2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – October 1999

Oregon's Tillamook Forest: A Craggy Option

Everyone's heard of the Cascades, but no one seems to know about Tillamook State Forest.

by: Jeremy Boyer

PAGE 1 2

Like any self-respecting Oregonian, I wear flannel, visit the local espresso shop three times a day, and bike to work. But where I break rank is in my choice of hiking destinations. While everyone else seems to head east to the Cascades, I drive west to Tillamook State Forest. There, I get everything a Northwest hiker craves: craggy peaks, deep forests, elk in the meadows, and volcanoes on the horizon. Plus, Tillamook's trails remain snow-free long after Cascade trails are closed for the season.

Like a backcountry phoenix (the mythical bird, not the city), Tillamook State Forest is a wilderness reborn from the ashes of several catastrophic fires earlier this century. Beginning in the 1950s, the state began a concerted effort to replant the charred mountainsides, and today you'll find a thick, rich, nearly continuous canopy of Douglas fir, red alder, and bigleaf maple. The rivers and streams, always wild and undammed, support some of the healthiest salmon and steelhead runs in the Northwest.

The best introduction for Tillamook newcomers are the Elk and Kings Mountain Trails, which can be combined into a satisfying trek. The views from Elk Mountain's summit rock gardens are sweeping and varied. In one direction the dark, forested ridges are reminiscent of Virginia's hazy Blue Ridge Mountains; in the other direction, the mountains resemble Washington's Olympics.

Experienced backpackers with good navigation skills should take advantage of Tillamook's accessible terrain and venture off-trail. Well-defined elk paths and remnants of old roadbeds run along the top of nearly every ridge in the Sawtooth Ridge area, providing relatively easy hiking. Some worthy bushwacking destinations to aim for include: the jumbled peaks and ridges of Sawtooth, Cedar Butte, upper Company Creek, Mutt Peak, and Feldshaw Ridge.

As I've discovered while leading numerous off-trail outings for the local Sierra Club, you'll have your run of this rugged place.

PAGE 1 2

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Hiking on rocks
Posted On: Aug 28, 2014
Submitted By: GoBlueHiker
Finally going Backpacking!
Posted On: Aug 28, 2014
Submitted By: 92hatchattack
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions