PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – After introducing timed-use parking permits for all federal lands adjacent to the Waterfall Corridor during the peak travel months in 2022, the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon Department of Transportation have relaxed their restrictions for the Columbia River Gorge in 2023.
Instead of placing limitations on the entire Waterfall Corridor, which extends from the Bridal Veil off-ramp to Ainsworth State Park, the agencies will focus on relieving congestion at the Multnomah Falls parking lot, ODOT announced on March 15.
Some of the methods that will be used to reduce traffic in the Multnomah Falls parking lot include, timed-use permits, traffic flaggers and the use of a private company to manage the flow of traffic. When the lot is full, vehicles will be prevented from stopping or waiting for an open space.
Starting May 26 and lasting until Sept. 4, a timed-use permit will be required for all personal vehicles using Multnomah Falls from Exit 31 on I-84 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Multnomah County Commissioner Lori Stegmann said that the change in restrictions is due to a lack of funding.
“We learned a lot in 2022 about visitor practices and that information will help us as we plan for the future,” Stegmann was quoted as saying in an ODOT press release. “Multnomah County, ODOT, Oregon State Parks, the Forest Service, and all our partners are continuing to look for ways we can reduce congestion and improve the visitor experience to this wonderful treasure.”
The parking permits will be available online at recreation.gov with a $2 fee. Permits can be secured up to two weeks in advance. A limited number of free permits will also be available for in-person pickup at the Gateway to the Gorge Visitor Center in Troutdale and the Cascade Locks Historical Museum.
Multnomah Falls will still be accessible by bicycle, tour bus or shuttle bus.
As Reported by KOIN.com