Andrew O'Keefe

Worth The Trip Through The Maze

This is an amazingly special place that every Oregonian should try to make a trek to at least once, but be prepared. The roads out here can be extremely confusing and in my experience GPS/google maps are useless. Most of the roads you will be traveling on once you leave Falls City are private timber harvest roads, be ready to contemplate Oregon's forestry policies on your 1-2 hr drive through the tree farms. (Note: I have heard rumors you can approach from the north or west if the right gates are open but I can't confirm these). Access on these roads is by BLM agreement with the timber company, so you have a legal right to be there. However, please be courteous to any staff you come in contact with, they are also within their rights to limit access based on pretty much any reason, especially safety in active logging areas you will pass through on the way there. I would highly discourage trying to access this area on a week day, it's not worth trying to tangle with the barrage of logging trucks on these narrow roads. In my experience the best time to access the area is during hunting season on the weekend as most of the access gates you need will be open during this time. I don't think shooting is allowed in or around the Valley of the Giants area but it is only a 51 acre parcel so it couldn't hurt to wear your orange =) As mentioned previously, call the Salem BLM office during the week before you go to check current conditions. I have found the Oregon Hikers Field Guide trailhead directions to be pretty reliable and understandable. Also check out Matt Reeder's 'Off The Beaten Trail' and his website for up to date trail info. Have fun and be safe. The majesty of this place will not disappoint!!! Some of the last remaining fertile bottom land old growth in the Oregon coast range. The trail is short but plan several hours to enjoy the splendor of this forest.