Explore the most popular wildlife trails in Tillamook State Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

18 hours ago

Easy relaxing hike along Wilson River. 4 stars because of the noise from highway 6 but the river is so loud in portions it actual drowns out the sound of the motor vehicles. Tiny Tiny Waterfall is a must see about half way between foot-bridge and Forest Center. Many areas to hike down to the rivers edge for lunch and a lazy nap in the sun. Went on a Sunday late morning and surprised by the lack of other hikers. Perfect for kids and a easy one hour drive from Portland.

Pretty hike, not terribly strenuous. Strongly recommend pre-downloading trail map as there's no cell signal (AT&T anyways) and the 8 mile loop requires hiking trails that are different names, would've been very confusing without GPS. Multi-use area so be prepared for atv and target shooting noise, and mtb's and horses on the hiking trail.

Pretty hike, not terribly strenuous. Strongly recommend pre-downloading trail map as there's no cell signal (AT&T anyways) and the 8 mile loop requires hiking trails that are different names, would've been very confusing without GPS. Multi-use area so be prepared for atv and target shooting noise, and mtb's and horses on the hiking trail.

Oh my the lovely jarring sounds of motor bikes and attendant stench of petrol wafting through the trees. Then add Oregon’s finest doomsday “preppers” shootin’ up the hills. Finally top it off with the pleasure of walking through multiple clear-cut forests. What a wretched slice of Tillamook for a Sunday afternoon.

Easy out and back hike, not a loop. Took us about 30 minutes to complete. Trail needs some TLC, had to navigate over downed trees. Kids loved being able to be in four counties at once. Could hear lots of gunshots off...way off...in the distance, probably target practice in the quarry to the north. Didn’t dampen our spirits at all.

Nice little loop at a rest area! Perfect quick stop if you are on a long drive.

Hiked on Oct 12: no pass required, usually well-marked trail but wise to bring navigation...cross lots of gravel roads, could hear gunshots, off road vehicles...no scenic views but the University Falls was beautiful. Fall foliage is bright yellows, mushrooms starting to poke out. Nice terrain with moderate up and down incline and decline.

15 days ago

Over-all, the trail was a nice moderate hike, with a few rather steep climbs and in some areas sketchy footing.

Starting out, there needs to be a better trail identification set-up, as we actually turned on the down river trail, only to turn back around and finally find the right trail.

For planning - this trail actually breaks out into 2 other hikes as well, depending on the distance one wants to hike.

Waterfall actually crosses the trail, I would imagine that with more rain, this might make crossing a bit difficult.

As for hikers/bikers, not to many on the trail, but there were a few.

Hiked with out dogs....

Challenging, quiet and beautiful! Our Apple Watch showed 8.8 miles when we finished.

29 days ago

Pretty lush and gorgeous views. Though we got a little lost when we missed the turn off from the logging road that you have to take for a section of the loop (roughly 8 o’clock to 6 o’clock if the loop was a clock face). Since we spent an extra 2 miles or so on that lumberjack detour, we took the shortcut up the middle of the loop to get back to the car at a reasonable time. That was a really fun and somewhat dense trail! Would definitely recommend this one.

The trail overall can be pretty poorly marked, and the turn off the logging road is not marked at all. Though if you know to expect it, it’s hard to miss. All of the markers that we did see indicated Gales Creek trail, if they indicated any trail at all, so it can get a little confusing, hence the 4 star rating.

Make sure to stop at the turn off right after Reehers camp to check out the trail map and use the toilet! The trail head can be caught there, or you can walk down the road a little bit to the trail crossing by the creek.

I’m an amateur mushroom hunter, and I really enjoyed the variety of mycological surprises. No edibles (early September) but some very interesting polypores and lichen.

Did this trail with my dog and really enjoyed it. Not super difficult. The first 0.9 mi is up and down and then into tree stumps. The rest of the trail wanders in and out of beautiful forest, and the waterfall was a nice break. I saw only three other people on the trail, and the waterfall was empty for a good 45 minutes. The only downside is that the proximity of shooters is a little unnerving. I listened to gunshots the first 5 miles of the trail. After that it quieted down, but there were a few times that it felt too close for comfort.

A really good all day hike if you like a challenge.

trail running
1 month ago

Whether hiking or running, I strongly recommend doing this loop clockwise (in reverse according to AllTrails). The first mile is extremely steep - approximately 1,500 feet of gain, much of it on very rocky terrain. While it is less physically taxing to descend this terrain it isn’t necessarily much easier to go down because of the technicality. It’s mostly non-runnable both up and down. After that, however, the 2nd mile is much easier and the third is totally runnable. You then get a nice easy 4 miles downhill to the parking lot. The last half mile is next to the river so you can cool off after a good effort on a hot day. The views aren’t awesome except during that first (or last) mile and at the peak of Elk’s but it’s a very peaceful and serene hike/run.

