Cascade Head Scenic Research Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
View from the top of Cascade Head looking out over the ocean A view of Cascade Head from the highway View of Cascade Head from the ocean shore

The 9,670 acre Cascade Head Scenic-Research Area was established by President Ford on December 22, 1974 “to provide present and future generations with the use and enjoyment of certain ocean headlands, rivers, streams, estuaries, and forested areas, to insure the protection and encourage the study of significant areas for research and scientific purposes, and to promote a more sensitive relationship between man and his adjacent environment."

The first non-wilderness land in the United States to be designated by Congress to ensure protection of its scenic, ecological, and scientific values, Cascade Head laid the groundwork for future Congressionally designated scenic areas, such as Mono Basin and the Columbia River Gorge.

The area encompasses a variety of public and private land uses, including undeveloped meadows and estuaries, agricultural fields, and rural development. The Forest Service works with landowners within Cascade Head to ensure land uses remain unchanged and the qualities that inspired its designation are retained for future generations. Following its designation, the combined area of the Cascade Head Experimental Forest and Scenic-Research Area was recognized as a United Nations Biosphere Reserve.

This spectacular coastal headland provides critical habitat for native prairie grasses, rare wildflowers and the Oregon silverspot butterfly. Researchers have studied fast growing Sitka spruce and western hemlock forests here for many years. The Salmon River estuary is an integral part of the Cascade Head Scenic-Research Area. This estuary provides recreational, research, educational, scenic and estuarine resources, which have national significance. The designation established a long-term goal of restoring the Salmon River estuary and its associated wetlands to a natural estuarine system.

Watch "Grant’s Getaways" featuring Cascade Head and Hebo Lake Campground

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Seasonal Closure: The following areas are closed from January 1-July 15: Hart's Cove Trail #1303 and The Rainforest Trail #1310 - North Trailhead. Persons using the trail portions listed below are exempt from this closure but MUST STAY ON THE TRAIL. Click for a map of the closure area.
Usage: Medium
Restrictions: Day use only. No overnight camping or parking.
Closest Towns:
  • Lincoln City, OR
  • Neskowin, OR
Information Center: Hebo Ranger District

General Information


The Cascade Head Scenic Research Area spans between south of Neskowin, Oregon to the junction of Highway 18 and Highway 101.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
9,670 acres

  Latitude : 

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