Siuslaw National Forest

Looking south down the coast from the top of Cape Perpetua

Siuslaw National Forest is a 634,207-acre property in northwestern Oregon. The Forest straddles the Oregon Coast Ranges and runs down to the Pacific shore in many places. High point on the Forest is Marys Peak at 4,097 feet above sea level.

The coastal area is dominated by thick stands of Sitka spruce but once you're a few miles inland, that gives way to a more open forest of western hemlock, Douglas fir, red alder, western red cedar and bigleaf maple. The western slopes tend to be rugged and very wet while the eastern slopes are more moderate in angle and climate.

There are 30 lakes and more than 1,200 miles of streams on the Forest. The Forest offers more than 35 developed campgrounds and allows dispersed camping almost everywhere it's not posted and nowhere near a developed campground. There are several hundred miles of hiking trails on the Forest, none longer than 7 miles and most interconnected with large and small loops. A popular trail leads to the top of Marys Peak where folks can look west to the Pacific and east to the Cascades. Other popular trails lead west from Highway 101 into the coastal headlands.

Wilderness Areas

  • Cummins Creek
  • Drift Creek
  • Rock Creek

Siuslaw National Forest is home to the Cascade Head Scenic Research Area, a 9,670-acre property surrounding Cascade Head on the Pacific coast. Cascade Head was the first non-wilderness property designated by Congress to preserve and protect its natural scenic, ecological and scientific values. That laid the groundwork for similar designations at Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area (in Oregon and Washington) and Mono Lake National Scenic Area (in California).

The Forest includes the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, a 40-mile-long stretch of sand that comprises the largest contiguous area of coastal sand dunes in North America. Siuslaw also offers the Marys Peak Scenic Botanical Area, the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area and the Sand Lake Recreation Area.

Looking at Cascade Head Summit
The summit of Cascade Head
An aerial view from above the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
Map of the Siuslaw National Forest area
Photos and map courtesy of the US Forest Service