Yacolt Burn State Forest
The 90,000-acre Yacolt Burn State Forest, and nearby areas to the north and east in Cowlitz, Clark, Skamania, and Klickitat counties, are working forests. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages timber production, biomass byproducts, communication tower leases, and other activities in the forest to help fund local county services and the construction of public K-12 schools throughout Washington.
In addition to earning income for state trust land beneficiaries, the undeveloped working forests in this area provide habitat for native plants and animals, water retention and water quality benefits, and diverse recreation opportunities that help support local economies.
The forest is named for the dozens of wildfires that ravaged Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania counties in southwest Washington during September 1902. With no organized system for fighting wildfires, the fires spread across nearly 239,000 acres and caused 38 deaths and widespread property losses. An extended period of hot, dry weather; high wind; an over-accumulation of timber harvest slash; and human carelessness are among the frequently cited causes of these fires. In response, the Washington Legislature established a state fire warden the following year. In 1908, private landowners formed the Washington Fire Protection Association and funded a system of fire wardens and a program of fire prevention on private lands.
When working in or visiting DNR-managed state lands in the Yacolt Burn area, always remember to:
- Be alert for heavy vehicles, bicycles and other road users, and moderate your speed accordingly.
- Know the fire risk and about any burn bans or Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) restrictions before using the forest.
Visit our Habitat Conservation Plan, recreation planning, Forest Practices Application Review System (FPARS), and State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) web pages to find out about proposed and authorized activities in forest, such as timber harvests, thinning projects, road projects, recreation planning and other activities.
The array of recreation activities in the Yacolt Burn State include horseback riding, off-road vehicle riding, mountain biking, camping and hiking. The Yacolt Burn State Forest is open year-round for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Whether you're looking to ride off-road-vehicles from the Jones Creek Trailhead, take a hike from the Grouse Vista Trailhead, mountain bike from the Larch Mountain Trailhead, or camp at the equestrian-oriented Rock Creek Campground, Yacolt Burn State Forest has something for everyone. Visit our motorized and non-motorized trail maps for the Yacolt Burn State Forest.
- To access recreation sites on DNR-managed land with your vehicle, you'll need a Discover Pass, your ticket to Washington's Great Outdoors.
- Campsites are first-come, first-served. No reservations.
- Camping stays are limited to 10 days within a 365-day period.
- DNR currently has a statewide burn ban through September 30, 2015. This burn ban prohibits campfires in state forests, state parks and anywhere else on the 13 million acres of Washington forestlands DNR protects from wildfire. Learn more about outdoor burning.
- Don't ride ATVs or motorcycles in campgrounds.
- Off-road vehicles allowed on open gravel forest roads.
- Dogs allowed on leash. Horseback riders may bring unleashed dogs controlled by voice command.
- Yacolt Burn State Forest has areas closed to target shooting. No shooting allowed:
- On the entirety of the L-1000 Road.
- On the L-1500 Road from four corners eastbound until the rock pit.
- On the north side of the L-1400 Road.
- On the L-1200 Road where it is signed "No Shooting."
- Anywhere that doesn't meet the WAC criteria.
Located near the Yacolt Burn State Forest, the Merrill Lake Natural Resources Conservation Area, and the Table Mountain Natural Resources Conservation Area, also provide recreation opportunities. Use our statewide interactive recreation map to find recreation opportunities near you.
Yacolt Burn State Forest
Cold Creek Campground has a day-use area and a campground. It provides access to 35 miles of the Yacolt Burn non-motorized trail system. Facilities include eight campsites, picnic tables, shelter, and a vault toilet.
Directions: Start five miles north of Vancouver at I-5 exit 9. Go east on Northeast 179th Street for 5.5 miles. Turn right on SR-503. Go 1.5 miles. Turn left on Northeast 159th Street. Go 3 miles. Turn right on Northeast 182 Avenue at Hockinson. Go 1 miles. Turn left on Northeast 139th Street at 2.5 miles, take the left “Y” onto Rawson Road. At 2 miles the pavement ends and the road turns into the L-1400 Road. Go 4 miles. Turn left on L-1000 Rd. Go 4 miles. Turn left on L-1300 Rd. Go .8 miles to site. Get directions.
