When you think about epic places to go 4-wheeling, Tillamook, Oregon usually isn’t one of the first places that comes to mind. In fact, it may not be a place you think of off-roading at all.
There are two things that typically come to mind when we hear Tillamook: Amazing cheese and fantastic ice cream!
But there is SO MUCH MORE! Tillamook is home to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, Blue Heron French Cheese Company, Debbie D’s Sausage Factory, Pacific Oyster, Tillamook County Smoker, Werner’s Gourmet Meat, Papa Bear’s Smoked Meats, and many more wonderful places to satisfy your palette!
The Tillamook Cheese Factory alone produces more than 170,000 pounds of cheese each day, and packages approximately one million pounds of cheese on-site each week. The factory warehouse has the capacity to age 50 million pounds of cheese at once!
Sorry, I got a little sidetracked there…after all this is Modern Jeeper Adventures, so we should get to the Jeeping…which Tillamook has plenty of that too!
This being our first Adventure in the area, we relied heavily upon the local Jeep Clubs in the area, specifically the Salem Jeepers and Jolly Jeepers! A huge shout out to Jon Mock and Lee Foster for all of their help!
Our plan was simple: Eat good foods, wheel in some cool places and enjoy new relationships with fellow Jeepers. From the moment we arrived on the private property that we would use as home base, I was fairly certain that we would be in for a great Adventure.
On Thursday, the day we use for registration, we also arranged for an optional private guided tour of the Warn facility (you know, those awesome winch guys!) in Clackamas. Chad Schroll, a long time friend of mine, met us at the door and gave our group an inside perspective of what goes on in building the best recovery products on the planet.
After the Warn tour, we headed back to our registration area to get ready for two full days of wheeling!
The plan for the first day of wheeling was a trip out to the Pacific Coast to play in some sand (over 1000 acres of sand!) and enjoy the awesome scenery that this area is known for. It didn’t let us down…not even a little!
The Sand Lake Recreation area is a little slice of dunes that the entire family can enjoy! From ATV’s to full size rigs, as long as your vehicle can support a flag (mandatory), you can enjoy the dunes. There are even campgrounds located within the area.
For the second day we opted for some forest…and some rocks! For those that are familiar with the Jeep Badge of Honor app, there are two trails within the Tillamook State Forest the are “Badge Rated”. We decided that we would attempt to conquer both Cedar Tree #13 and Firebreak 5 #14 on the second day of our Adventure. Scenic. The rainforest. Rocks. A perfect day for jeeping!
I wonder where Cedar Tree got its name? Hmmm.
Firebreak 5 is where we found some rocks as we wound our way through the forest. We kept an eye out for Bigfoot but didn’t have any sightings on this trip…
We made good time getting through both of the trails, which left us time to take a look at a trail called “Airplane”. The story is that an airplane had crashed near the hill where this trail is located. Things were wet and pretty slippery so just getting through the entrance to the trail, which the local clubs refer to as “filters”, proved challenge enough. The actual obstacle on Airplane is a series of “K” rails and large boulders that span about 100 yards up a fairly steep hill. Our group took the bypass.
Everyone made it back to camp for another amazing dinner…although the day didn’t go without a little carnage. Some of those big rocks got the best of a driveshaft…but once back to camp we scavenged Matson’s JK for his driveshaft and replaced the participants candy cane so that they could drive home the following day. After all, it’s just what Modern Jeepers do!
We can’t wait to get back out to Tillamook. There are many many more trails and areas to explore…and it will be time to replenish my cheese reserves!
For those interested in seeing the route we took through the State Forest area, I used ViewRanger to track our day:
And a couple of our favorite attendees once again put together an awesome video of the Adventure! A huge shout out to Jim and Deb Kriegshauser for capturing the amazing footage! Please check out their YouTube channel DJK Films!