Devil’s Staircase Wilderness

Area Status: Open
The Devil's Staircase is a low cascading waterfall located on Wasson Creek.

Devil’s Staircase Wilderness was designated in March 2019, making it one of the newest additions to the National Wilderness Preservation System. Devil’s Staircase comprises some of the last remaining old-growth forest in the Oregon Coast Range, consisting of large Douglas fir, cedar, and western hemlock trees. Understory vegetation includes huckleberry, rhododendron, salmon berry, and sword fern. This old-growth setting provides outstanding habitat for spotted owl, marbled murrelet, bald eagle, black bear, cougar, and many other species.   

The Wilderness also encompasses some of the most remote and rugged terrain on the Siuslaw National Forest, characterized by steep creek drainages, sheer sandstone cliff faces, unstable soils, and dense vegetation. Prior to the Wilderness designation, these steep slopes and unstable soils prevented the area from being logged. These characteristics also make access extremely difficult; there are no established trails within the Wilderness, and navigation is challenging for those who choose to enter.

Numerous small and pristine creeks flow through the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness. Two of these creeks, Wasson Creek and Franklin Creek, have recently been designated as Wild & Scenic Rivers. Designated for their outstanding scenery and other attributes, these free-flowing creeks provide habitat for salmon, trout, and other native fish species. Wasson Creek includes the Devil’s Staircase (the namesake of the Wilderness), which is a low cascading waterfall with multiple sandstone ledges in a stair step pattern.

The eastern portion of the Devil's Staircase Wilderness is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Coos Bay District.

Please be prepared when entering this true wilderness environment. Cell phone signals and GPS devices are not reliable in this area. Foot traffic and pack animal use is permitted, while all motor uses is prohibited. 


PDF Map of Devil's Staircase Scenic Area

NEPA Review - Road Closure PDF


At a Glance

Current Conditions: No trails are present; navigation and travel is challenging year-round. Search & rescue can take many hours or even days to access lost hikers.
Fees: No fee
Restrictions: Motorized and mechanized travel is not allowed in Wilderness. See the Wilderness regulations and guidelines for a full list of rules
No drones.
Closest Towns: Reedsport, OR
Water: None
Restroom: None
Information Center: Oregon Dunes Visitor Center

General Information


Devil's Staircase Wilderness is located east of Reedsport, OR, between the Umpqua and Smith Rivers.


Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
31,107 acres