The large boulders, forested edges, and cascading 100-foot waterfalls of Dougan Creek are a treat for picnickers and campers who visit Yacolt Burn State Forest. Campground has seven campsites, five picnic tables, and a vault toilet. Day use area has picnic tables and a vault toilet.
Directions: Exit SR-14 at Washougal; follow Washougal River Road for the entire 16.4-mile route to camp. At end of country road, bear left at Y. Site is on left approximately 1 mile from fish hatchery. Get directions.
Located on nearly 20 acres of forested land in the Yacolt Burn State Forest, Rock Creek Campground is perfect for equestrian use. Campground includes campsites, picnic tables, shelter, and vault toilets.
Directions: Continue north on L-1000 Rd from entrance of Cold Creek Camp toward Dole Valley Road for .7 miles. Site entrance is on right.
Located in the Yacolt Burn State Forest, Grouse Vista offers access for hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. No amenities at parking lot.
Directions: Follow directions to Rock Creek Campground. Return to L-1200 Rd at Rock Creek entrance. Go 5.0 mi. S to trailhead parking
Jones Creek Trailhead is the premiere ORV trail in Western Yacolt Burn State Forest. It has 14 miles of double-track motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle trail. This trailhead draws more than 15,000 visitors each year. Jones Creek Trailhead provides access to the new ORV trails, including Deer Pen Trail, Mountain View Trail, and the Hagen Creek Trail System. Day use only. Vault toilet at site.
Recreation alert: Trails are closed seasonally from December 1 to April 30.
Directions: Start in Camas at junction with SR-14. Go north on SR 500 for 3.8 miles to Fern Prairie. Turn right on Northeast 19th Street and go .8 miles. Turn left on Northeast Reilly Road. Get directions.
Located in the Yacolt Burn State Forest, Larch Mountain Trailhead provides the upper access to the Thrillium Trail and has 19 parking spots and a vault toilet. The Thrillium Trail is popular for mountain biking.
Recreation alert: DNR staff will be posting No Target Shooting signs in the vicinity of the new upper trailhead (Larch Mountain Trailhead). DNR staff will sign 4-Corners (intersection of L-1000, L-1400 and L-1500) past Arrowhead Pit and continuing past the L-1510 gate with No Target Shooting signs. Access to Arrowhead Pit will also be restricted. DNR is doing some construction activities in the area. The Thrillium Trail is currently closed due to the construction of the Larch Mountain Trailhead. The Larch Mountain Trailhead is currently closed for construction.
Directions: On I-5 south take I-205 and exit 32 Padden Parkway. Turn left at light. Stay straight for NE Ward Road, continue straight.
With parts of this trail in existence for more than 100 years, Tarbell Trailhead was formerly used exclusively by equestrians and hikers. Now, mountain bikers and other non-motorized recreationists also the 35-mile system. Tralhead has picnic tables, and a vault toilet.
Recreation alert: Detour in place between milepost 15 and 17. Trail reroute in place between milepost 19 and 20.
Directions: At entrance to Rock Creek from L-1000 continue north onto Dole Valley Road. Turn left onto the L-1100 road, and at junction with the L-1210 road, turn right and the trailhead is on your left. Get directions.
Three Corner Rock Trailhead, in Yacolt Burn State Forest, provides access to a 9-mile trail and 2,650-foot elevation gain to views of Stebbins Creek Valley and Washougal River. This trail accesses the Pacific Crest Trail. View our trail map of the Three Corner Rock Trail.
Recreation alert: Timber harvest activities near milepost 6.
Directions: From Washougal River Road, at end of country road, turn right at Y onto the W-2000 along the Washougal River for 3.3 miles. Trailhead on left.
The Yacolt Burn Trailhead provides the lower access to the Thrillium Trail, a premier mountain biking trail in the Yacolt Burn State Forest. Parking area has 37 parking spots.
Recreation alert: The Thrillium Trail is currently closed due to the construction of the Larch Mountain Trailhead. The Yacolt Burn Trailhead is currently closed for construction.
