The Willamette National Forest offers a wide variety of recreation opportunities during summer and winter months. Its central location makes it accessible to day-trippers and vacationers alike.
People usually access the Forest using one of four major highways: Highway 22 accesses the North Santiam River area, Highway 20 accesses the South Santiam River area, Highway 126 accesses the McKenzie River area, and Highway 58 accesses the Middle Fork of the Willamette River area. To help you plan your trip, we have divided the Forest into four large recreation areas that can be reached using these major highways. We also used the names of the rivers above to identify these "travel corridors." We hope you find this an easy and useful way to plan your trip.
The Forest's predominant features are the focal points of recreation activities.
  • Seven major volcanic peaks exist within the Forest's boundary: Mt. Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington, the Three Sisters (North Sister, Middle Sister and South Sister), and Diamond Peak.
  • The Cascade mountains offer virtually endless recreation opportunities such as developed campgrounds, trails, Scenic Byways, snow activities and ski resorts.

The Forest's rivers, streams and lakes are perhaps the most important features for recreationists. The clarity and quality of water and the scenic environs in which it occurs greatly enhance visitors' experiences. Virtually all of our featured trails, roads, developed campgrounds, and viewpoints are associated with rivers, streams or lakes.