GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. (KPTV) – Anyone heading up to Mt. Hood to ski, snowboard or play in the snow should expect another busy weekend.

Last weekend, some people were caught in a gridlock of traffic for hours. Robb McNeill and Hanna Voxland spent Sunday at Mt. Hood Meadows, but were in for an unpleasant surprise when they left.

“Everything kind of went downhill, so to speak, when we left,” McNeill said.

The two left the parking lot around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

“We ran into a total gridlock in either direction, whether you were trying to get to Portland via Government Camp or via Hood River Meadows, so it was pretty hectic,” McNeill said.

The two didn’t make it back to the city until almost 10:00 p.m.

High amount of traffic causes problems on Mt. Hood

Image: KPTV

“We saw a few other cars just turn off their cars completely, go take their dogs for a walk or relieve themselves, so we weren’t the only people—we also started watching a movie. That’s how much we weren’t moving,” Voxland said.

Heavy traffic at Mt. Hood on the weekends isn’t unusual, but Meta Loftsgaarden, the forest supervisor for Mt. Hood National Forest, said problems stemmed from people not parking in designated areas.

“We had folks parking in the median outside of the Sno-Park areas actually blocking lanes of traffic, and those are not an option for parking. Really - you need to park in designated areas,” Loftsgaarden said.

She said not only was this dangerous, but it slowed down traffic and made things more challenging for emergency response.

“If you’re blocking those areas and something happens and it is going to on the mountain, our emergency responders just can’t get there,” she said.

If you plan to head to the mountain this weekend, Loftsgaarden said to make sure you leave early and be patient, travel outside of key times, check TripCheck, have a plan B or C and make sure you’re prepared with emergency kits.

If you don’t already have a lift ticket or a season pass to Meadows, don’t go this weekend, they said. They’re also pausing sales on their value passes and night passes to alleviate traffic issues. They ask that people not park in Sno-Park areas for Teacup or Bennet.

“To hear that they’re taking precautions or making strides to alleviate that, that makes me feel better at least,” McNeill said.

At Skibowl, the GM said they’ve set a capacity limit for tickets and won’t sell more than that. At Timberline, their spokesperson told FOX 12 that the parking lot is their governor and once that’s full the lot is closed until people start to leave later on.

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