A day in the Oregon Tillamook State Forest

Apr. 01, 2004 By ORC STAFF
Oregon's Tillamook State Forest

While attending the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) conference in Portland, Oregon, we had the pleasure of spending a day 4-wheeling in the Tillamook State Forest, with the Pacific Northwest 4wd Association and several of their member clubs.

The Tillamook State Forest is located in the Oregon Coast range about one hour west of Portland. The Tillamook State Forest consists of approximately 364,000 acres of forest land, that was replanted in the late 30's after a large forest fire burned all of the area. The area managment practices include many forms of recreation including motorized recreation. OHV opportunites primarily exist in four areas, all off of Highway 6 between Portland and Tillamook. The four staging areas are: Browns Camp, Jordan Creek, Trask, and Diamond Mill.

If you plan on using the trails in the Tillamook State Forest for any motorized recreation, you will need an Oregon ATV sticker and your exhaust needs to be under 99dba. There is a version of the sticker for all classes of vehicles including 4wd, ATV, and motorcycles.( A list of locations to purchase the annual permit is HERE.) The permit will only set you back $10.

Be sure to pick up the Tillamook State Forest OHV Guide, listing vehicle requirements for use on Oregon Public land, local services, seasonal trail closure, a map of the forest, campgrounds and all OHV trails, indicating the allowed use of each on the 87 marked trails. Each trail has a number, name, and difficulty level assigned - Easiest, More difficult, and Most difficult.

Motorcyle riders will appreciate the motorcycle-only trails, and riders we met on-site raved about the conditions and challeges they gave. Long-maintained by the Oregon Motorcycle Riders Association, the Tillamook Forest offers more than 200 miles of single-track. With only 20 miles actually showing on the labeled map, we suggest you contact OMRA and try to hook up with a member for your first ride of the area.

ATVs will find most of their ATV-only trails from Rogers Camp or Lyda Camp staging areas. 4WD trails are allowed for access by all three types of recreational vehicles and are necessary to connect some of the vehicle-dedicated sections. As we said, the OHV Guide is a must for use of this area.

Pacific Northwest 4WD members preparing for the ride in the Browns Camp Staging Area

For our ride, we started at the Brown's Camp staging area. This staging area includes a campground with 29 spots, drinking water and restrooms. There is also a kids' riding area. You'll find lots of room in the parking area for unloading your trail rig.

The OHV guide shows 18 trails. We spent much of 1 day on just one of these trails. We are sure you could easly spend several weekends without touching the same trail.You will spend some time on the gravel roads throughout the area getting to and from the trail heads.


Much of the trail we followed was along a powerline access road
This Toyota showed us how to climb one of the steeper spots. Lockers were a must for these spots.

Much of the trail winds in and out of the forest. Be prepared for some very tight spots.
This is a short section of trail called "The Rubicon." For those not willing to risk damage, a bypass was available.

We found a great variety of trails in the area. Whether you have an SUV or a full-on trail rig, there appeared to be oppotunities for all. The Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association will be hosting an SUV event June 25-27, 2004. The event will include a good introduction and hands-on demonstrations of off-highway driving techniques and etiquette. In October of each year the Flat Broke & 4-Wheelin club hosts a Halloween event in the Tillamook State Forest as well.

Need a little more challenge? Try it in a full-size Dodge.
His trail machine was in the shop so the alternative was his well-equipped Wrangler. Nice.

SHEDVL1 was the license plate on this TJ. Not all drivers are men.
This well-equipped Toyota Land Cruiser just eased through the man-made rock crawling section.

We would like to thank all the PNW4WDA members who took a day off from work to show us the Tillamook State Forest. What a great trail area.

Forest Grove
District Office

801 Gales Creek Road
Forest Grove, OR 97116
Office Phone: (503) 357-2191
Fax: (503) 357-4548
Public Information: (503) 359-7401
Industrial: (503) 359-7400
District Office

5005 East Third Street
Tillamook, OR 97141
Office Phone: (503) 842-2545
Fax: (503) 842-3143
Public Information: (503) 842-2548

Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association
Oregon Motorcycle Riders Association

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