Willamette National Forest Overview


The Willamette National Forest offers mountaintop vistas, lakes, waterfalls, rocky bluffs and alpine meadows. You will encounter more wildflowers than you knew existed. Old Growth, some well over 500 years, tower above you. The trunks of these giants reach eight feet in diameter. Look for Douglas fir, lacy-leafed western red cedar, prickly Engleman spruce, lazy-topped western hemlock. Imagine—in 1500, just years after Columbus landed in America, some of these trees were saplings. By the time Lewis and Clark were exploring the northwest, some of the trees you see now were already over 300 years old.

The glaciated landscape includes mountain peaks and volcanoes, rock pinnacles, lava fields, craters and cinder cones. The Collier Glaciers, Oregon's largest glacier, is found in the forest. Wilderness areas in the Willamette are Mt. Jefferson, Menagerie, Middle Santiam, Three Sisters, Mt. Washington, Bull of the Woods, Waldo Lake and the Diamond Peak. The seven major peaks of the Cascades—Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Diamond Peak, North, Middle and South Sisters—are within these wildernesses.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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