The Valsetz Quadrangle
About the Valsetz Quadrangle
The Valsetz Quadrangle is a large area that surrounds the ghost town of Valsetz at a radius of about 15-20 miles, and covers about 1000 square miles. Valsetz was a timber company town in the north-central Coast Range that was decommissioned and destroyed in 1984. Today, you can still see some of the town's streets, the foundations of buildings and houses, and the remains of a large reservoir. Other worthwhile destinations in this area include The Valley of the Giants, a grove of old growth forest about 12 miles northwest of Valsetz, and Drift Creek Falls, about 23 miles northwest of Valsetz. Two significant rivers flow through this area: the Siletz and the Luckiamute. Here is Google map that provides an overview of the area and points of interest.
Limitations on public access
All of the routes use roads owned by private timber companies, that are subject to limits on public access and fire season restrictions and closures. Please review the information at the link above.
Much of the Valsetz Quadrangle falls within the Stott Mountain - North Alsea Travel Management Area. This is a cooperative effort between public and private landowners to maintain public access on private and surrounding public land. The limitations on public access in this area are the following:
Non-motorized travel and passenger vehicles are allowed 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunrise.
The following activities or vehicles are prohibited: Camping; fires; electric bikes; motorcycles; ATVs; target shooting; trapping.
During fire season (which typically spans between early July to early to mid-October) this area is typically open for non-motorized access during industrial fire levels 1, 2, and 3, and closed during level 4. Motorized access is typically limited during fire levels 1 and 2 and closed during fire levels 3 and 4. Information about Oregon Fire Season is available on this website.
According to Weyerhaeuser, the Siletz Gorge Road from Wildcat Bridge (1 mile north of Moonshine Park) to Gravel Creek (see route) is open for motorized and non-motorized access during weekends and non-motorized access during weekdays. Non-motorized access is allowed behind locked gates. To obtain the latest status information call the Weyerhaeuser Northwest Recreation Hotline message at 888-741-5403.
Hancock Forests controls the gate at the southern end of the Old Railroad Grade. Their number for recreational access information is 503-838-6930.
Active logging operations: These areas are subject to active logging operations, which means you could encounter log trucks. Such activity typically occurs during the work week, and less so on weekends, particularly on Sundays. If you hear a log truck approaching, get off the road and wait for it to pass. This is for your own safety and in recognition that you are a guest on private property.
Log truck gravel: Most of these roads have reasonable sized gravel much of the time. For that, I recommend a minimum recommended tire width of 40mm. However, these roads are subject to being freshly graveled with big and loose gravel from time to time. For this kind of gravel, you likely will be happier on tires that are at least 2" (~50mm) wide.