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Umpqua National Forest

The Umpqua National Forest in southwestern Oregon is nestled on the westside of the Cascade Mountains.

Explosive geologic events have shaped the distinctive landscape on the 984,602-acre Umpqua National Forest, and provide spectacular scenery as well as an abundance of natural and cultural resources. Visitors discover a diverse place of thundering waters, high mountain lakes, heart-stopping rapids, and peaceful ponds.

The Forest is characterized by its many waterfalls, including the 272-foot Watson Falls on the North Umpqua Highway. The Boulder Creek Wilderness, 19,100 acres, is entirely within the Forest boundaries. Two other wilderness are shared with other Forests: Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness, 26,350 acres, and Mt. Thielsen Wilderness, 26,593 acres.

The Umpqua National Forest is at the juncture of several distinct geologic provinces, providing a wide spectrum of habitat for a wide diversity of plants and wildlife. The Forest is home to 18 fish species, including winter steelhead, Chinook and coho salmon, and sea-run cutthroat trout. The Forest abounds with 66 mammal species, 236 bird species, and 27 reptile and amphibian species. Anadromous, or sea-going fish enjoy 359 miles of streams with thousands more miles of streams covering the forest landscape.

History of the Area
What does "Umpqua" mean? "Thundering waters" or "across the waters" are two popular translations for this surviving word of the Umpqua language. Another definition is "satisfied" -- as in a full stomach.

Ancestors of the Umpqua, Southern Molalla, Yoncalla, and Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians lived here before Mt. Mazama erupted forming Crater Lake nearly 7,000 years ago.

The Indians were moved to reservations in 1856. As Europeans bought reservation lands, the tribes further fragmented to become farmers and ranchers in the Umpqua Valley.

The Umpqua National Forest had its genesis on March 2, 1907, in the setting aside of acreage in the Coast Range in Douglas County. Two days later, Congress renamed all of the forest reserves as national forests. The Forest Service broke up the Cascade Forest Reserve on July 1, 1908, into what became the Mt. Hood, Willamette, Umpqua, and Rogue River National Forests.

On the Umpqua, Forest Service staff began building trails, constructing bridges, fighting fire, monitoring grazing, and erecting lookouts. Logging and mining began in 1925. The Civilian Conservation Corps shaped part of the Forest by building roads, bridges and recreation facilities in the 1930s. After the road connecting Roseburg and Diamond Lake was completed in 1940, it took another 25 years to become a major eastern route. With the new route in place, logging increased in the upper reaches of the Forest.

Umpqua Adventures

The Umpqua National Forest currently has 54 developed campgrounds with nearly 800 campsites, 5 historic cabins and lookouts available for rent, 350 miles of trail maintained for year-round use, 1,150 miles of roads maintained for car travel, and 4 staffed lookouts, plus recreation rental cabins and lookouts.

Interesting in something more exhilarating? Try mountain biking">on designated biking routes. Thrill-seekers can go cat skiing on Mount Bailey or raft the exciting North Umpqua River. Wilderness
The Umpqua National Forest has three different Wilderness Areas
Small waterfalls and rapids connect the series of quiet pools that make up Boulder Creek, a tributary of the North Umpqua River, and the namesake for the Boulder Creek Wilderness, a low-lying and small wilderness that is accessible by trail all year long.

The Mount Thielsen Wilderness was majestically carved by glacial activity, and Mount Thielsen rises 9,182 feet to a spire-shaped summit sometimes referred to as the "Lightning Rod of the Cascades."

The Rogue Umpqua Divide Wilderness is located in southwest Oregon, ten miles west of Crater Lake National Park, and offers 100 miles of trails, providing loop opportunities and ridgetop vistas.

First-timer’s Adventure

Hike to a waterfall!

Parker Falls Trail leads to a series of waterfalls, pools and cascades in a forest of large Douglas-fir. The trail is narrow with several rocky, short steep parts near the rock bluffs. A short side trail leads to the lower 35 foot falls. The main trail continues to the top of a cascading waterfall with pools above and below. Fall and spring hiking allows viewing the falls with a full head of water.

The trailhead is 29 mile southeast of Cottage Grove. From Cottage Grove Exit 174 on Interstate 5, take Row River Road #2400 east 17 miles to junction of Layng Creek Road #17 and Brice Creek Road #2470. Bear right on Road #2470 and continue for 10.4 miles to trailhead northwest of bridge. Park on road shoulder leaving room for fire truck access to Brice Creek.




Nearest Large Urban Area:


Notes & Conditions:

Research campground locations and amenities at the U.S. National Forest Campground Directory. The Web site is full of pictures and detailed descriptions to help you plan your next trip.

If you want to experience a guided recreation trip in a National Forest, visit Adventure Vacation to learn about whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips.

Learn more in this great FAQ.

Permits, Passes and Fees:

Don't forget to check in regarding recreation passes here.

Some areas of the Northwest require a Northwest Forest Pass. Learn more about this recreation pass here.


Visit the National Forest Store to see what maps are available for this Forest and others you may want to visit.