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Temporary campground, trailhead closure extended


The Deschutes National Forest said Friday it has extended the temporary closure of 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.

The closure has been extended through Nov. 15 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.

This 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 newly reconstructed site will provide for easier trailhead parking, greater accessibility at the site and less sediment deposited into to the river.

Although it had been anticipated to reopen the site by Friday, a delayed start to the project has required postponing reopening the area until construction is complete.

During the closure, hikers are encouraged to access the Metolius Trail from Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery on Forest Road 14.

“Projects like this ensure we are protecting our important stream habitats into the future while also improving the recreation experience for visitors to our forest and community,” said Sisters District Ranger Ian Reid. “We appreciate the public’s patience while we finish the improvements.”

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.

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