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Temporary closure of Metolius Basin campground, trailhead


The Deschutes National Forest announced Wednesday it will temporarily close Lower Canyon Creek Campground including the West Metolius Trailhead, and Forest Roads 1420-400 and 1420-430 in order to reconstruct the campground and address resource damage.

From September 10 through October 26, forest officials will close the campground and trailhead to complete the Lower Canyon Creek Riparian Restoration Project.

The project will reconstruct a portion of the campground, including the access road and trailhead parking to reduce negative impacts to the Metolius River. Officials said the redesign will include moving the access road and parking lot farther from the Metolius River and Canyon Creek, relocating trailhead parking and replacing the current toilet with an ADA-accessible toilet.

The Forest Service said the newly reconstructed site will provide for easier trailhead parking, greater accessibility at the site and less sediment deposited into to the river. It is anticipated the construction will be complete and the area re-opened to the public by Friday, October 26. During the closure, hikers are encouraged to access the Metolius Trail from Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery on Forest Road 14.

The Metolius River is a designated National Wild and Scenic River. The current condition of the road and campsite locations leads to surface runoff, sedimentation and trampling of riparian vegetation affecting important spawning habitat for bull trout, a federally listed species. The campground renovations will help improve these conditions, while still providing for scenic camping, hiking and fishing on the Metolius.

Background : 2018 is the 50 th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. This act signed by Congress in 1968 preserves designated rivers that have outstanding natural, cultural and recreation values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations. The Act protects 12,724 miles of 208 rivers, which is less than one quarter of one percent of streams or rivers in the United States. Approximately 29 miles of the Metolius River was designated in 1988 by Congress for many outstanding remarkable values such as cultural importance , fisheries and scenery.

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