|The Willamette National Forest stretches for 110 miles along the western slopes of the Cascade Range in western Oregon. It extends from the Mt. Jefferson area east of Salem to the Calapooya Mountains northeast of Roseburg. The Forest is 1,675,407 acres in size. The varied landscape of high mountains, narrow canyons, cascading streams, and wooded slopes offer excellent opportunities for visitors and make the Forest valuable for many purposes.The Willamette National Forest receives a large amount of precipitation each year, much of it as snow which blankets the higher peaks and ridges from October through April. The rain and melting snow drain into the headwaters of the McKenzie, Santiam, and Willamette Rivers, which flow from the Forest. There are over 1,500 miles of rivers and streams on the Forest and over 375 lakes, including many at elevations above 4,000 feet.About one-fifth of the Forest, 380,805 acres, is congressionally designated as wilderness. Seven major peaks of the Cascades; Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Diamond Peak, North, Middle and South Sisters are within these wildernesses.The Oregon Cascades Recreation Area was created by Congress in 1984 to protect and enhance the recreational values of this area adjacent to the Diamond Peak Wilderness. The 157,000 acre area includes portions of the Willamette, Umpqua and Deschutes National Forests. It is managed by these Forests to provide a wide range of recreational opportunities, including motorized use in some portions.The forest has two rivers designated by Congress as Wild and Scenic Rivers, the McKenzie River and the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. These rivers are managed for protection of recreational opportunities as well as natural, scenic and historic qualities.Scenic routes provide miles of scenery for Forest visitors. Unique attractions such as points of cultural, geological and historical interest can be found along the routes. Designated scenic routes are Clackamas-Breitenbush Road, McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Loop, Aufderheide Memorial Drive, Quartzville Creek Road, and Diamond Drive.The Willamette National Forest offers a wide variety of recreation opportunities during summer and winter months. Its central location makes it accessible to day-trippers and vacationers alike. The Forest's predominant features are the focal points of recreation activities.Seven major volcanic peaks exist within the Forest's boundary: Mt. Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington, the Three Sisters (North Sister, Middle Sister and South Sister), and Diamond Peak. Four of the seven wildernesses on the Willamette Forest owe their existence to the diverse and pristine nature of the lands surrounding them. Recreation opportunities are abundant, so long as the activities are "light on the land" and consistent with the Wilderness Act.The Cascade Range of mountains offers visitors virtually endless opportunities for forest-related activities. Developed campgrounds, trails, Scenic Byways, and ski resorts are but a few of the facilities available for use. Outdoor recreation activities not associated with developed facilities are limited only by one's imagination.The Willamette Forest's rivers, streams and lakes are perhaps the most important features for visitors. Most activities occur close to bodies of water. Popular water activities include fishing and boating. The clarity and quality of water and the scenic environs in which it occurs greatly enhance visitors' experiences. Virtually all of the most popular trails, roads, developed campgrounds, and viewpoints are associated with outstanding rivers, streams or lakes. Hundreds of natural lakes wait to be explored, both inside and outside of wilderness. Numerous reservoirs exist on the Willamette Forest, all of which have campgrounds, picnic areas, and boat launches. Some have marinas and store facilities.The Forest has more than 80 developed campgrounds, which contain some 1,500 campsites. Campsites generally include a table, a fire grate, and a tent or trailer space. Electric hookups are not available, although most campgrounds have water and a vault or flush toilets.The Willamette National Forest has about 1,700 miles of trails. While many are in wilderness areas, a number of trails are low-elevation, easy-access trails for year-round hiking. Three scenic low-elevation trails have been designated as National Recreation Trails. Two of them, Fall Creek and McKenzie River Trails, are located within 50 miles of Eugene, and the third, the South Breitenbush Gorge National Recreation Trail, is located 60 miles east of Salem. There are trails open to hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and motorcycles. Some trails are even accessible to wheelchairs.The Willamette National Forest is home to two designated Off Highway Vehicle trail riding areas: the Santiam Pass Recreation Area and Huckleberry Flats OHV Trail. These areas provide trail riding in forested settings.There are many sno-parks and ski areas within the Willamette National Forest. Available winter activities include cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, snowmobiling, sledding, tubing, dog sledding, and downhill skiing.|
|Facilities: Willamette National Forest provides more than 80 developed campgrounds. Campsites generally include a table, a fire grate, and a tent or trailer space. Electric hookups are not available, although most campgrounds have water and a vault or flush toilets. Some lakes and reservoirs on the Forest provide marinas and store facilities.|
Best Time To Visit: Willamette National Forest is open year round. Popular winter activities include cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, snowmobiling, sledding, tubing, dog sledding, and downhill skiing.
Fees: Parking, camping, and/or entrance fees may be charged at some of the recreation sites within Willamette National Forest.
Accessibility: Several of the campgrounds within the Forest provide access for the physically challenged. Some trails are accessible to wheelchairs.
Rules: Entry permits are required for all wildernesses for both day and overnight trips. Most are self-issuing at the trailhead, but some are limited entry and must be obtained in advance. The use of motorcycles, mountain bikes, carts and other motorized and/or mechanized equipment is not permitted in wilderness, nor is gathering of special forest products such as tree seedlings, plant and minerals. Visitors to the wilderness need to leave no trace and pack out what they packed in. Check the local fishing, hunting, and fire regulations. Do not leave campfires unattended. Pets must always be restrained or on a leash while in developed recreation sites.
Directions: The Willamette National Forest stretches for 110 miles along the western slopes of the Cascade Range in western Oregon. It extends from the Mt. Jefferson area east of Salem to the Calapooya Mountains northeast of Roseburg. The Forest is 1,675,407 acres in size. The Willamette National Forest is easily accessed from the Salem, Albany, and Eugene areas of the Willamette Valley. Four important highways-U.S. Route 20 and Oregon State Routes 22, 58, and 126-cross the Forest. Two Forest highways, Aufderheide Memorial Drive and the McKenzie Pass/Santiam Pass Loop, are National Scenic Byways. Over 6,400 miles of road on the Forest offer a chance to get off the beaten path.
Map: Click here for a map to Willamette National Forest
Reservations: Reservations are not needed or accepted to visit Willamette National Forest. Reservations may be accepted or required for campgrounds and other recreation sites within the forest.
|Willamette National Forest Supervisor's Office|
|P.O. Box 10607|
|Eugene, Oregon 97440|
|General: (541) 225-6300|