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Oregon Coast Eclipse Warnings: Road, Forest Closures; No Beach Camping

Published 08/10/2017 at 7:23 PM PDT - Updated 08/10/2017 at 7:33 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon Coast Eclipse: Road, Forest Closures; No Beach Camping

(Oregon Coast) – The eclipse that will be hitting Oregon and the Oregon coast on August 21 is beginning to be eclipsed itself by various concerns. Forest fires, camping in the wrong spots and limited access to some forested areas are all issues that Oregon officials are trying to address - and point out - well ahead of time.

Oregon State Parks and Recreation (OPRD) recently reinforced its message about camping on beaches. Those heading to the coast for the great stellar event will need to know that they cannot sleep on Oregon beaches for a variety of safety and legal reasons.

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First, most towns have beach camping bans on their own, such as Lincoln City, Newport and Manzanita, among just about all others. Then, camping is not allowed on the seaward side of any state park. Since most beaches along the coast are state parks, this greatly limits the number of places where it's even legal in the first place.

Most of all, however, August 20 and 21 present unique high tide dangers.

“The Aug. 21 new moon will bring very high and very low tides,” OPRD said. “A very low tide exposes a lot of beach, which is deceptively dangerous when the high tide rolls in. This will happen late on the night of Aug. 20 into the early morning of Aug. 21. Don’t camp on the beach because a high tide of more than 9 feet will cover most of the normally dry sand. The best scenario is that you and your sleeping bag will get wet. The other scenarios are far worse.” Where to stay for this event - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

Fire danger is also a major concern, especially at this time when Oregon has not seen any rain for almost two months. In all forest recreation areas around the state, campfires are prohibited except for designated spots and developed campgrounds.

When it comes to forested areas on the Oregon coast or just inland, some parts will be closed or under limited access rules during the days in and around the eclipse. This includes some very popular destinations such Marys Peak in the Coast Range, Mt. Hebo near Pacific City and Cascade Head near Lincoln City.

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) runs these areas under the umbrella of the Siuslaw National Forest office. The agency said some campgrounds and other public areas and roads will be closed off completely to allow for emergency crews to use as a base or for traveling purposes. Others will be restricted as to how many people they will be accommodate.

For Mary's Peak these include:

Marys Peak Road above Conners Camp closed to private vehicles nights of Aug. 17 through Aug. 20 (8 p.m. - 6 a.m.).

Marys Peak Road closed to private vehicles above Hwy. 34 8 p.m. on Aug. 20 to noon Aug. 21; eclipse permit holders and foot and bicycle traffic permitted beginning 6 a.m. Aug. 21.

Woods Creek Road, which accesses the North Ridge Trailhead, will be closed to vehicles from 8 p.m. Aug. 20 to noon Aug. 21; eclipse permit holder and foot and bicycle traffic permitted beginning 6 a.m. Aug. 21.

The small Marys Peak Campground will be closed Aug. 17 through Aug. 21 to be used as a staging area for emergency services, staff, and volunteers supporting the event.

Changes on Mt. Hebo:

Private vehicle access to Mt. Hebo will be limited on August 21, 2017, to those holding a parking reservation (permit) for one of two designated parking areas: Mt. Hebo Communication Site and Mt. Hebo South Point.

Forest Service Road 14 (Mt. Hebo Rd.) closed between the Mt. Hebo Horse Trailhead and Forest Service Road 1428 from 5 p.m. August 18 through noon on August 21 (eclipse permit holders will be allowed entry starting at 6:00am on August 21). All eclipse viewers will be required to stay in a designated viewing area to protect critical habitat for the threatened Oregon silverspot butterfly.

Changes on Cascade Head:

The gate on FS 1861, near the intersection with Hwy. 101, will be open beginning at 6 a.m. on August. 21 and closed when parking areas reach their capacity limit. FS 1861 west of Hwy. 101 will be closed to vehicles nights of Aug. 17 through Aug. 20 (7 p.m. - 7 a.m.).

See the Siuslaw National Forest site for full information. -






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