Benson Plateau after the Fire

In September 2017, the Eagle Creek fire spread over the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge and all hiking trails were closed. Now some of them that were not as badly damaged are opening again and over the last couple days I backpacked up the PCT to a campsite near Teakettle Springs and from there hiked a loop around Benson Plateau. Fire damage was spotty and most areas still had green trees.

Sign at the trailhead, we are going to have to get used to these

The trailhead - looks normal so far!

Just above the powerline road, some moss has been burned off this rock

Herman Creek - the fire didn't get to the bottom of the canyon

I wonder if this spot-burned tree was already dead?

Ground cover gone, lower tree singed, but tree crowns were still green

Some views have opened up - Columbia River and Table Mtn

Some holes where trees burned out down into the ground

Top of the ridge at 3000', still mostly green

But looking down the west side, mostly burned

Red rock viewpoint, only slight burn

Some burn at camp, but more green

Looking towards Nick Eaton Ridge from camp

There were lots of mosquitoes and this huge fly, about 1/2", drew blood before paying the ultimate price

Up on Benson Plateau, a section of full burn

Faint Benson Way trail, mostly green

Main camp at Hunters Camp, still green

Ruckel Creek trail still closed

Ruckel Creek a little above camp

Blond trail where covered in deep needles

Lower Nick Eaton Ridge, lots of burn

Mt Adams from red rock view on the way down