MOUNT HOOD, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s tallest mountain will reopen for recreation over two months after trailheads and day-use areas were closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Most developed recreation sites will reopen Friday, according to Mount Hood National Forest officials. Some sites will remain closed, including most campgrounds and areas that are still under seasonal closures, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
Some facilities will not be maintained daily, including vault toilets, forest officials said.
“We are looking forward to reopening many previously closed areas on the forest, while prioritizing the health and safety of the public and employees,” Richard Periman, Mt. Hood National Forest supervisor, said in a news release. “We’re asking the public to be prepared, be respectful of others, and recreate responsibly.”
Most national forests in Oregon have also begun a phased reopening, including the Willamette and Deschutes national forests in the central Cascade Mountains. The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, just north of Mount Hood, remains closed to all use.
The reopened U.S. Forest Service lands join public lands managed by the Oregon and Washington state parks departments, which began reopening in May. Other federal lands in Oregon also have begun to reopen, including the John Day Fossil Beds.
While the risk of transmission is low outdoors, state officials recommend that people wear face coverings whenever in close contact with others, including when passing other hikers on the trail.