from the Cascade Locks, Bridge of the Gods or Pacific Crest Trail Harvey Road trailheads.
With the start of this project, the Oregon Department of Transportation says construction season on I-84 in the Gorge is in full swing. The agency is repairing Toothrock Tunnel and repaving 13 miles of freeway between Multnomah Falls and Cascade Locks. Fixing ruts and cracks along that stretch will lead to a smoother and safer ride for all those driving through the corridor.
Work is expected to wrap up by May 12. But that’s dependent on the weather, and the reopening of Exit 41 could be postponed. Drivers just trying to get from point A to point B should also expect nighttime single-lane and other ramp closures along the interstate.