Directions: On I-5 south take I-205 and exit 32 Padden Parkway. Turn left at light. Stay straight for NE Ward Road, continue straight. Turn right on 139 Street. Turn left on L-1050. Go straight till Yacolt Burn Trailhead.
Located outside of Cathlamet, Bradley ORV Trailhead draws visitors from Washington and Oregon for its miles of motorized off-road-vehicle trails. Day use only. No camping. View our trail map of the Bradley ORV Trail. Click here and here for enlarged versions.
Directions: Start at junction of SR-407 and SR-4. Go north on SR-407 for 3.4 miles. Turn right on Beaver Creek Road. Go 4.3 miles. Turn left on B-1000 Road (gravel, one lane) for 1.7 miles. Trailhead on right.
Mount Mitchell sits at about 3,960 feet elevation in the Siouxon Forest Block. North Siouxon Creek Trailhead and the Mitchell Peak Trailhead, in the southern part of the block, offers access to Mount Mitchell by a 13-mile trail. Trail offers views of the black hole waterfall.View our trail map. Click here and here for enlarged versions.
Directions: From Chelatchie Prairie, WA, head east on Healy Road, stay right onto S-1000 Road. Travel approximately 4 miles and the Mitchell Peak south access is on your right.
Mount Mitchell sits at about 3,960 feet elevation in the Siouxon Forest Block. North Siouxon Creek Trailhead, in the southern part of the block, offers access to Mount Mitchell by a 13-mile trail. View our trail map. Click here and here for enlarged versions.
Recreation alert: Mount Mitchell Trailhead is currently inaccessible due to private landowner gate on 10 Road. More information here.
Directions: From State Route 503 eastbound, make right onto IP100 and left onto 10 Road. Follow 10 Road about 4 miles to the 1003 Road and bear right. After about .5 mi., the road will take you to the Mount Mitchell Trailhead.
Mount Mitchell sits at about 3,960 feet elevation in the Siouxon Forest Block. North Siouxon Creek Trailhead and the Mitchell Peak Trailhead, in the southern part of the block, offers access to Mount Mitchell by a 13-mile trail. Trail offers views of the black hole waterfall. View our trail map. Click here and here for enlarged versions.
Directions: From Chelatchie Prairie, head east on Healy Road, continue on FS 54 Road and make second left after bridge. Stay straight onto S-1000 Road. Turn right onto S2000. North Fork Siouxon Creek Trail South trailhead is on your right.
Located north of Naselle, Snag Lake is a primitive campground situated on the way up to Radar Ridge. Campground has four backcountry campsites, fishing docks, and toilet.
Directions: Start at milepost 3 on SR-4. Go north on C-Line Road; take left fork at Naselle Youth Camp entrance for 2.9 miles. Turn left on C-2600 Road (gravel, one lane) for .6 miles. Turn right on C-2620 Road for .2 miles to site.
This four-campsite campground, located northeast of Naselle in Pacific County, is highly valued by the recreating public for being an equestrian-oriented camp. Salmon Creek is nearby. Campground has horse corrals, vault toilet.
Directions: Start from junction of SR-401 and SR-4. Go east for 3.5 miles. Turn north onto Salmon Creek Road and go northeast 8.5 miles to Tunerville recreation site.
Located north of Naselle, this three-campsite lake is situated on the way up to Radar Ridge. There is a short trail that goes around the lake.
Directions: Start at milepost 3 on SR-4. Go north on C-Line Road; take left fork at Naselle Youth Camp entrance for 2.9 miles. Turn left on C-2600 Road for 0.9 miles. Turn right on C-2650 Road for .3 miles to site.
This fully forested and streamside campground offers visitors 12 campsites. It’s located within Winston Creek Forest Block that offers only dispersed recreation aside from the campground and is very popular for elk hunting. By reservation only. For reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Directions: Start on Highway 12 southeast of Chehalis (between mileposts 82-83). Go south on Winston Creek Road for 3.6 miles. Turn left on Longbell Road for 1 mile. Site is on right. Get directions.