People have been excited to return to the Upper Clackamas River since access to the area since the wildfires that started over Labor Day 2020 closed the corridor. Now open from Estacada to Ripplebrook, HWY 224 casually winds its way along the river. While the devastation of the fire is evident throughout, there is still beauty and adventure to be found here.
After starting your journey in Estacada, and perhaps grabbing a bite to eat at one of the many fantastic restaurants, make your way past Promontory Point. As you enter the canyon, keep your eyes peeled: Both for work zones as crews continue the restoration efforts, and for waterfalls. View corridors now exist that make it possible to spot numerous cascades on either side of the river. Some are right next to the road, some are a bit further off, towering over the nearby landscape.
Wildflowers are also growing along the river, showing how resilient nature can be. Look for areas along the highway created for vehicles to safely pull off. These are perfect spots to get out of the car and take a look around.
The important thing is to remember to take your time. There will be delays on your trip due to the reconstruction efforts, but if you're goal is the journey and not the destination, you can once again enjoy the beauty of the Wild and Scenic Clackamas River.