Background

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (CRGNSA) attracts many visitors due to its abundant recreation sites and other destinations. As more people use Washington State Route 14 (SR 14) to access places like the Dog Mountain Trailhead, congestion increases.  The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is partnering with the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to develop a congestion and safety plan for SR 14 and the Dog Mountain Trailhead to reduce congestion and improve safety in the corridor.

View of the Columbia River Gorge on a partly cloudy day with Washington State Route 14 in the foreground.

About the Study

Vision

SR 14 - To promote safe access to these popular recreational areas, this plan will identify opportunities to address congestion and safety concerns while protecting scenic, natural, cultural and recreational resources.

Dog Mountain Trailhead - This plan will identify design alternatives to manage congestion at, and promote safe access to, the Dog Mountain Trailhead. 

Yellow arrowleaf balsamroot flowers, red paintbrush, and purple lupine in full bloom at Dog Mountain. Hills and the Columbia River are in the background.

Goals

  • Congestion Management – Reduce or mitigate congestion.
  • Safety – Enhance safety for all transportation modes.
  • Future – Consider expected changes in future use.
  • Strategic Investment – Develop a fiscally sustainable plan.
  • Resource Protection – Protect scenic, natural, cultural and recreational features.
  • Access – Maintain access to destinations.
Hikers walk to the trail from a full parking lot at Dog Mountain trailhead.

Plan framework

Important factors to consider as we develop the plan:

  • Jurisdiction/land ownership
  • Limited visibility
  • Challenging topography
  • Maintenance
  • Funding
  • CRGNSA Management Plan guidelines
View of the Klickitat River Bridge spanning over the waterway on a partly cloudy day.

Study area

Map showing the study area, marked by a red line, on State Route 14 from mile post 18 to mile post 98. Safety or congestion hotspots are labeled in green, including from west to east: Cape Horn trailhead, Beacon Rock trailhead, Dog Mountain trailhead, Drano Lake boat ramp, Coyote Wall trailhead, Catherine Creek trailhead and Klickitat Spit.
The study area includes an 80-mile stretch of SR 14 running from mile post 18 near the eastern boundary of the City of Washougal to mile post 98 near the CRGNSA boundary west of Maryhill. It also includes locations that have consistent and recurring congestion and/or safety concerns. | Click image to enlarge

Recap of the planning process

June 2020

  • Planning process kick-off

July 2020

  • Review existing plans and policies
  • Data preparation and documentation of framework, goals and objectives, existing conditions, and corridor needs
  • Site visits with agency representatives (WSDOT, WFL, USFS, Counties, Washington State Parks)
  • Project delays due to wildfire season and adjusting to COVID-19

December 2020

  • Postcard mailed to property owners adjacent to SR 14 corridor

January 2021

February 2021

  • Develop potential strategies for SR 14 and recreation sites with reoccurring safety and congestion concerns
  • Refine Dog Mountain strategies and potential trailhead relocation sites
  • Coordination and site visit with USFS recreation and natural resources staff

September 2021

  • Stakeholder Meeting #2: Sept. 30, 2021 Meeting presentation
    • Review project background, roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, and summarize preliminary findings from existing conditions analysis Meeting summary

October 2021

  • Online Open House: Oct. 11 - Nov 1, 2021 Summary of findings
  • Community Conversations #1: Oct. 14, 2021
  • Community Conversations #2: Oct. 20, 2021

November 2021

  • Project team drafts final report
  • Review public engagement findings
  • Review outline of draft plan

January - February 2022

Existing Conditions

The planning team developed an existing conditions report that discusses the environmental setting of the study area, along with existing safety and congestion concerns.

  • This report included a review of adopted plans and policies, input from study partners, site visits, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping, safety and traffic data.
  • Key takeaways from this report are included below.
View of the Columbia River Gorge on a clear day from the Cape Horn lookout.

Get Involved 

We need your help to make this plan a success! Throughout the project, there will be three informational meetings where members of the public can learn more and share their thoughts. These meetings will be online due to the ongoing pandemic. The date and time for these meetings will be announced before each event through local media, the project email list and on this website.

You can also provide your input throughout this process by submitting a comment using the form below. Your comments will help us shape this plan to meet the needs of all stakeholders.

Contact us

SR 14/Dog Mountain - 340-001-001 - PO site contact form

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