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BLM to close Flatiron Rock Trailhead parking area for maintenance project, adding gravel to improve access


PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Bureau of Land Management Prineville District plans to close the Flatiron Rock Trailhead parking area August 1-5 for maintenance. The trail will remain open.

The Flatiron Rock Trail leads into the Oregon Badlands Wilderness and the parking area is located roughly 17 miles southeast of Bend, off Highway 20.

Maintenance will include laying, hardening, and compacting of gravel in the parking area to improve public land access and visitor experience.  

The Oregon Badlands Wilderness Management Plan, which guides BLM administration of the wilderness area, states that all trailheads will be hardened and compacted with gravel. The Flatiron Rock Trailhead is a priority, since it has not been graveled before and is a high-use trail.

Officials say the project will improve visitor experience and reduce wilderness impacts beyond the trailhead footprint by clearly defining the parking area boundaries.  

The closest alternate trailhead parking area with foot access to the Flatiron Rock Trail is the Badlands Rock Trailhead, which is located two miles to the southeast. There are several other trails within the Oregon Badlands Wilderness area that also provide foot access to Flatiron Rock Trail, including Larry Chitwood, Dry River, and Tumulus.  

The Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) applied for a grant which will fund most of the parking area improvements. The BLM Prineville District will also contribute funding for the improvements and appreciates ONDA’s partnership on this project.  

The public is asked to avoid the trailhead parking area during the temporary closure. Recreators are encouraged to explore other nearby trails within the Oregon Badlands Wilderness in the meantime. 

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

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