Mixed among the brilliantly blooming spring wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge are burned tree stumps that serve as a reminder of the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire.
While the U.S. Forest Service reopened more than half of the 134 miles of trails the organization manages on the Oregon side of the Gorge last October, it will still be a while before several pathways — including the highly popular Eagle Creek Trail — will reopen.
"We're not even sure we'll open (the Eagle Creek Trail) this year," said Rachel Pawlitz, public information officer for the U.S. Forest Service's Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area. "There are several bridge replacements needed, so first we have to get the trail safe enough for engineers to survey on the ground, then they have to design replacement bridges. Then we have to build and fly replacement bridges into backcountry terrain."