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Visitor's Guide to Siuslaw National Forest: Hiking, Camping, and more

Welcome to Siuslaw National Forest, a stunning wilderness area in the coastal ranges of Oregon. Spanning nearly one million acres, Siuslaw National Forest is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Boasting a wide variety of activities, from camping and hiking to swimming, fishing, and bird-watching, the forest offers something for everyone.

Siuslaw National Forest

General Information

Located in the heart of Oregon's coastal range, Siuslaw National Forest is a stunning expanse of more than 630,000 acres of conifer and hardwood forests, wild rivers and streams, and miles of rugged Pacific coastline.

With its breathtaking views, abundance of outdoor activities, and proximity to the major metropolitan areas of Portland and Eugene, it is no wonder that Siuslaw National Forest is a popular destination for visitors from all over the country.

Siuslaw National Forest
A view from one of the many amazing hikes in Siuslaw National Forest

In addition to exploring the outdoors, there are plenty of other activities to do in Siuslaw National Forest such as fishing, boating, horseback riding, and ATV use. We've analyzed the best of the best in the National Forest and given our recommendations below:

Best Time to Visit

View Within Siuslaw National Forest
You'll be treated to views like these in Siuslaw National Foreset

The best time to visit Siuslaw National Forest is from mid-April to October. During this time, visitors can take advantage of all the park has to offer, from camping and hiking to fishing and swimming.

For visitors looking for a more rustic experience, there are plenty of opportunities for Siuslaw National Forest camping, with dozens of campgrounds offering stunning views of both the forest and the nearby ocean.

There are also plenty of opportunities for Siuslaw National Forest hiking, with over 300 miles of trails ranging from easy hikes through lush meadows to strenuous climbs to mountain summits.

Hiking Trails in Siuslaw National Forest

Visiting Siuslaw National Forest is an excellent way to explore the beauty of Oregon. The national forest has many amazing hikes for adventurers of all levels of experience. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, you’ll find a suitable trail for you.

Some of the more popular and easier trails include:

Sweet Creek Trail

This is a lovely, easy hike that's pretty popular. Most people won't need more than one hour to complete the whole thing but you may want to take longer to admire the scenery.


Elevation Gain

Time Required


​1.8 miles

300 feet

1 hour


One of the best things about this trail is that you can hike it in any weather. It's open year-round so if it's the middle of winter and you've decided to visit the coast, it'll be there!

Kentucky Falls Trail

The Kentucky Falls Trail in Siuslaw National Forest is a moderately difficult hike near Mapleton, Oregon. It's a really beautiful trail that takes you to a view of Kentucky Falls, along with two other waterfalls.


Elevation Gain

Time Required


​3.7 miles

​1,000 feet

2 hours


One of the best parts of this hike is that you can also take a dip in a swimming hole in summer!

Kentucky Falls
The majestic Kentucky Falls

The very popular Drift Creek Falls Trail takes you through the woods for about 1.5 miles before you get a spectacular view of Drift Creek Falls, a 75-foot waterfall in the heart of Siuslaw National Forest.

Drift Creek Falls


Elevation Gain

Time Required


3.2 miles

500 feet

1.5 hours


This is a very popular hike so we highly recommend picking a time during the week or off-season to complete it.

If you’re looking for something more strenuous, try:

God's Thumb via The Knoll

This incredibly popular, unbelievably beautiful hike takes you through the woods before providing you with a near-unbeatable view of the Oregon coast.


Elevation Gain

Time Required


​4.3 miles

1,130 feet

2.5 hours


God's Thumb
The final section of the God's Thumb hike

The final .5 miles might be a bit tough for anyone with a fear of heights but it's well worth it for the view from the top.

Exploring Siuslaw National Forest on foot is a great way to immerse yourself in nature and see its beauty up close.

While you’re hiking through the national forest, you may be able to spot some of the native wildlife such as black-tailed deer, Roosevelt elk, bald eagles, osprey, black bear, river otters, and many other species.

Camping in Siuslaw National Forest

Camping in Siuslaw National Forest is abundant. There are many different options to choose from depending on what you want to do and where you want to be closest to. The vast majority of the campgrounds are along the shoreline or along Highway 34. Here are a few of our favorites:

Siuslaw National Forest on a clear day
Siuslaw National Forest on a clear day

Tillicum Beach Campground

Address: 8199 Hwy 101 N, Yachats, OR 97498

Right on the ocean, the Tillicum Beach Campground is a wonderful choice for anyone who loves the ocean but also wants to be close to town. Located near the Alsea River and the Pacific Ocean, Tillicum Beach offers several single-family campsites, some with electric and water hookups. Reservations are recommended due to the campground's popularity.

It includes the following amenities:

  • Toilets

  • Water

  • Picnic table

  • Fire ring

The campground offers a great opportunity for visitors to explore the natural beauty of the Siuslaw National Forest. With nearby attractions such as Heceta Beach, Mary's Peak, and Yachats, there is plenty to do in the area. Recreational activities available at the campground include swimming, surfing, building sandcastles, and exploring the surrounding area.

Rock Creek Campground

Located in the beautiful Siuslaw National Forest, Rock Creek Campground is the perfect place for those visiting Siuslaw National Forest to camp and explore. The campground is situated conveniently close to both the Oregon Coast and Siuslaw National Forest, making it an ideal spot for outdoor recreation.

Amenities include:

  • 13 sites

  • Picnic table

  • Fire ring

  • Drinking water

  • Vault toilets

Rock Creek Campground also offers great birding and fishing opportunities, with cutthroat trout and salmon being common in the area. Within a half-mile from the campground, visitors can also access a beach and day-use parking area.

Located just south of Yachats, Oregon, this stunning campground is the perfect spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature.

View of Cape Perpetua

Each site is equipped with:

  • A fire ring

  • Picnic table

  • Tent pad

There is access to:

  • Potable water

  • Restrooms

  • Showers

In addition to camping, visitors to Cape Perpetua can enjoy hiking, beachcombing, birdwatching, and exploring the tidepools. The Cape Perpetua Visitor Center also features a deck that offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding coastline.

River Edge Campground

Located on the banks of the Alsea River, River Edge Campground is a great spot for groups visiting Siuslaw National Forest. This campground is surrounded by large Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, alder trees, and blackberries.

It offers:

  • A large group shelter

  • Picnic tables

  • Fire pits

  • Bathrooms

  • A playground

There are several trails that lead to the river, providing access to fishing spots. Canoeing, kayaking, and swimming are also popular activities to do in Siuslaw National Forest at River Edge Campground.

View of Siuslaw National Forest
The dense foliage in Siuslaw National Forest

Other Activities in Siuslaw National Forest

Visitors to Siuslaw National Forest can find a variety of recreational activities to enjoy. Fishing is popular at nearby lakes, such as Devils Lake and Tenmile Lake, both of which have boat launches available. These lakes are also great spots for swimming and other water-related activities. Other wildlife viewing opportunities include bird watching and spotting deer, elk, and other animals in the forest.

In addition to camping and hiking in Siuslaw National Forest, visitors can also take advantage of OHV trails and horseback riding trails. There are several lookout points where visitors can observe the natural beauty of the area, including Harts Cove Overlook, Sand Point Overlook, and Cape Perpetua Viewpoint.

If you're looking for something different to do while visiting Siuslaw National Forest, there are several interpretive centers located in the area that offer educational programs and exhibits about the history and ecology of the area.


Those looking for a different way to explore the area can take a scenic drive or enjoy wildlife viewing along the forest's many rivers and streams. Visitors may even catch a glimpse of the elk, black bear, deer, cougar, and other animals that call Siuslaw National Forest home.

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