Willamette National Forest
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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. Four of the seven wildernesses on the Willamette Forest are centered around the volcanoes and the diverse and pristine nature of the lands surrounding them.
The Cascade Range of mountains offer recreationists 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 recreationists. The clarity and quality of water and the scenic environs in which it occurs greatly enhance visitors’ experiences. Virtually all of the featured trails, roads, developed campgrounds, and viewpoints are associated with outstanding rivers, streams or lakes.
Designated scenic routes are Clackamas-Breitenbush Road, McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Loop, Aufderheide Memorial Drive, Quartzville Creek Road, and Diamond Drive. 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.
About 380,000 acres of the Forest is designated as wilderness. Seven major volcanic peaks in the Cascades — Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Diamond Peak, North, Middle and South Sisters — are within these wildernesses. Entry permits are required for all wildernesses for both day and overnight trips. Recreation opportunities are abundant, as long as the activities are “light on the land” and consistent with the Wilderness Act.
The Oregon Cascades Recreation Area lies adjacent to the Diamond Peak Wilderness. The 157,000 acre area includes portions of the Willamette, Umpqua and Deschutes National Forests. It is managed to provide a wide range of recreational opportunities, including motorized use in some portions.
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. The forest has two rivers designated as Wild and Scenic Rivers, the McKenzie River and the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River.
What’s around here? Location & Nearby Things to See & Do
These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.
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A related Trip Idea
Drawing inspiration from the Oregon Bounty Wanderfeast, this week I headed to the Willamette National Forest in search of the elusive huckleberry. The Oregon Cascade Mountains can satisfy your needs for exploration and adventure in so many ways:…