Camassia Natural Area Currently Closed
Camassia Natural Area remains closed at this time. The Nature Conservancy is currently assessing how to re-open both Camassia Natural Area and Cascade Head in a manner that is safest for guests, as well as for staff and volunteers responsible for care of these preserves, while being mindful of the sensitive habitats that make these places so special. Due to high numbers of visitors, these preserves require high staff and volunteer engagement with the public, which is not currently allowed within The Nature Conservancy’s global safety guidelines. The safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors is our utmost priority, as is maintaining the conservation efforts in these areas. We will update our website once we have new information. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
What Makes Camassia Special
Named for the common camas (Camassia quamash) which profusely blooms here in April and early May, this preserve hosts more than 300 plant species.
The rocky plateau was exposed 12,000- 19,000 years ago when the Bretz Floods poured down the present Columbia River Gorge and far into the Willamette Valley. The floods swept soil and vegetation from parts of the valley and deposited granitic boulders (called "glacial erratics") from as far away as Canada.
What We Have Done/Are Doing
TNC volunteers are restoring Oregon white oak woodlands by removing invasive Douglas-fir trees. Populations of the rare white rock larkspur are monitored by TNC ecologists. Researchers also monitor water quality and study ways to minimize the impacts of urban development on the preserve's hydrology.
During spring and summer, volunteers lead guided hikes and teach visitors about the ecology of the preserve. Additionally, teams of volunteers work to eradicate invasive, non-native Scot's Broom from the grassland, and English ivy and Himalayan blackberry from the woodlands. West Linn High School ecology students use the preserve as an outdoor classroom and help keep it litter-free.