U.S. National Forest Campground Guide

Siuslaw National Forest


Custom Search

Forest Information

The Siuslaw (sigh-oo-slaw) National Forest is located on the central west coast of Oregon. It consists of 631,231 acres. There are 31 developed campgrounds of which 24 meet our selection criteria.

With abundant rainfall and mild winters, the Siuslaw National Forest is one of the few National Forests that offers both fresh and salt water recreation opportunities. Stretching along the Oregon coast from Cape Lookout to North Bend and up into the majestic coastal mountains, Siuslaw National Forest offers a diverse range of camping locations and recreational activities, attracting many for their family camping vacation.

Reaching from the Pacific Coast eastward into the mountains, the Siuslaw National Forest has two distinctive vegetation zones characterized by Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock. The Pacific Ocean provides a temperate climate of mild temperatures, wind, and dense fog - perfect conditions for the Sitka Spruce. The Siuslaw National Forest represents the southern most range where this beautiful tree is found. Inland, catastrophic fires in the late 1800's and early 1900's destroyed vast tracks of the area's ancient forests. The sun-loving Douglas-fir established itself in the aftermath. Today, the Douglas-fir provides the dense shade needed for the Western hemlock to reestablish itself. Gradually, the forest is returning, naturally, to the diversity and beauty seen by the earliest settlers to the area.

Hiking is a very good way to experience the Siuslaw National Forest's uniqueness. A hike to either Kentucky or Niagara Falls will provide the visitor a view of the Forest's dynamic geology and ecosystems. Atop Mount Hebo and in the Hebo Lake campground, the Pioneer Indian Trail follows the route developed by the area's settlers in 1854. Winding over the mountains and along streams, the trail gives the hiker an appreciation for the hardships and stamina of those earlier people.

Cape Perpetua Recreation Area, adjacent to the world renowned Oregon Coastal Highway, offers visitors to the Forest camping within a rainforest, an Interpretive Center and a network of hiking trails. The trails developed around Cape Perpetua feature the area's special beauty and breathtaking sights. Discovery Loop is a one-mile loop trail through dense forest. The Oregon Coast Trail is a 2.6-mile round trip trail along the ocean and offers many breathtaking ocean views, such as the Devil's Churn, Spouting Horn and Cook's Chasm. The most challenging trail, St. Perpetua Trail, is a 2.6-mile round trip to the viewpoint atop Cape Perpetua. From there visitors are rewarded a spectacular vista far out to sea and a good chance of spotting a whale. Cape Perpetua Viewpoint can also be reached by car via a paved roadway.

After the lush ruggedness of the northern portion of the Forest, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area on the southern portion of the Forest presents stark contrasts. Starting near the town of Florence, Oregon and extending all the way to North Bend, Oregon, the coastline changes from steep cliffs of volcanic rock and sandstones to gentle sandy beaches. Tree islands, older forests, wetlands, streams and beaches are interwoven in this fascinating tapestry. Dunes, many shapes and sizes, become the dominate land feature. After the lush ruggedness of the northern portion of the Forest, this southern portion appears to have a desert-like landscape. Here, among the "foredunes," "deflation plains" and "parabola dunes," the off-highway Vehicle (OHV) enthusiast rides. The Siuslaw has developed recreation opportunities within the Dunes to meet the needs of all its visitors. There are 14 trails for hikers and horseback-riders and three large dune-riding areas. The Dunes' campgrounds have also been developed for the needs of specific visitors. OHV people and the Forest Service jointly developed Driftwood II and Bluebill campgrounds. Tahkenitch Landing, on the 1600-plus acre Tahkenitch Lake, as well as Lagoon campgrounds, are perfect for fishing.

Siuslaw is derived from the local Yakonan dialect meaning "far away waters." As the visitor stands next to the Pacific Ocean and the Salmon River or beside one of the many creeks, streams, and rivers, all of which flow to the ocean, the accuracy of the name becomes clear. The far away waters of both mountains and ocean contribute to the Siuslaw National Forest and its diverse range of recreation opportunities and the enjoyment of all its visitors.

SUPERVISOR ADDRESS 4077 SW Research Way P.O.B. 1148 Corvallis, Oregon 97339 541-750-7000 RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES Hebo 31525 Hwy. 22 Hebo, Oregon 97122 503-392-3161 Central Coast - Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area 855 Hwy. 101 Reedsport, Oregon 97467 541-271-6000

Fred and Suzi Dow