Although cleared often, fresh rock-some the size of basketballs-litter the old highway up to the falls.

OPB/IAN C. BATES - Rocks, some the size of basketballs, litter the old highway up to Multnomah Falls.
Now that the fall rains have begun, the fire danger at Multnomah Falls has declined. But Oregon's popular gem still won't open anytime soon.

The famous landmark sees more than 2 million visitors per year according to the U.S. Forest Service. But it's been closed since the massive wildfires hit the Columbia River Gorge in September.

Experts say the falls and the old highway that leads up to it are highly dangerous. And much of it has to do with moss.

The moss has been burnt away by the fires — and that used to be the glue holding basalt cliffs together on these steep slopes.

Rachel Pawlitz is with the U.S. Forest Service that manages the falls and the popular hiking areas around it.

OPB is a news partner of the Portland Tribune/Pamplin Media Group. To read the rest if their story and related coverage, go to

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