Know Before You Go

A well-planned outing can make the difference between a life-long memory and a disaster you hope to forget as soon as possible. This page is dedicated to helping you think through the items you should consider to make your trip as enjoyable and safe as possible.

Remember: you can't count on cell phone coverage in remote areas!


Before you leave for an activity on the Forest, please be sure to check whether or not you need a permit or pass. Required permits and passes are listed for each recreation site in the Recreation section.


Maps are critical for helping you find your recreation site and to help ensure you don't get lost one you're there. It is especially critical to have a good detailed map before heading out into Wilderness areas or the backcountry.

The Siuslaw National Forest sells visitor maps for many Forests in Oregon and Washington. Detailed maps of our ranger districts, USGS quadrangle maps, and Wilderness maps are also available.

We offer information on the maps we have available and how to get them in our Maps & Publications section.

Current Conditions

Check the Current Conditions page for links to the National Weather Service forecasts, tides, road condition information, and wildfire information, as well as district contact information for local information.

Beach Safety

It takes a watchful eye to play safe at the beach. Know what to look for – and what to avoid before you arrive.

  • Beware of sneaker waves – Impossible to predict, they appear without warning, oftern surging high up on the beach wit deadly force. Play it safe: Never turn your back on the ocean.
  • Watch those logs – The ocean is strong enough to pick up even the biggest log and plop it down on top of you. Some logs may look small, but even the tiny ones can be waterlogged and weigh tons. Play it safe: If you see a log in the surf or on the wet sand, stay off of it.
  • Look out for deep water & strong currents – The deeper the water, the greater the risk of falling victim to an undertow (the seaward pull of receding waves breaking onshore). These currents can swiftly sweep unwary beachcombers and waders off their feet and out to sea. Play it safe: Stay in shallow water.
  • Know the tides – Incoming tides isolate rocks from headlands and the shore. Avoid the temptation of strolling out to an interesting rock without knowing when the tide rolls back in. Free tide tables ar readily available at state park offices, information centers and many shops and motels. Play it safe: Stay off rocks and small, enclosed beaches. Know when the tide is coming in.
    • Tide predictions  from the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, OR.
    • Be sure to check the tidal adjustments page to get a more accurate prediction for the stretch of coast you are visiting.

Campground fees, reservations & regulations

Some campgrounds require a reservation, while others are first-come, first served. Check out the campground pages to find out what you need to do.

Weed Free Forage Required

As part of a larger effort to reduce invasive species on national forest lands, weed-free feed is required in the 17 national forests and the Crooked River National Grasslands of the Pacific Northwest.

Livestock owners and others are required to use feed that is either commercially processed feed or crop products certified to be free of weed seeds. All hay, cubed hay, straw, mulch, and other such products used or stored on national forest lands must be state certified as weed free.