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)
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.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Oregon Wilderness Act of 1984 - Public law 98-328 (6/26/1984) To designate certain national forest system lands in the State of Oregon for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation
System, and for other purposes