Wildfire-affected area of Santiam Canyon reopening after 2-year closure

Visitors to the Santiam Canyon can now access some campgrounds and trails that have been closed since the Beachie Creek Fire in 2020.

The Willamette National Forest on Monday reopened access to the Elk Lake, Humbug and Fox Creek Group campgrounds in the Detroit area.

The Stahlman Point and Tumble Creek south trailheads were also reopened, according to Leslie Garcia, forest service spokeswoman.

People can now hike to Gold Butte Lookout to access the viewpoint, but the rental facility there is closed. Garcia said there are impacts from the Bull Complex Fire in summer 2021, that “need to be remediated” before the lookout can be open for reservation.

The national forest also reopened its ranger stations and supervisor’s office in person from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday after operating remotely for two years due to Covid.

“After addressing the most critical rehabilitation work and posting information for visitors about natural hazards, we now feel it is appropriate to re-open these areas,” said Duane Bishop, acting forest supervisor, in a news release.

You can find updated information about closures including maps online.

An updated Willamette National Forest map of closures in areas impacted by the Beachie Creek Fire (Willamette National Forest)
An older closure map of the Beachie Creek Fire area before the Willamette National Forest’s reduced closure as of Aug. 1, 2022. (Willamette National Forest)

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.