Valley of the Giants
On this week’s edition of Grant’s Getaways, you’re in for a real treat as I take you to visit Oregon’s last stand of five-hundred year old Douglas fir trees. It’s rare and special and it has a name to inspire your visit.
The Valley of the Giants makes you feel small in a secret place that lets your heart soar as tall as the giants that live there. I recently joined a small troop of travelers led by retired Bureau of Land Management Forester, Walt Kastner. We traveled for hours deep into the Oregon Coast Range to explore a unique 51-acre grove of old growth Douglas fir trees.
The Valley of the Giants is a small snapshot of what much of Western Oregon’s fir forests may have looked like – perhaps 150 years ago. It is so special a place the BLM has protected the public parcel since 1976 as an Outstanding Natural Area for study and research.
The North Fork of the Siletz River bisects the valley in classic “pool and drop fashion,” noted BLM staff member Trish Hogervorst. A hiking bridge allows you to access the trail and gain entry into a lush forestland that receives nearly 200 inches of rain each year.
The Valley of the Giants is remote and access is limited because private timberland surrounds this public island of old growth trees. The BLM offers a free brochure with a map and mileage directions.
There is no camping in the Valley of the Giants – no campfires are allowed and you must stay on the moderately graded trail. There is a picnic table along the route, so you are able to stop for a time and enjoy the experience with friends or family. Still, given its remote location, you should plan on a full day to reach and hike through the valley.
Call the BLM (503-375-5646) to receive a copy of the recommended driving directions. The map directions begin at Falls City, five miles southwest of Dallas. The driving route is 30 miles but it will take you 90 minutes to reach the valley. Follow the directions closely and carefully. Much of the route is in large rock or gravel and the logging roads are notorious for puncturing car tires. I discourage taking the family car or van – if you choose to do so, take along a second spare tire.
Editor’s Note: Grant’s Getaways is a production of Travel Oregon brought to you in association with Oregon State Parks, Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife and Oregon State Marine Board. Episodes air Fridays and Saturdays on KGW Newschannel 8 and Saturdays on Northwest Cable News Network.
About the Author: Grant McOmie
Grant McOmie is a Pacific Northwest broadcast journalist, teacher and author who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant’s roots run deepest in the central Oregon region near Prineville and Redmond where his family continues to live.