Siuslaw National Forest Activity Guides:
Siuslaw National Forest Trails:
Siuslaw National Forest
Siuslaw National Forest Overview
The Siuslaw National Forest rambles along Oregon's Coast Mountain from Tillamook to Coos Bay. Dense Douglas-fir forests complemented by lush, green vegetation along with miles of sand dunes is what the Siuslaw is all about. This wide range of habitats, many of them transitional, make the Siuslaw a terrific forest for wildlife, from tiny tidepool creatures to stately Roosevelt elk.
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is inset into the forest just north of Coos Bay. Oregon Dunes is the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America. Besides providing the finest beaches in Oregon, Oregon Dunes has 30 lakes, several hiking trails, and some of most mind-blowing ocean scenery anywhere.
At 4,097 feet, Mary's Peak is the highest point in the forest. On a clear day the view is spectacular, stretching from the ocean to the Cascade Range.
When visiting the Siuslaw you will find that the coastal weather is moody. While this is really a four-season destination, the winter can blast you with rain and wind. One winter day may bring a violent storm with rain by the bucketfuls, the following day may be clear, calm and sunny. Summer fog is common and temperatures remain mild year round.
Hike the Harts Cove Trail
The trail down to Harts Cove leads to a viewpoint of a dramatic waterfall that pours straight into the ocean. But the path also features an old-growth spruce forest, a flower-filled blufftop meadow, and a rocky shore where sea lions bellow. Spring blooms here include big, three-petaled trilliums; double fairy bells; and stalks of wild lily-of-the-valley. Fall brings orange chanterelle mushrooms. The small meadow at trail's end is one of the few places where the endangered Oregon silverspot butterfly feels at home—largely because its caterpillars will only eat a rare violet that only grows on such wild spots.
To protect endangered species, this trail is only open July 15 through December 31. But fear not, you'll find over 100 miles of trails in the Siuslaw, including a section of the Oregon Coast Trail.
Wildlife Viewing at Cascade Head
The landscape at Cascade Head is made up of several environments, the estuary and its associated flood plain, the river system and ocean edge, and the higher elevations, which include the headland and forest. Each has a geology that is distinct with its own special plant and animal communities. The area is open to the public and there are hiking trails.
Clamming is one of those uncomplicated outdoor pastimes. The equipment doesn't cost much, the coastal bays are fascinating places to explore, and there is always the reward of something great to eat. Clamming is popular in both the spring and the summer. Excellent low tide series begin in the spring and continue through the rest of the summer, occurring about every other week.
If you're after a catch that actually swims, you're in luck. The Siuslaw has both fresh and saltwater fishing. Streams in the forest provide the opportunity to land salmon, steelhead, and sea run cutthroat trout. The lakes have a variety of trout, catfish, yellow perch, bluegills, and largemouth bass. Saltwater species available in the bays, surf and off rocks include sea perch and flounder.
Drive the Central Oregon Coast
Oregon's coast is relatively uncrowded compared to California and Washington, and every bit as magnificent. It extends for 400 miles, and the Siuslaw lies along a long stretch of the central portion. Along the way there are imposing bluffs, dense forests, lighthouses, and laid-back coastal villages. The towns of Coos Bay and North Bend have a lively cultural life and excellent restaurants.
Camp Rock Creek
The campground is located in a dell along Rock Creek in a grove of large, old Spruce trees. There is a lush rain forest-like appearance with lots of moss and fern. The Pacific Ocean is across US Rt. 101 at the entrance to campground. Cape Perpetua Scenic Area is located 7 miles north on US Rt. 101. The Cape Perpetua Scenic Area offers lots to do. There is a 23-mile trail system, 19-mile auto tour, old-growth forest, wildlife-viewing areas, whale viewing, tidal pools for exploring aquatic life, panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and historic sites dating back to the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930's.