Storm King and Grand Slam Trail Closure Alert
You may have noticed some activity in the forests west of Bend. Restoration work (thinning, mowing, and prescribed burning) near the Phil's Trail area aims to put the forest on a trajectory to grow healthier trees, improve wildlife habitat, and reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire. In order to keep bikers, hikers, dogs, kids and logging operators safe, some trails are temporarily closed while this important work is being done.
What’s Happening Now:
Beginning Monday, August 27, 2018, the Deschutes National Forest will be closing sections of two trails immediately west of Bend in the Phil’s Trail System area.
Storm King Trail will be closed for about 1.7 miles from its junction with FS 4615 to its junction with FS 4615-200. Grand Slam Trail will be closed for about 0.9 miles west of its junction with FS 4615-200 to its junction with Storm King Trail. Trail users on Grand Slam Trail can use a temporary reroute along FS 4615-200 south to reconnect with the Storm King Trail. In addition, portions of roads FS 4615-800 and FS 4615-810 will be closed to all use.
Please use caution!
- Operators working on large equipment cutting and moving trees in the unit cannot see people walking through the area and may not be able to prevent an accident. Mowing can cause debris to hurl over 500 feet from the equipment.
- Given these safety hazards, the Forest Service has implemented area closures, which remain in effect from 4:00 a.m. Monday through 5:00 p.m. Friday. All trails are open on weekends and major holidays.
- Closures on these trails will likely last through fall.
- For both public and operator safety, please respect all signed closures.
Please check the online interactive map for the latest closures within the West Bend project area: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/webmaps/deschutes/west-bend/
What will it look like in a few months to a year?
- In the next 6-9 months visitors will see effects of tree felling and removal. There will be slash piles, orange painted trees, and damaged trails, all of which will be addressed. Visitors will also see a forest with better views and longer sight distances.
- In the long term, visitors can expect to see a more open forest, with bigger trees. More importantly, we all will experience a more resilient forest that offers a lower risk of stand replacing fire.
- Why is this restoration so important? Learn more about Restoring Our Forests.
While the closure is in place Monday through Friday, the public is encouraged to plan ahead and ride, run, or hike in other areas. This is a great opportunity to check out some of our other nearby trails, including Horse Butte, Horse Ridge, Cline Buttes area (Maston, Juniper, Tumalo Canals – Between Tumalo and Eagle Crest), Peterson Ridge (Sisters), Radlands (Redmond), Lower 66 (Prineville) and Grey Butte/Skull Hollow (Smith Rock) We've compiled a general list of alternate trails HERE.