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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I've been scrupulous about staying at home and not traveling, but (along with umpteen thousand other people) I'm getting out this weekend! Yes, I'm well aware of the need for physical distancing, wearing a mask around others, etc. (and I'll be alone).

Figured I'd start a thread to check on the current (meaning as of this week) status of forests, trailheads, local hotels/motels, campgrounds, etc.

I was thinking of heading to Bend (I'm in Eugene), but if 10,000 other people are going there, maybe not. I've got 4 days so time to drive farther if necessary. Got a brand-new bike I'm itching to RIDE!

So if you know what the local status is in your area (Bend, Oakridge, Southern Oregon, Ochocos, etc), and you're willing to share (if not I don't blame you), post up!

Though there's good riding there, I'd like to avoid the gravitational field of Portland—on the assumption that PDX-area trails will be that much more crowded...

Scott
 

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I was out in bend a couple of weeks ago (also from Eugene).. trails and parking areas in the Phil's system were packed, despite trail heads being 'closed' (only rest rooms were closed). The wife and parked a camp trailer at a family members place and brought our groceries with us, so no info on camping, hotels, or restaurants.

I did see law enforcement writing tickets at the hardesty trail head on the way home though.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was out in bend a couple of weeks ago (also from Eugene).. trails and parking areas in the Phil's system were packed, despite trail heads being 'closed' (only rest rooms were closed). The wife and parked a camp trailer at a family members place and brought our groceries with us, so no info on camping, hotels, or restaurants.

I did see law enforcement writing tickets at the hardesty trail head on the way home though.

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Interesting. Not surprised Phil's was packed. (Which is why I'll likely avoid that this weekend.) I know Peterson Ridge trails (which I love) in Sisters are open, but not trailheads (so you park in town and ride to the trail, no biggie).

Not surprised Umpqua NF is mostly open—that whole area gets little human traffic compared to other places.

And yep—I've noticed the Hardesty Mountain parking lot packed almost every time i've driven by there for the past two months (on weekends).

Scott
 

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I was thinking of heading to Bend (I'm in Eugene), but if 10,000 other people are going there, maybe not.
I will confirm that "10,000 other people" are in Bend. This place was bustling over the weekend. I can't find the post but someone recently said he counted 47 cars parked at the bottom of Tyler's Traverse, which has spots for about a dozen cars. Green Gate was packed and the chain-up area across the highway was also full of overflow parking. Other folks I know said that they've never ridden in such crowds here before last week. My prediction is that it will be even busier this coming weekend after this rain.
 

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Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever see people PARK in the chain-up. Sure, staging there to load for shuttles, but ... parking?! Is the Welcome Center still closed?

Back on-topic, I’m still pedaling from home and have no intention of changing that anytime soon, so I don’t have much input for the OP. Our local trails (McDonald Forest) around Corvallis just reopened and we’re still getting rain, that coupled with students not coming back to campus yet means it’s not very busy at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever see people PARK in the chain-up. Sure, staging there to load for shuttles, but ... parking?! Is the Welcome Center still closed?

Back on-topic, I’m still pedaling from home and have no intention of changing that anytime soon, so I don’t have much input for the OP. Our local trails (McDonald Forest) around Corvallis just reopened and we’re still getting rain, that coupled with students not coming back to campus yet means it’s not very busy at all.
I respect that tb—I work for the Pacific Crest Trail and we just yesterday started supporting single-day hikes on the PCT close to home (driving straight from home to the trail and back, no stopping) and overnight backpacking trips that are totally self-sufficient (no stopping along the way to resupply anywhere). And of course following physical distancing, etc.

I think the reality of this pandemic is that it's unlikely any state will give an "All clear, everything's open!" anytime in the next few months. And even if Oregon and others continue to expand reopening, it's still ultimately going to be a judgement call for everyone. Few are going to just take the state's word that it's safe to do whatever. (All part of learning to live with the virus...)

I do agree it's safer at home...and wherever I go, I'll go self-supported and remain alone at all times.

I may well just go find some empty fire roads to ride in an empty national forest somewhere...

Scott
 

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Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever see people PARK in the chain-up. Sure, staging there to load for shuttles, but ... parking?! Is the Welcome Center still closed?
The Welcome Center is still closed, although people have been parking at the entrance up to the gate. I've been parking in the chain-up area because technically, Green Gate is also closed. There has typically been only two or three cars at most but I've never seen it totally full.

Edit: the chain up area is long. I’d estimate you could easily park 50 cars there bumper to bumper. At Green Gate!!!
 

