Coast Provides Wild Hiking Opportunities
Spit, near Tillamook
- Summer means hiking to many tourists to the Oregon coast. But
now with the coast's "second summer"
still lingering, conditions are often drier than usual, and there
is still time to wander the hills and shores at great length, in
even greater peace and quiet.
and its rugged landscape justifiably calls to you, with its numerous
viewpoints, chances to be the only soul on a vast stretch of sand,
and discoveries waiting to be unearthed.
They come in
all sorts of shapes and sizes. From the easy walks of minor trails
like the one behind Cape Perpetua, to more grandiose undertakings
like the eight or so mile-long loop around Tillamook Bay’s
Bayocean Spit or the six miles of leg cramp-inducing trudging from
Seaside to Cannon Beach over Tillamook Head.
Here are just
a few of the possibilities for the rugged outdoorsman – or
south of Yachats, on the south side of the Devil’s Churn and
Cape Perpetua, there is an easy but especially magnificent hike,
which takes you to a dreamy little semi-secret beach.
Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Getting
a free, fresh baked cookie upon check-in is just the beginning.
Every room is beachfront, and it's all right up against Lincoln
City's most famous stretch of beach, next to the D River.
Each room, comes as a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen
and balcony or patio. Some have gas fireplaces, while all
have a DVD Players with movies available for renting (and
movie rentals come with free popcorn). There's a heated indoor
pool, a spa, and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms
sleep anywhere from two, four to six - including a deluxe
fireplace suite. Gift certificates are available, and they
offer special occasion packages as well. To make a reservation
and see a virtual tour of the rooms, visit our website at
171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.
feet north of Cook’s Chasm, the trailhead sits, next to clifftop
views of the southern side of the headland and a labyrinth of rocky
slabs dotting the wet sands which provide a few hundred feet of
beach called Cape Cove Beach. A partially paved path winds its way
down here, perhaps a few hundred feet down a steady but not too
steep incline. It takes you through dense brush which allows only
small and intermediate views of the wonders below. You get to a
landing in the dirt, with a sign pointing the way you just came
or to further along the base of Cape Perpetua.
You emerge onto
Cape Cove Beach and a veritable apocalyptic mass of enormous logs,
obviously slung here by the incredible power of the waves. This
spot doesn’t fool around during stormier times of the year,
and it’s likely not accessible at all in much of the harder
seasons. The frightening supremacy of the sea is clear here.
cove runs a ways into the cliffs, ending at a stream that pours
from the earth, where the trail emerges. Rocky slabs are all over
this beach, many of which are usually beneath the tide line. Strange
geologic features dot this place everywhere.
if you don’t know what to look for, you’ll miss it:
the top of Cape Perpetua looks down on you from this beach from
its 803 foot perch. If you’ve ever been to the top, then you
may recognize the odd wave-like cuts in the soil near the tip, which
are more clearly visible while up there.
For more trail
action, you can walk down to Cook’s Chasm, take the small
trail to the interpretive center, then embark on a harsher journey
up the hill some 1.5 miles to the top of Cape Perpetua.
Along one of
these trails, you’ll also find a shelter made of stone, which
was built during World War II as a lookout for enemies that never
arrived. A short trail from the main overlook’s parking lot
leads to the shelter.
rises about 1,100 feet at one point. It's where part of Lewis &
Clark's troupe walked to what is now Cannon Beach to check out a
beached whale. And it offers stunning views of the ocean, rock islands
and the mysterious Tillamook Head Lighthouse a mile offshore. But
mostly, Tillamook Head has hiking trails throughout it, which are
accessible from both the Seaside and the Cannon Beach sides, although
it's a 6-mile hike over the entire headland.
This is highly
recommended for exploration with numerous breathtaking views to
be found on this cliff structure, and in such places there are always
hidden spots in the brush and forest. Indeed, there are the remnants
of an old army bunker in the brush at some point along this magnificent
for you, there are easier ways to enjoy it than the full trip. Starting
at the Cannon Beach side, begin your jaunt at Ecola Point in Ecola
State Park and hike 1.5 miles to the parking lot at Indian Beach.
Continue on another 1.5 miles from there and you'll get to Tillamook
Head's point and see the bunker, find a primitive camping spot for
hikers as well as enjoy breathtaking views of a rugged beach and
Round the bend
of the point, and it's another four miles to the Seaside trailhead,
past more incredible views, including the summit and a point Merewether
Lewis wrote about.
If you take
the Seaside trailhead, that side has a much steeper incline.
Trails and Views of Otter Crest
you're driving just south of Depoe Bay, you may notice a tiny, nondescript
road called Otter Crest Road - one that may not peak your interest.
