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Middle Santiam Wilderness

General Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws
Photograph taken in  the Middle Santiam Wilderness


The United States Congress designated the Middle Santiam Wilderness (map) in 1984 and it now has a total of 8,758 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Oregon and is managed by the Forest Service.


Mature old-growth trees shadow virtually all of this Wilderness, with Douglas fir, western red cedar, and western hemlock at lower elevations and true firs higher up. Some of the trees, estimated to be 450 years old, tower to more than 200 feet. Gently sloping, benchy terrain in the lower country starts at about 1,600 feet and rises to steep slopes, ridges, and peaks that reach 5,022 feet above sea level. The most prominent geological feature is 4,965-foot Chimney Peak, a lava plug in the northwestern portion. The Middle Santiam River flows through the area, slowing into quiet pools with mossy banks. Both the river and Donaca Lake teem with native fish, including chinook salmon during spawning season. Not far to the south lies Menagerie Wilderness. Four seldom-hiked trails provide access routes to the area: McQuade Creek (5.2 miles); Chimney Peak (12.7 miles); and Gordan Peak (6.1 miles), and Swamp Peak (6.1 miles)

Planning to Visit the Middle Santiam Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Middle Santiam Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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