This hike combines three trails in the recently developed trail system in the Tillamook State Forest. Although most of these trails are open to mountain biking, horseback riding and hiking, solitude is almost guaranteed as most bikers would prefer to do the Rogers Camp Trails.
Start the hike on the trailhead located on the Northwest corner of the parking lot. For the first 0.8 miles, the trail steadily climbs thru a fern covered slope above the Gales Creek. On this first section, you’ll cross two log bridges over small tributaries to the Creek. Right after the second log bridge, you’ll find the Storey Burn trail junction to the left.
For the next 2.3 miles, the trail continues up thru a typical coastal forest with second growth Douglas Fir, Hemlocks, Cedar and Maple. On the way, you’ll first cross a small creek and then, about a mile after the junction, you’ll find a small, very picturesque, stair-step waterfall. From that point on, the trail continues up to the junction with the Storey Burn road.
Once you get to the Storey Burn road, you’ll notice a dirt track directly opposite the point you came out off. Follow that track to a seldom used parking lot for the upper Storey Burn Trailhead. You’ll find the trail on the west side right behind the trail sign.
From here, the scenery changes a bit as you go up and down with open views of the Wilson River Canyon and the valleys of the Tillamook Forest. At about 4 miles, you’ll reach the high point of the trail; unfortunately, there’s no resting place or view point for a quick stop. From this point, the trail starts descending towards Highway 6. About 0.2 miles after passing under the bridge, continue straight crossing the ATV track.
The next 0.5 miles will have a complete different scenery as the trail crosses the muddy flats around Elliot Creek. In this area you’ll find a large mix of deciduous trees and maybe tracks of passing Elk, Deer or even Black bears. Once you get to the trail junction, turn left on the Gravelle Brothers Trail and climb a couple hundred yards to an old jeep road. Turn left again and follow the road to the ODOT facility.
At the ODOT facility, turn right and go around until you reach the road to Rogers Camp. Instead of going the dangerous way along Hwy6, take the road up and follow the signs to Rogers Camp. Once you get to the parking lot look to your left for a log marking the border. Behind this log, there’s a foot path that leads back down to Hwy6 to a safer spot across from the Summit Trailhead. Look both ways and carefully cross the highway and follow the sign towards the trailhead.
Once back on the trail, you’ll descend steeply to the Low Divide Creek. The trail continues for about 2 miles with gentle ups and downs as it follows the creek back in the direction of the parking lot. Near the end, at the fork, you can take either route as both will meet again before the foot bridge over the Low Divide Creek as you get back to your car.
TO TRAILHEAD: From Portland, take Hwy26 west to the coast and the turn left onto Hwy6 towards Tillamook. Near milepost 35 turn right on a well signed road to Gales Creek Campground. Day use parking is on the left about 1 mile in.