Yachats River Road (and beyond)

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This little run up into the coast range from Yachats can be an escape from a dreary day on the coast, or an off-highway pathway back to the valley. The first couple of miles along Yachats River Road heading east out of Yachats take you through a charming & scenic rural mini-valley. The road eventually winds up up into the hills as National Forest roads. The dense coastal rainforest doesn't permit much in the way of views, but the morning sun cutting through the mist and trees can be magical, even in the middle of summer - the photos above were taken in late August, a cool and pleasant respite from the heat in the Willamette Valley.

Depending on the season, it's not uncommon to encounter a number of vehicles up here - it appeared to me these were mostly "professional" mushroom gatherers collecting edible species to sell at farmers markets.

I found an extensive network of well-maintained gravel roads, with some interesting spurs to explore - often very very overgrown but undeniably charming. I have to say, I explored this area about a month after getting my Forester. I had had little experience trekking through back roads and hadn't yet got a feel for just how capably it handles all kinds of impassible-looking terrain, so I certainly didn't dare drive down some trails that I now wouldn't even hesitate to plough through. As tame as it looks in the pics above, there likely are some more interestingly challenging routes to navigate.

If you're over in the Yachats area to camp and can't find a site at Tillicum (my favorite campground in this area) or one of the other parks, there are plenty of secluded dispersed camping options up here. Alas, no views of the ocean that I was able to find.

Yachats River Road heads east off Hwy 101 at the south end of the Yachats "downtown" area. It eventually splits into several NF roads.