Firebreak Five / Tillamook State Forest

Banks, Oregon (Tillamook County)

Last Updated: 07/03/2022
4.7 / 5 ( 15 reviews )
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Highlight: Firebreak Five / Tillamook State Forest
Firebreak Five is a trail that can go from mild to wild depending on conditions. In dry summer weather, most vehicles can navigate the entire trail by taking the easiest lines and with a combination of good spotting and good driving. In the soggy winter months, certain sections of the trail such as Waypoint 3 can become incredibly difficult or even impassable for all but trucks rolling on sticky tires, with front and rear lockers, or with little regard for possible drive-train damage. The changing conditions and challenges that voyagers along Firebreak Five face are all part of the adventure. Firebreak Five also has the distinction of being a Jeep Badge of Honor trail. For those looking for a big challenge, there is an optional rock garden and there are very difficult lines to take on the obstacles that will challenge even the most built rigs. Firebreak Five is a good practice ground to make sure everything is working properly before built buggies venture into the Crushers area that connects to Firebreak Five at Waypoint 11.


Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
Lightly Modified 4X4 (Small Lift and Larger Tires)
Waypoint 3 has a significant rocky obstacle to maneuver up. Waypoint 5 has an optional section with large boulders to play on.

Technical Rating

Rocky or undulated road surface. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 24" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 24" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 54" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep and off-camber.
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Community Consensus

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Firebreak Five starts out cutting through a dense forest before it emerges into a long straight section paralleling a clear cut. There is a bail-out point at Waypoint 2 if the going is too tough or the conditions are too poor to continue. The first major obstacle is at Waypoint 3 where there are a number of boulders and shelves to climb to reach the next gravel road intersection. In wet conditions, it can be very challenging to get up and over Waypoint 3 without very sticky or very large tires, a lot of rock stacking, winching, or potentially drive train-breaking vehicle hopping. However, in more favorable conditions, vehicles with mild lifts and oversize tires can make it through with good spotting and driving. At Waypoint 8 the trail splits in two. The trail to the left is more challenging while the trail to the right is less challenging. Both converge again at Waypoint 10. Waypoint 11 provides access to the "Crushers" trails where extreme obstacles exist to test the most well-built and well-driven vehicles. Note that as with any trail in the Tillamook State Forest, Firebreak Five conditions can change dramatically depending on when the last maintenance was performed on the trail and when the last rain happened. During the rainy season (usually starting in September and lasting through June or July), any trail in the forest can vary from a very benign trail to a wild, highly technical trail in a matter of hours or days. While Trails Offroad tries to represent average trail conditions on every trail in the Tillamook State Forest and regularly updates trail information, caution is always warranted on every trail and gravel road due to constantly changing conditions. The Tillamook State Forest periodically closes trails for a variety of reasons including inclement weather, storm damage, trail maintenance, fire restrictions, logging operations, and a variety of other reasons. While Trails Offroad works hard to convey accurate information on current trail status, trails sometimes close with a locked gate or a barricade without notice. Additionally, trails may be closed by Tillamook State Forest official announcements, but the trails may not be gated off or have physical indications of the closure. The Tillamook State Forest official online blog is the best source of information about these announced and unannounced closures.
This trail gets heavy use including dirt bikes, quads, and side-by-sides.


1. Trailhead (0 mi)
Firebreak Five starts on the east side of Beaver Dam Road just before the road heads up a hill and into a clear-cut. Look for the sign that indicates the entrance to Firebreak Five.
2. Continue Straight for Challenging Section -- Right Goes to Gravel Road (0.6 mi)
Continue straight to stay on Firebreak Five. The right turn leads 100 feet to Beaver Dam Road for those who wish to bypass the obstacle at Waypoint 3. Turn left on Beaver Dam Road and rejoin Firebreak Five at Waypoint 4.
3. Large Boulder and Shelf Obstacle -- Challenging When Wet (0.7 mi)
The boulder and shelf obstacle is a challenging but fun place to test out vehicles in dry conditions. In wet conditions, traction is limited and those without sufficiently sticky and large tires may find themselves winching or stacking rocks to make it through the obstacle. It is wise to have a spotter to help guide vehicles through this obstacle. Sliders and differential armor are a good idea to prevent crunched door sills and dented differential housings.
4. Straight Across Gravel Road to Stay on Firebreak Five (0.8 mi)
Continue straight across the gravel road (Beaver Dam Road) to stay on Firebreak Five.
5. Optional Rock Garden Play Area (0.9 mi)
There is an optional rock garden play area to the right of the trail that is about 200 feet long. This is a good place to verify all equipment is functioning as expected before venturing onto the Crushers trail that can be accessed from Waypoint 11.
6. Go Left and Then Immediately Right Across Gravel Road (1.1 mi)
At the gravel road (Beaver Dam Road), go left and then immediately go right to stay on Firebreak Five. Do **NOT** go straight across the road up the muddy track. It is not an official trail and does not connect to Firebreak Five.
7. Go Left and Then Right Across Gravel Road (1.6 mi)
Go left and then right across the gravel road (Beaver Dam Road) to stay on Firebreak Five. Look for the trail sign that marks the continuation of the trail.
8. Both Paths Connect to the Same Place -- Left Path is More Challenging (1.9 mi)
The two diverging paths both connect together at Waypoints 9 and 10. The left path is more challenging than the right path.
9. Cut Across to Other Path -- Continue Straight (2.1 mi)
There is a cut-across between the two paths at this waypoint that can be useful for those wishing to circle back or to switch from the easy to the hard path or vice versa. Continue straight ahead to proceed forward on Firebreak Five.
10. Continue Straight -- Other Path Goes Back to Waypoint 08 (2.2 mi)
Continue straight to move forward on Firebreak Five. The other path returns to Waypoint 8.
11. Stay Right to Stay on Firebreak Five -- Left Goes to "Crushers" (2.3 mi)
Stay right to stay on Firebreak Five. The trail to the left goes to the Crushers trail which is only suitable for skilled drivers with modified vehicles.
12. End of Trail (2.5 mi)
Firebreak Five ends at a saddle between several ridge lines. Proceed straight ahead across the intersection to connect to Saddle Up Part 1. Turn to the right to head down into the Tillamook State Forest. Note that occasionally the road to the right is closed further down the hill due to ongoing quarrying activities. In this case, either Firebreak Five must be run in reverse to Waypoint 7 to exit onto Beaver Creek Road or vehicles must continue through Saddle Up Part 1 and Saddle Up Part 2 to reach C-Line Road. The roads to the left are gated and go onto private timberland.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Banks

From the town of Banks, head west on Oregon Highway 6 toward Tillamook for sixteen miles. Turn left onto Beaver Dam Road (signs for Brown's Camp and Roger's Camp Day Use Area). Follow Beaver Dam Road through the forest for approximately six miles. Firebreak Five starts on the left side of the road just before Beaver Dam Road climbs up through a large clear-cut.


Several decent campsites are available along this trail although Firebreak Five is a very popular trail. There are several designated campgrounds within the Tillamook State Forest such as Brown’s Camp, Diamond Mill, and Jordan Creek that provide direct access to the 4x4 trails where many recreational users stage their vehicles for multiple days of exploration of the extensive trail network. Other Oregon Department of Forestry campgrounds include Keenig Creek, Jones Creek, Elk Creek, and Gales Creek. On popular summer weekends, campgrounds may occasionally be noisy at night when an un-muffled two stroke engine is fired up unexpectedly. Dispersed camping is generally allowed throughout the forest although restrictions are periodically put in place for areas with active logging; forest, trail, road, or stream restoration projects; and during burn bans. Contact the Tillamook State Forest Ranger Offices in Forest Grove or Tillamook for the most up-to-date information on both dispersed and campground camping. The campgrounds are all open during the busy summer months but only one or two remain open during the winter. On every 4x4 trail that Trails Offroad has mapped in the Tillamook State Forest, there are dispersed camping opportunities although often the areas where people have camped in the past are sub-optimal for a variety of reasons such as being too close to the trail, being in a very wet location, having minimal flat ground for a tent, and other site-specific issues. Logging landings at the end of short spurs off of the gravel roads that crisscross the forest generally provide the most privacy and best opportunities for dispersed camping. On popular weekends in the summer and fall, many logging landings are occupied by campers and 5th wheel trailers. It is advisable to claim a campsite early in the day rather than waiting until the evening.
Camping: Firebreak Five / Tillamook State Forest

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Writer Information

Douglas Van Bossuyt

Mapping Crew - Oregon

Douglas grew up riding in the back of pickups in Oregon and California. He comes from a long line of overlanders and adventurers dating back to the Mayflower and the Oregon Trail. During a stint working in Colorado, Douglas fell in love with the offroad scene and immediately gravitated toward the Toyota crowd. His first 4x4 was a 1988 Toyota 4runner nicknamed Goldilocks. After a year of running many of the iconic trails throughout the front range in the fully stock Goldilocks running on bald tires, it was time for an upgrade. Goldilocks went off to a new home and the Albino Rhino came home. The Albino Rhino is a built 1986 Toyota 4runner ready for any adventure anywhere at any time. During the week, Douglas works on systems engineering and architecture problems in California. Douglas also enjoys backpacking -- especially in the central Sierras in California -- scuba diving along the Oregon and California coasts, and riding his motorcycle on the Pacific Coast Highway. Most weeknights you can find Douglas under his truck in the driveway performing maintenance or fixing the latest trail damage.
For individual use only, not to be shared.