Elk Creek Campground is nestled at the confluence of the upper Wilson River and Elk Creek and sits below some of the best and easily the most challenging Coast Range hiking in Oregon. The campground serves as a perfect base camp for pursuits up Kings and Elk Mountain. Kings Mountain alone boasts nearly 3,000 feet of elevation gain with vistas out to the Pacific and east to the high peaks of the Cascades. Neighboring Elk Mountain's steep-pitched trail will leave an experienced hiker feeling out of breath.
As for the campground itself, it is part of a network of campgrounds along the Wilson River Recreation Area that are well run and maintained by the Oregon Department of Forestry. All operate, for better or worse, on a first-come, first-served basis. Nearly all of the 14 sites within the campground are wonderfully placed right next to both streams, so whether or not you decide to summit one of the adjacent peaks or explore the Wilson River's wonderful swimming holes down river, it may suit you just as much to find weekend calm and solace simply lounging around the campfire.
The Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests are 45 minutes outside of Portland’s backdoor and one of the state’s best keep secrets. But these forests also have a fraught history with logging, fires and more logging. They are now 50 to 70 years into the recovery process and offer prime habitat for vibrant communities of fish and wildlife, as well as an immense array of recreational opportunities. The Wilson and Kilchis rivers host globally important runs of Chinook, chum, coho and steelhead. Both forests provide camping, biking, fishing, hunting and hiking grounds for thousands of Oregonians, and they also provide over 400,000 people with clean drinking water.
Wild Salmon Center is a founding member of the North Coast State Forest Coalition, a diverse group of over 100 businesses, governing bodies and nonprofits working to leverage public support to increase forest and streamside protection along the North Coast. These popular and biologically important areas deserve real protection. That’s why we’re asking state and federal leaders to protect 33,000 acres of land around the Wilson and Kilchis Rivers and another 8,000 acres around Kings Mountain. It’s no easy task ensuring a future for these forests but this is where you can help.
Learn more about the North Coast State Forest Coalition, on their website. Join in the coalition by signing up for their newsletter and signing on to the latest action alerts to protect the Wilson/Kilchis and Kings Mountain.