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Nearly a million acres of outdoor play areas await in this national forest that hugs the Cascade Mountains. Carved by past volcanic activities, the area now is home to abundant rivers, Read more...
Nearly a million acres of outdoor play areas await in this national forest that hugs the Cascade Mountains. Carved by past volcanic activities, the area now is home to abundant rivers, ponds, and waterfalls, instead of fiery lava. Walking through the area’s over a hundred miles of hiking trails offers a litany of natural soundtracks. Expect to hear silent high-mountain stillness, thundering waters, and cascading waterfalls, and endless bird chatter, depending on which direction you head in this Boulder Creek Wilderness. Look out for some secluded hot springs, too.
Hikers can also trudge-up Mount Thielsen, which was made from the same volcanic blast as Crater Lake. Many trails lead you through gnarly black pumice deposits, while others are part of the same Pacific Crest Trail that can take you to Canada or Mexico if you walk long enough. From wild trout to dense evergreen forests to dramatically barren volcanic mountains, Umpqua is as diverse as it gets in the Pacific Northwest.
But before you go about exploring the area’s uninterrupted wilderness, get your campsite all squared away. Over 40 developed campgrounds can be reserved in the area, most of which include picnic tables, water stations, flush toilets, and fire pits. Campers can also find showers at Broken Arrow and Diamond Lake campground. Make sure you’re electronics are charged before heading out—because no campsite within the park offers electrical hookups. A perfect excuse to do a digital detox, right?
No matter the time of year, you’ll be treated to some of the best scenery and outdoor-ing anywhere in the PNW.