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Lots of people in Bend who are obvious visitors, but honestly, it is much much less than in any other year. Driving through town, the traffic is low. I have not been parking at trailheads, but many are despite the "closed" status. Certain hotspots are busy, like food cart pods or some brewpubs that have opened, but in general, crowds are low and quite peaceful. I would still not encourage anyone to travel far this holiday weekend, but many well regardless.

Edit: NFS opened many trailheads and day use areas today:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd743202.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the update ehayes. As I said above, I'm personally on the fence over traveling versus staying put—but planning to travel anyway.

My justification for traveling (which I think is reasonable) is that...
a) I believe in the pandemic (sounds like a joke but many think it's a hoax)
b) I'm well aware of how the coronavirus spreads and the need to prevent the spread between communities
c) I fully intend to avoid ALL people everywhere—if I show up at a trailhead and it's crowded, I'll turn right around and leave (I'd probably do that even if there wasn't a pandemic).
d) I have several cloth masks that I wash daily and won't hesitate to wear them as needed.
e) I'm COVID-free (and haven't been near anyone outside my household in weeks).
f) I plan to keep my objectives conservative, and avoid anything remotely risky (e.g. I plan to stick to fire roads and easy trails) to avoid needing a rescue anywhere.

Not listing all this to pat myself on the back, but rather as a suggested guide for anyone else who plans to travel.

Scott
 

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In the past 3 weeks I've been to central Oregon twice.

In Bend I camped out along forest road 4610?. Several of the trails from Phils cross that road so lots of choices what to ride without going to Phils. Further from there one gets the better, pandemic or no.

At Peterson Ridge, I camp off a tiny forest road about 5 miles south of town, not far from the south end of the network. The south end of the network get much less use than starting in town. Also one afternoon I rode Met-Win south maybe 12 miles. Saw one other person the entire ride.

Brought all my stuff from home. Food, water, TP!, everything. Only had to buy gas on the way home so very minimal interaction/exposure.

Not as fun of a trip as when you could go someplace for beers and food at night, but better than not going at all.

P.S. I'm glad to hear PCTA is beginning to endorse backpacking again. I'm still planning to hike Crater Lake to Mackenzie Pass for right after Labor Day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Vancbiker—good suggestions!

My latest plans (which are evolving by the hour, LOL) are to head toward the Klamath Falls area. I've never ridden anywhere around there, and Brown Mountain loop and Spence Mountain both look like worthwhile rides. I might also head farther east and try a hike up Gearhart Mountain—which looks to be mostly snow-free (though still some near the summit).

Yeah, like every state government in the nation, we (the PCTA) have been blessed and cursed a lot in the past couple months, LOL. It's mainly thru-hiking we've been concerned about—there are few better vehicles for a virus seeking new hosts than thousands of backpackers moving across three states and dropping into dozens of small rural communities along the way to resupply.

Everyone says "but being on the trail is the safest place to be!" and that's true...but everyone conveniently forgets about hitching rides into town, sharing hotel rooms, pigging out at restaurants together, sharing tents, sharing food—thru-hiking has become a surprisingly social experience these days!

Scott
 

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Thanks Vancbiker—good suggestions!

My latest plans (which are evolving by the hour, LOL) are to head toward the Klamath Falls area. I've never ridden anywhere around there, and Brown Mountain loop and Spence Mountain both look like worthwhile rides.
Brown Mountain is a great loop. Even the paved portion through the lava field is fun. Don't close the loop by riding the short road section at the end. Just turn around and ride the loop backwards. Rides great both ways.

Caveat: It's been a LONG time since I rode this. Things may have changed, and from TF, it looks like a trail now parallels the road segment.
 

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Please don't travel to Bend or Central Oregon this weekend. We're asking you not to. By "we," I mean the community as represented by the Bend and Redmond mayors, Governor Brown, and our destination marketing organization Visit Bend. Oregonians are still being encouraged to stay close to home. I recognize people think they can travel and visit responsibly, but when a community is asking you not to visit, at least for the immediate future, please listen.
 

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Please don't travel to Portland or NW Oregon this weekend. We're asking you not to. By "we," I mean the community as represented by the Portland and Vancouver mayors, Governor Brown, and our destination marketing organization Visit Portland. Oregonians are still being encouraged to stay close to home, even if you can't get anywhere NEAR the healthcare to treat COVID19 as you could have in Portland. I recognize people think they can travel and visit responsibly, but when a community is asking you not to visit, at least for the immediate future, please listen.
There FIXED IT for ya! Works both ways...

Have FUN!

G MAN
 
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