I was really looking forward to staying in a tree house in Southern Oregon though I had no idea what to expect. When Missy suggested we take a trip to southern Oregon and stay in a tree house I was totally up for that adventure, it seemed so completely off the wall that I knew I’d regret it if I said no. But what is a tree house? Would it have any of the luxuries that we’ve become accustom to or would it be more like camping at altitude? I was about to find out.

Located in Takilma, Oregon, within the Siskyou Mountains and a stone’s throw from the Illinois River and the town of Cave Junction, the Out’n’About ‘treesort’ has a friendly ‘hippy commune feel to it.

As you drive up the unmade road toward the site a hand written sign tells you that the pace of life here is relaxed. Slow down! 10mph – Dust! And they’re not kidding, I looked in the rearview mirror as I drove up the road to see a huge cloud of dust behind me set against the dry landscape that reminded me of many a scene from a western.

We parked the car and looked around for someone to ‘check in’ with. We were a little late due to the fact we had made an unplanned stop at the Oregon Vortex to witness all kinds of strangeness and unexplained phenomena. There’s a large wooden house in the centre of the ‘treesort’ so we assumed this was where we should go first. No one answered the door so we walked in at which point I wondered if perhaps this was just someone’s house and we were trespassing. Like old friends we wandered around the house calling out “hello”, but no one answered.

Eventually we found one of the staff (called ‘tree fairies’) outside near the stables chatting with another guest. She greeted us warmly by name, which impressed me. She pointed up into the trees above and told us that we were staying in Forestree, the tallest tree at the ‘facilatree’ which is only accessible from a rope walk some 35ft high!

Missy specifically chose that four person tree house but looked to be having second thoughts when the ‘tree fairy’ told us that we shouldn’t be alarmed if the treehouse swayed in the wind. “It’s designed to do that.” She said.

To get to our tree house you had two flights of stairs (build around a tree of course) to a deck, then a rope walk to another deck, then another rope walk to the treehouse. Anyone who doesn’t have a head for heights is well advised to not even consider either of the two very tall treehouses at the ‘treesort’. The rope walks alone are scary enough. In fact it’s deemed more practical to actually winch your luggage up to the tree house rather than attempt to carry it across the rather rustic rope walks.

All of the tree houses were comfortable, if a little rustic at times. Showers and cooking facilities were situated in the main communal are which itself centered around an open fire and a stage area.

On our second evening there I sat around the fire with some of the other guests including a family and later a bunch of people from the Ambrosia restaurant in Eugene, Oregon. Accompanied by the sounds of crickets we toasted marshmallows and exchanged stories in true camp fire fashion until the silly hours.

The ‘treesort’ is actually ideally suited for families as there are plenty of activities you can do right there. We actually used the site as a home base and travelled down into Northern California to the Redwood National Forest, but I would imagine if you were a kid this place would make for a magical memory. Heck, it’s not a place I’ll be forgetting in a long time if only for the fact it is so unique.

In the mornings everyone heads to the main log cabin where a ‘breakfast fairy’ is preparing a selection of tasty treats to get the day started, but one thing that had us all curious were the ‘Fantasy Flakes.’ On the Out’n’About website there is mention of these fantasy flakes which rather look like they might be some kind of special breakfast cereal.

The founder of Out’n’About, Michael Garnier, informed us that if we wanted to experience ‘Fantasy Flakes’ we would have to go outside with him, which we all dutifully did. Once outside he instructed us, one at a time, to sit in the chair whereupon he used some wooden device to cast fast moving shadows on our eye lids. It sounds lame but was actually really cool. The effect was that we would all see strange shapes and colors which, here at least, are known as ‘fantasy flakes.’

All in all the whole experience was entirely enjoyable and quite different to anything else. The rustic ‘hippy’ feel to the place only made it seem more enchanting. In fact, one might say it all felt very ‘Oregon’, after all, where else would the breakfast cook be called a fairy? I should thank Missy for finding this place, and I’d recommend it to anyone else in a heartbeat.

Out’n’About ‘treesort’, Oregon
Oregon tree houses reviewed
Other tree houses reviewed
Oregon Vortex