Oregon State Parks prepare now for large summer crowds

Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 12:20 PM PST
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MULTNOMAH COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) - Oregon State Parks don’t just go from one year to the next without any repairs being done. Columbia River Gorge park manager David Spangler says a lot of that work happens now.

“These months are probably some of the most important months we have,” Spangler said.

There are all kinds of repairs to be made to welcome large crowds, including campground sites and restrooms. But most of the focus is on weather damage from the winter.

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“We have some nice ice storms that come through,” Spangler said. “Our staff is really focused on doing some of the work to clean those up.”

Part of that is bringing down trees like one that came down at Ainsworth State Park. The large, dead tree was a safety hazard.

Spangler said the staff is looking at what needs to be done before more parks open.

“We really strive at Oregon State Parks to maintain a high standard,” he said. “Both in terms of restroom maintenance, restroom cleaning, but also the grounds.”

There’s work to prepare parks across the state. Spangler has some recommendations for some to explore that typically aren’t as crowded.

“Mayer State Park is a really nice area,” Spangler said. “Even parts that are just slightly outside of the Columbia Gorge like Deschutes State Recreation Area are great areas just to the east.”

All of this preparation work is being done by park rangers. Spangler wants the public to know what they do.

“They’re the ones doing the hard work,” Spangler said. “We just wouldn’t be able to run our state parks system without the dedication of our ranger staff.”

Oregon State Parks want to remind you to book your reservations now for camping this summer.