Spence Mountain is officially open again. Thank-you for your patience during the fire closure over the last month. We are still at Level 4 or Extreme fire danger but temperatures have moderated and the nights are cooler. Also, from a resource standpoint Oregon Department of Forestry is in better shape with equipment and personal. Please continue to use extreme caution when recreating in the woods until we get moisture.
With the advice of the Oregon Department of Forestry, the owners of the Spence Mountain land tract have closed public access to the Spence trail system/roads/forest. This is related to the high fire danger. the hope is that this is a temporary closure and Spence will reopen when weather conditions or fire danger levels improve. They hope to have the land back open as quickly as is possible. Updates will be posted here as they are available.
The skills park above the gingerbread house in Moore Park will have a grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting on 8/13/21 from 5 – 7 PM. There will be food and refreshments available.
With the recent rains, an additional 0.5 miles of Speed King has been opened. The top new originates at a road crossing higher than the temporary access added previously. The remainder of the trail will be finished in the fall once the fire restrictions have been eased.
The lower 2/3 mile of Speed King is open. There are three easy ways to get onto the trail.
1) Permanent access trail off of South Ridge Tr: The access is just past the first road crossing for South Ridge Tr. It is signed. This access goes to the mid-point of the trail.
2) Temporary access trail off of South Ridge Tr: This access is a little ways after the second switchback overlooking the lake on South Ridge Tr (the one with a good view). This trail is signed. The trail is about 1/4 mile long and fairly flat. There are flags along the way to keep you on the right path. This goes to the top of the currently open trail.
3) Access from Lower Hooligan. This road access is from the first road crossing on Lower Hooligan (just below the windy-curvy jumpy section). Take a left on this road. The trail is about 1/4 mile up the road. It is a bit of a climb, but not too much really.
South Ridge trail has been reopened with temporary fixes to the trail at multiple points in the region of the fire. Permanent fixes will occur later when there is more moisture in the soil. Queen of the Lake is still closed for repair and to assess the risk of falling rocks and tree related to the fire. Hooligan is also open again as it had minimal damage.
After a survey of the trail damage today there are several areas of fairly extensive damage on South Ridge Tr that will need to be addressed in the following weeks. We will likely need to wait until mop-up activities are completed before we can really start rehabbing the trail as the trail is intimately associated with the fire line and equipment is still moving along those lines. Some of the damage is too much for a hand crew to fix (i.e. very large rocks on the trail) and will have to be addressed by the heavy equipment available to the fire fighters. The issues with Queen of the Lake is mainly with rockfalls and falling timber. It is unclear how long it will take before QOTL is safe for public use. We will post updates as information becomes available.
A fire was reported a couple days ago near the Spence Mountain Trailhead along Hwy 140. The fire is currently mostly contained and the ODF is optimistic that it will stay that way. The fire is currently about 80 acres, mostly on the steep terrain above Queen of the Lake Tr. They are using the 140 trailhead as a staging area for the work so that trailhead is closed. South Ridge Tr, Hooligan Tr and IMBA Tr will be closed at least until July 27th. Queen of the Lake will be closed for at least a month as there are safety issues along that steep section of hillside along the lake after the fire. We are working with ODF to fix any trail damage and to get things opened up as soon as we can. Shoalwater Bay TH is currently open.
Spence Peak and Peak Tie trails are now open for business. These two trails add about 6.5 miles of new trail to the northwest side of Spence Mountain. Spence Peak (Blue) starts off of Mazama Tr just past the road crossing with Eagle Ridge Rd. It continues for about 5.5 miles to the top of the mountain, by way of Jct 5 and Jct 3. This trail was designed to be a climbing route although it goes down well also. It is more gentle and less technical compared to South Ridge Tr. Peak Tie (Green) starts at the bottom of the blue portion of Mazama near the Doak Mt summit of Hwy 140. It is a gradual climb up to Spence Peak Tr about halfway up the mountain. These trails will open up many new loops out of The 140 trailhead and Shoalwater trailhead. Thank you Dirt Mechanics.
The lower 3.7 miles of Spence Peak Tr is now open. It is a two way trail, but made to be a nice climb. Work continues on the portions above this level that will eventually connect to the top of the mountain. Peak Tie Tr work is also continuing.