As many have said this is a strenuous hike. At this time it's very dry and skidding in the rocky dusty trail areas is very likely. Poles help a lot . Someone said when you reach a fork take the hard route. that is an unnecessary and slightly treacherous short cut

Good conditioning hike that is appropriately rated as Difficult. Trail is in decent condition barring two or three spots that have loose scree. Rainfall can make some sections dicey. Pleasant fern forest at the lower elevations followed by Alders and other mid-growth trees during the ascent. Saw Mt. Hood from the top and the surrounding Wilson River valley along with other peaks. Suggest taking at least 2 litres of water and hiking poles for the descent especially if the knees are troublesome. Not recommended for pets or children due to gradient.

Brief but rewarding. Some nice changes in scenery but nothing spectacular. Best feature is the solitude, only saw one other group on a nice late summer Saturday. Has access to Gale's Creek trail if you get hungry for more hiking afterward.

I started at King and went counter-clockwise. Very challenging but rewarding hike. 6 hours of adventuring. If you're a moderately experienced adventurer I would definitely bring a partner to join you since you go well into the Tillamook Forest and are unlikely to see any other hikers for hours (I went 4-5 hours without seeing anyone). I wouldnt dare try this one without poles since my calves strated cramping up by mile 7; I really relied on my upper body to help me muscle through and give my calves some support. Bring water, a bell, poles, and and adventurous attitude and you'll feel very accomplished when you hit Elk Summit, Kings Summit, and Kings Mt Trailhead.

This trail is so awesome. it goes up and down and flat. the trail is well marked and maintained. I only saw two other people. You will walk through all kinds of over grown forest and clear cuts and see lots of great colors and flowers and birds and wooden bridges and all kinds of creeks an the water fall is great. The only down fall is there is lots of bikers an shooters cuz ot is a multi use area the trail is separate from all the other activities. will do again.

Very challenging hike, but great views!

1 month ago

What a beautiful climb rewarding in awesome views at the summit.

Did on Sunday 08/26/2018. Awesome loop trek, with amazing views. GPS had it right at 11 miles. Took us 6.5 hours, but have to descend slower than average due to knee issues. The steep ascent to Elk Mountain itself is exactly whats on here. Roughly 1.5 miles of straight up, with a decent amount of scrambling. Clouds were covering peaks when we went, so we will be back!

1 month ago

I absolutely this trail, my pup and I go on it probably 2 -3 times a month because of how challenging the summit trail is. Just a heads up the trail is rated extremely difficult, wear the appropriate shoes with lots of grip and a gym outfit you don't mind getting dirty. The trail is relatively safe for the most part, there are a few very steep areas once you go higher up the trail, just be careful. If it's your first time on this trail I recommend at least 2 liters of water, you will need it. Finally, if it looks like the harder direction to go, you are going the correct way. You'll know what I mean when you get you that intersection. Have Fun and good luck :)

1 month ago

Great hike but not for the unconditioned. Be sure to stretch the legs well before you get going, at the summit, and after because you put tons of stress on the quads and calfs. Definitely be sure you have hiking shoes with good tread to help deal with the loose gravel and sliding. Enjoy!


Like PhLo S said below, make sure you have hiking poles and good boots before attempting this. The climb to Elk Mountain all the way to Kings' summit is pretty steep (1900 ft elevation gain in 1.4 mi) and has many class 2/3 sections which are a lot of fun if that's what you're looking for and not fun at all if you didn't anticipate them. The ground was very dry with lots of slippery gravel bits when I hiked in mid-August making it hard to nearly impossible to stand two-footed in many places. I did this as a conditioning hike and wasn't disappointed.

Nice hike along the river. Lots of berries & different features. Moderate traffick. Difficult to find at some points. Over all, a nice hike.

1 month ago

Such a good trail! Definitely expect to be climbing, lots of switchbacks, but it’s well maintained and the view was stunning at the top. Stopped by a small picnic table on the way back down to give my pup a short rest and eat a snack. Very dog friendly but i’d recommend your dog be in pretty good shape because it’s all straight uphill with almost no flat spaces to recover on.

I had this trail all to myself.

2 months ago

good for spotting wildflower's

Very steep trail that is more dangerous coming down than going up. Loose rock on the trail rolls easily under your feet. USE TREKKING POLES!

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