Cedar Grove Botanical Area

Area Status: Open

The Cedar Grove Botanical Area covers about 26 acres and contains the only isolated stand of Alaska yellow cedar east of the Cascades in the United States. This grove, is located on the northeast slope of Aldrich Mountain at the head of Buck Cabin Creek. 

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Visitors should be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions. Please remember that if you pack it in, please pack it out with you.
Usage: Light
Closest Towns: Mt. Vernon, OR
Operated By: Forest Service

General Information


From John Day, OR., travel west on US Highway 26 approximately 18 miles to Forest Service Road 21 (Fields Creek).  Proceed south on Forest Service Road 21 for approximately 9 miles to the junction of Forest Service Road 2150.  Follow Forest Service Road 2150, 5 miles to the trailhead.


Day Hiking

This National Recreation Trail crosses a broad ridge, then descends a timbered slope and ends in a short loop through the grove of Alaska yellow cedars. The trail is about one mile long and terrain is steep and rough in some places as it provides realtively easy access through a dense fir forest and large rock outcroppings.

Areas for Day Hiking at Cedar Grove Botanical Area

Viewing Plants

This species is normally found at scattered locations in the Cascades and along the north Pacific coast. Experts believe that during pre-glacial times in Oregon, the climate here was much cooler and more humid. At that time, perhaps during the late Pleistocene, this stand may well have been part of a contiguous stand of cedar. Because of the unique combination of weather, moisture, and other conditions in this one isolated spot, this small stand survived changes to hotter, drier weather.

The cedar grove is located along a very wet area of springs and seeps and is found amid a larger stand of true firs and Douglas-fir trees, along with some ponderosa pine and western larch. Dark and cool, it is fairly open underneath the trees, with not much undergrowth of shrubs and other vegetation. Some of the current cedar trees are more than 300 years old. This stand was recently impacted by lightning caused wildfire, and small cedar seedlings give promise to the continued existence of this part of prehistoric Oregon.

Areas for Viewing Plants at Cedar Grove Botanical Area

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities