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plan a visit

Plan A Visit   |   Directions   |   Accessibility & Accommodations   |   Nearby Activities & Attractions   |   Safety

Your Coast Range Retreat

Here are a few things we think it would be helpful for you to know as you plan your visit to the Tillamook Forest Center.

You should also check out our latest newsletterfrequently asked questions and other nearby attractions.

While we’re not too far from town, the Center is in a remote forested setting so as you plan your visit, consider the weather, good shoes, appropriate clothing, travel times and directions. Once you’re here, we have (almost) all the amenities of home including some tasty snacks and drinks. If it’s rainy and cold outside you'll be comfortable in our carpeted, warm, well-lighted places (we even have a fireplace). If it’s a hot summer day, we have as much shade as you could possibly need, and a cool running river to dangle your feet in.

Dogs on leash are welcome on the outside grounds, and trained service animals are welcome inside the building. Doggie bags are provided on site.

Here is a collection of publications in Adobe Acrobat PDF format that might be helpful as you plan your visit to the Tillamook Forest Center.

  • Follow these links for more information that may be of interest. (These links will take you away from the Tillamook Forest Center website.)

    Weather Conditions & Forecasts  

    National Weather Service Forecast

    ODOT Travel Information


    Lees Camp Highway Camera

  • Suggested Outdoor Gear:

    • Hat

    • Sunglasses

    • Sunscreen

    • Insect Repellant

    • A rain coat and warm layers

    In the winter there is one major common denominator: rain. Lots of it — 120 inches on average. So, if you like to stay dry, you’re going to have to be prepared. We do get infrequent snow in December, January and February, but never very much and it rarely stays for more than a few days. We’re located at about 500 feet above sea level, and only 22 miles from the Coast. Still, the Wilson River Highway can be frosty on winter mornings.

    Other things to consider if you might use the Center as a jump off point for exploring the forest: binoculars, guide books, map, compass, GPS, first aid kit.

    Something else to know: there is no cellular phone coverage in this area. Eastbound on Highway 6 the cell phone signal ends as you enter the Wilson River Canyon around milepost 6. Westbound, signals end around milepost 41 near the Gales Creek Shell Station, which is also, incidentally, the only stop for gas on Highway 6 between Forest Grove and Tillamook.

    Payphones are available at the Tillamook Forest Center during operating hours and nearby at Lees Camp store on Highway 6.

    Just passing by on the way to the beach or the city? No worries, you’ll be fine here in your street shoes or your sandals. There’s plenty to see and do in the Center and on the immediate surrounding trails and overlooks without any strenuous activity or special terrain.

    If you’re planning to explore the trails a bit, we’d suggest good sturdy shoes or boots. No matter what the season, it is good advice to bring a water bottle and some snacks as well as personal safety items.

    During the summer it’s rarely super hot, but you still might be inclined to wade or swim in the river. We’re air conditioned on those very hot days, so come on in and cool off.

  • Options at the Tillamook Forest Center

    You are welcome to bring a picnic and enjoy the view of the Wilson River. We kindly ask your help in not bringing food or drink into the exhibit gallery.
    Options near the Tillamook Forest Center

    Food services are available at local restaurants and stores within a short (20 minute) drive from the TFC.

    Click here for more information on nearby activities and attractions.

  • The Tillamook Forest Center site offers some great picnic & gathering places for groups of all sizes both on-site and immediately nearby. If it’s a small family or group picnic, you'll find five large picnic tables in a cool forested location adjacent to the parking area. There are also 16 rustic benches in locations around the site that make for great places to stop and rest, open the lunch box or just read a book.

    The Wilson River Suspension Bridge makes a nice lunch spot: there are tables and chairs just outside the north doors. Across the bridge and just upstream is the Jones Creek Day Use Area and plenty more picnic tables.

    The entry plaza and the seating areas around the pond, make for nice lunch locations for smaller groups and individuals.

    If you are a large group (more than 20 people) we'd suggest you consider the Smith Homestead Day Use Area, less than a half-mile east of the Tillamook Forest Center. There, a 2,000 square foot shelter provides an excellent venue for group gatherings, family picnics and events and is available for daily rental.

    These areas are enjoyed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    We kindly ask your help in not bringing food or drink into the exhibit gallery.

  • We have special events and programs for all ages. DON’T MISS THE FUN!

    There is a lot to see and do at the Tillamook Forest Center. Join our interpreters for a wide variety of enjoyable programs. Click here to see a list of upcoming programs and events. You can also visit our Facebook page for more information.

  • Book a group visit today! Please read the descriptions below to learn about group opportunities and requirements at the Tillamook Forest Center.

    Advanced reservations are mandatory for all groups of 10 or more. This includes adults groups, corporate groups, senior centers, tour groups, and youth/school groups.

    All groups are required to check in at the information desk located in the main entrance upon arrival. To account for staff time, and to address limited facility capacity, groups will be charged $5 per person for their visit.

    Advance payment is required. Preferred payment method is credit card or cash. If checks are the only option, please make checks payable to the Oregon Department of Forestry (not the Tillamook Forest Center) and mail checks attention: Education Coordinator to the Tillamook Forest Center 45500 Wilson River Highway Tillamook, OR 97141. Registration is not confirmed until full payment is received. Please call (503) 815-6800 to submit payment for credit cards.

    Youth/School Groups

    If you are a school, scout, or youth group, please click here to review requirements and to register.

    Adult/Tour Groups

    • If you are an adult group, please click here to email us and request a visit.

    • Please review all the Plan a Visit information on this page before making your request.

    • Submit your request to begin the process of booking your visit. Requested dates and times are subject to availability and facility capacity. The visitor center cannot guarantee access at all times.

    • Requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

    • The maximum number of people permitted in a group is 60 at a time. Larger groups can be considered on a case-by-case basis. Groups larger than 25 will be asked to split into smaller groups before entering the facility.

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