The Forest Service has issued a new parking configuration for the south parking area at Spout Springs Ski Area (Spout Springs) along Highway 204, which authorizes overnight parking for trucks and trailers in a portion of the south parking area. The Forest Service modified the south parking area in response to the loss of overnight parking in the north parking area at Spout Springs, which was changed to day-use only to alleviate safety concerns raised by the ski area. The changes to the south parking area balance the needs of the ski area with other recreationists that use this portion of the Umatilla National Forest. This alternative parking arrangement was developed with input from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Spout Springs Homeowners Association President Tim Richardson, and other interested public.

“We appreciate the Forest Service and ODOT working to come up with a parking solution that works for all of us,” Tim Richardson said. “I am pleased with the outcome and I think this will serve the variety of public that use this area.”

The north and south parking areas are both part of Oregon’s Sno-Park program and both sno-parks are utilized by ski area customers and other winter recreationists. The north parking area is within the Spout Springs Mountain Resort Special Use Permit and managed by the ski area under an agreement with ODOT. The south parking area is managed by the Forest Service under a separate agreement with ODOT.

Spout Springs raised safety concerns this fall regarding their ability to obtain liability insurance needed to open for winter operations if overnight parking was allowed in the north parking area. In order to alleviate these safety concerns, the Forest Service agreed to make the north parking area day-use only once Spout Springs opens for the season. Spout Springs has yet to announce an official opening date, but is anticipated to resume winter operations this year.

“Our objective is to have Spout Springs operate their downhill and cross country operations during the 2018 and 2019 ski season, while providing for the safety of all users,” said Walla Walla District Ranger Mike Rassbach. “I hope these parking area changes will allow for a safe and successful winter season for all forest users”.

Sno-Park use would continue to be available on a first come-first serve basis for both parking areas and require an ODOT sno-park permit from Nov. 1 – April 30.

Additional alternative overnight parking for truck/trailers is available at neighboring Sno-Parks, including Morning Creek, Woodland, and Andie’s Prairie.

Forest officials will assess the effectiveness of these changes at the end of the season. Comments or concerns regarding the parking area modifications are welcome and can be submitted to Walla Walla District Ranger Mike Rassbach at 509-522-6293 or: mrassbach@fs.fed.us

Spout Springs Mountain Resort is located on Umatilla National Forest System lands and operated under a Ski Area Term Special Use Permit (SUP) setting terms and conditions that guide the operation of the ski area. Additional information about Spout Springs Mountain Resort is available at: http://www.spoutspringsskiarea.com/

Additional information about Oregon Sno-Parks in the Tollgate area is available at: https://www.tripcheck.com/Pages/Sno-Parks

For additional information about the Umatilla National Forest, including the updated Spout Springs Sno-Parks map, please visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla