This dark colored salamander has a reddish-brown ragged edged stripe that runs along the top of the head to the tip of the tail with black or dark brown sides. It has a long body and tail and the belly is black with large white flecks. The Oregon slender salamander is a lungless salamander species, relying on its skin to breathe. Mature adults can grow to just under four inches in total length, with females about 12 percent larger than males.
Oregon slender salamanders are most common in stable, moist old-growth (late successional and second-growth) forests where there are abundant large decaying Douglas fir logs and bark debris mounds at the base of snags (standing dead trees). They may also use moist talus (rock fragment piles) and lava fields. Occasionally, Oregon slender salamanders clump together in groups to remain damp.