STEVENSON, Wash. -- Hikers are looking for alternatives with many trails closed on the Oregon side of the gorge.
Beth Manhat says the Washington side is an obvious choice.
“With all the fires burning on the Oregon side, why not come to the beautiful Washington side? At least you get to see the Oregon side re-flourishing, hopefully," she said.
She says trails like the Hamilton Loop have a lot to offer even waterfalls.
“There are some, there are two waterfalls on this trail we will see,” said Manhat.
Other hikers agree.
Walking Man Brewing is hoping a stretch of nice weather may send hikers looking for an ice cold beer. The Eagle Creek Fire has made things rough on business.
“Having to cancel our Hoptoberfest we do every year,” said head brewer James Landers. “That is supposed to be a big money maker for us and close out the summer.”
According to the Forest Service, places like Beacon Rock and Falls Creek Falls may soon be getting new visitors discovering the Washington side for the first time.
“In the park, itself, we have the Hamilton Mountain Trial is very popular. It is one of the most popular in the gorge. Dog Mountain is another one, a forest service trail, and i suspect that will get quite a bit of use as well,” said park ranger Heath Yeats.
Some hikers said they are worried about potential crowds.
“I don't love that all the people are going to be here, but I like that they want to enjoy nature,” said Manhat.
They are prepared to explore farther to find some new favorite trails.
Yeats says the peak hiking season has passed so Washington trails probably won’t be too crowded even if a few more hikers than normal visit this fall and winter.
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