Motel, Rockaway Beach
If expansive ocean views, close proximity to
golfing, fishing tours and quick access to seven miles of
pristine beaches is your thing, then this quintessential beauty
in Rockaway Beach is your ticket to vacation fun for families,
couples or large groups. Some rooms are pet friendly. All
rooms at the Tradewinds Motel are immaculate and have TV’s,
VCR’s and in-room phones with data ports. The oceanfronts
all have a queen bed, a double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog
fireplace and a private deck. Some oceanfront units come with
all those amenities but the kitchens. Both types sleep up
to four people. The non-oceanfront rooms are appointed with
a queen bed, small fridge, and coffee maker – sizable
for a two-person romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those
on a budget. There is an elaborate oceanfront Jacuzzi suite
that has two bedrooms, coming with a kitchen, double hide-a-bed,
fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For those
wanting bigger accommodations for family reunions or large
gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect to create
two-room and three-room suites. 523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway
Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938. www.tradewinds-motel.com
As it meanders
below 101, it dead-ends less than a mile down, at a spot just before
where a big landslide tore the road away a few years ago. It's never
been the same since - thankfully - as officials have turned it into
a pleasant, canopied and one way road with a bike/foot path along
side, all above beautiful, rather secretive cliffs.
walkway ends up at Cape Foulweather, where you can also park to
make this small but mesmerizing journey. It's a very easy walk -
and an especially tranquil one, except for the occasional unnerving
presense of cars eeking past you.
more adventurous, wander down to the cliffs just below the paved
trail and take in some unbelievable views. The best way to get to
these is at the north end of where the road becomes a one way.
here, hop the fence and you'll find a steep trail meandering as
you abruptly enter a dark forest area (which sometimes boasts really
huge, wildly-colored mushrooms). The scenery explodes in front of
you with a sense of the spectacular and the grandiose as you step
out of the forest to a big ocean vista.
This area is
an amazing labyrinth of rocky cliffs, pointy things and smooth things,
and parts of these basalt slabs actually form flat seats overlooking
some incredibly dramatic wave action.
A trail running
along side of the hill lets you access a second cliff just south
the trail near Neptune State Park
streams, through a thick Douglas Fir forest and stand awe-struck
at the incredible views at the summit. Gaze in wonder at the ancient
Sitka Spruces still left after logging of the area and maybe catch
sight of a salamander, deer or even a bear amidst the huckleberry
let you onto the trail. The lower trailhead starts some 2 miles
down a twisty gravel road. There is a barricade and parking lot
at the end, where the trail begins a six-mile ascent through lush
forest. Look for MP 168 and turn east. It's almost kitty-corner
from the entrance to Neptune State Park.
CLIFFTOP IN NEWPORT
POINT is located on the Central Oregon Coast
- in Newport - and offers only the finest in luxury condominium
lodging. At Starfish Point, every unit is focused on the beauty
of the sea and the beach.
All of the units boast two bedrooms, two bathrooms, designer
kitchens, wireless broadband Internet, fireplaces, Jacuzzi’s
and private decks - surrounding you in soothing relaxation.
We have a friendly staff dedicated to high quality and superb
customer service. 140 NW 48th Street, Newport. (541) 265-3751.
(800) 870-7795. www.starfishpoint.com
At the top is
another parking lot, which you can reach by a forest service road.
That road begins some two miles south of the road leading to the
lower trailhead. It is almost kitty-corner to the Strawberry Hill
entrance, and takes you some ten miles up steep and winding roads.
taking this route and arranging a car waiting for you at the lower
trailhead because it's much easier to descend.
majestic headland is packed full of incredible views, a wondrous
forest overhead and numerous surprises - plus there are three trails
The Cape Trail
makes a five-mile loop around the entire cape, winding up at the
tip of this majestic outcropping where, if the weather permits,
you can catch sight of Cascade Head and Cape Foulweather - some
40 miles to the south. To the north, you can even see Tillamook
Head - about 42 miles to the north. It's primarily an easy trek
with very little elevation gain. But there are enough uphill stretches
to induce heavy breathing in even the most hardy.
a half mile down the Cape Trail - at one of the first railed lookout
spots - there's the Crash Sight Memorial, where a World War II B-17
bomber slammed into the headland in 1942.
was based out of Pendleton, Oregon and was on maneuvers when, due
to fog, it crashed into Cape Lookout and cut a swath through the
headland 50 ft. wide and 500 ft. long. All but one of the 11-man
crew were killed in the crash. He was found two days later and eventually
recovered. The plane pretty much disintegrated upon impact, and
all its pieces have either been eaten by the forest or been taken
by souvenir hunters in the last 55-plus years.
City Vacation Homes
There’s something for everyone
among this selection of wondrous homes: smaller homes with
a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All the homes are
either oceanfront or just a few steps away from the sand
– all with a low bank access and fantastic views.
Most are in the Nelscott area; one is close to the casino.
You’ll find a variety of goodies, depending on the
home: fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, dishwashers, Jacuzzis,
washer/dryers, hot tubs, cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s
a loft in one, and another sprawling home has two apartments.
Pets are allowed in some homes – ask ahead. Each comes
with complete kitchens so you’ll have a home away
from home. Most have the seventh night free. Prices range
from winter $85 to summer $230 per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com.
The South Trail
veers off to the left of the Cape Trail, taking you down to a hidden
cove and a secluded, very sandy beach - eventually connecting to
the Sand Beach campground area about four miles to the south This
is no easy trek, however. It's a zigzagging plod downward through
two miles of trail before you hit the beach, so you can assume the
hike back up will be a hellish one.
Lookout in the far distance, as seen from Cape Kiwanda
The North Trail
leads you down to Cape Lookout State Park and the picnic areas.
The trail moves downhill about 2 miles, making it a fairly easy
hike. From the state park to the upper trailhead is all uphill,
however, and a much more strenuous safari.
Keep in mind,
except at the absolute driest times of the year, these paths often
contain spots which are extremely muddy and damp. After all, they
essentially plod through a rain forest. There's also quite a bit
of wind up here on top of this lofty headland, even on a day where
it seems like there's little wind on the beaches. So be advised
of the weather and wind conditions before you go.