Timber Area

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South Saddle Mountain

More Info Directions

Storey Burn Road

More Info Directions




NOTE: An older version of this location described a more extensive route along Cochran Road. Due to changes in access restrictions and the nature of the forest, we have changed the focus of this location to the Reehers Camp and the nearby Triple C Trail. The text below was originally written by Greg Gillson in 2007 and updated in 2012. As of 2022 the original version of Greg’s description for this location is archived as an entry in Stefan Schlick’s Blog.

The small village of Timber is 40 miles west of Portland on the eastern slopes of the Coast Range. The distance is the same whether one travels Hwy 26 to Banks and up Highway 6 to Glenwood, or whether one stays on Hwy 26 and turns off at the Timber-Vernonia Junction.

If you want mountain/forest birds such as Mountain Quail, Northern Goshawks, Gray Jays, Hermit Warblers, American Dippers, Hammond’s Flycatchers, Townsend’s Solitaires, Hutton’s Vireos, Red-breasted Sapsuckers, and other such birds in Washington County, then taking a day to explore the back country roads, clear cuts, creek bottoms, and forest edges can be enjoyable and rewarding. Birding is good from April into September.

Many times, finding good birds here in the forest requires stopping at opportune pullouts at the edge of clear cuts. Timber harvesting is ongoing, so this site guide will quickly go out-of-date. Access may be restricted at any time. Never enter an active logging area. Obey all posted signs. Fortunately, logging usually is halted during the weekends. Roads behind locked gates aren’t necessarily off-limits to recreational users–be sure to read the signs.

Birding is good in these forests and clear cuts because of natural succession. As the forest regrows the species composition changes. Thus, for the first 12 years or so following a cut, one will find Willow Flycatcher, House Wren, Townsend’s Solitaire, Western Bluebird, and White-crowned Sparrow. Additional birds found for the first 20 years include Northern Flicker, Olive-sided Flycatcher, American Robin, Orange-crowned Warbler, Spotted Towhee, and Brown-headed Cowbird.

As the forest gets older the above birds disappear but others appear. After about 12 years Pacific Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Swainson’s Thrush, Hermit Warbler, and Wilson’s Warbler move in. They stay as the forest gets older and are joined after 20 years by Ruffed Grouse, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Varied Thrush, and Yellow-rumped Warber. Of course, some birds are found throughout all forest ages, including Rufous Hummingbird, Warbling Vireo, Steller’s Jay, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, MacGillivray’s Warbler, Western Tanager, and Dark-eyed Junco. (From thesis of Kelly Bettinger in 1996 on forests in the central Cascades.)

Birding in the town of Timber itself is unremarkable, except that most homes seem to have hummingbird feeders. The only expected species is Rufous Hummingbird, April through August. There is a fire station and post office, but no other amenities or facilities in this tiny town. The road turns to gravel 1/2 mile west of town. Zero your odometer here. There are mile markers nailed to trees every half mile. A map is highly recommended. New logging roads may occur at any time, and old roads on maps may not exist or be gated shut. The main roads are quite obvious, however.

About 2 miles from the beginning of the gravel road on the left is Reehers Camp, managed by the Tillamook State Forest. There are 6 spaces in the main campground and 10 spaces in the horse campground. The parking pads for each site are large, but there really is no room for tents. There are vault pit toilets and potable water from a pump. The fee is $20 per night.

A separate day use area with a large parking lot and pit toilet is just past Reehers Camp, also on the left. A short trail connects the two areas.


Habitat and Birds

The target bird here is Hammond’s Flycatcher. They breed here under the closed canopy in the otherwise very open forest created by removing all undergrowth (see photo). I found 10 Hammond’s and 10 Pacific-slope Flycatchers here on the morning of May 18, 2007, and at least 8 singing Hammond’s Flycatchers even at noon on 11 June 2006. Getting good light on them is difficult, as they sing from high up in the canopy.

Hermit Warbler is the most common warbler here, along with Wilson’s Warbler. Other species include Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hutton’s Vireo, Dark-eyed Junco, Swainson’s Thrush, Varied Thrush, Common Raven, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Western Tanager, Pacific Wren, Hairy Woodpecker, Warbling Vireo, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Western Wood-Pewee, Black-headed Grosbeak, Rufous Hummingbird, Gray Jay, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Brown Creeper, Evening Grosbeak and, across the street in the opening, White-crowned Sparrow. A trail between the campground and the day use area leads down to the river. The river is shallow and narrow, always in the shade of the 200 foot tall Douglas-fir. Either here, or on the multi-use trail 1/4 mile to the bridge upstream you can find American Dipper.

New in 2010: A new horse/foot loop trail, the Triple C Trail, starts in the campground. Walk either across the road to the north and follow the river back, or walk it in reverse. It is 1.5 miles. I consider this trail to now be the must visit highlight of the entire site guide from very late spring into mid-summer. See this web site on the Triple C Trail by the Forest Hiker.