Day Hiking Oregon Coast  by Bonnie Henderson

Day Hiking: Oregon Coast Guide Book

by Bonnie Henderson (The Mountaineers Books)
Day Hiking Oregon Coast  by Bonnie Henderson
The classic favorite, 120 Hikes on the Oregon Coast, completely updated and now in a more portable, user-friendly format! Day Hiking: Oregon Coast includes: hikes ranging from easy beach walks to a multi-day trek of the Oregon Coast Trail; all trails rated for difficulty level and overall quality of the hike; two-color maps, charts, and elevation profiles throughout; quick-reference chart lists hikes by features such as hidden beaches, bay spits, lakes, or sand dunes; sidebars on natural history, flora and fauna, and geology of the area; and suggestions of additional activities such as tide pooling, wildlife viewing, and camping.

© 2007 Bonnie Henderson/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Day Hiking: Oregon Coast" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 120.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 120.

This is the most direct route between Floras Lake and Blacklock Point by foot. Otherwise it doesn’t have much to recommend it: no views, just dense forest slowly descending south toward the beach. Turn west at the sign to Cape Blanco State Airport (also called Sixes Airport), across the highway from Pacific High School, and continue 3 miles to the gravel parking area at the end of the road. The trail winds slightly as it descends gradually through the forest, eventually dropping onto a red sandstone mound 2.25 miles from the end of the airport.
Denmark, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
The trails of Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor are not very long, but they get you quickly to some remote and spectacularly scenic spots on the rugged south coast. String them together and you can easily have a full day of not-too-strenuous walking with great views of forested cliffs, arch rocks and islands, and pocket beaches.
Carpenterville, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.3
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In addition to the trail leading through the dunes to Baker Beach (used mainly by a local outfitter for horseback beach rides), additional short trails have been developed here for riding and walking. The trail closest to the creek (Berry Creek Trail) isn’t very appealing, but two trails between the creek and Lily Lake combine to make a pleasant short loop hike.
Heceta Beach, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.8
The highway hugs the shoreline south of Port Orford, but it’s high above the beach—out of sight and sound for beach walkers on this long stretch of sand. Enjoy an out-and-back walk south of historic Battle Rock. Battle Rock, accessible only at low tide, was the site of a bloody confrontation between arriving settlers and the indigenous residents in 1851.
Port Orford, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 5
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In 1906 a real estate broker from Kansas City envisioned a second Atlantic City on the sand spit separating Tillamook Bay from the Pacific Ocean. By 1914 as many as 600 building lots had been sold in what was called Bay Ocean Park, and it was becoming a bustling community. But the unstable spit couldn’t support the development. Lots began eroding steadily, and in 1950 the last house on the spit washed into the sea. Today Bayocean Spit belongs to hikers, mountain bikers, and bird-watchers who wander the beach or the forested bayside trail. A couple of campsites near the tip (protected from the wind by groves of trees) offer relatively remote overnight camping.
Barview, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 8
Devils Punchbowl hosts a dramatic water show at high tide; a short walk to the north, extensive tide pools teem with life at low tide. The combination makes it an ideal destination for an out-and-back hike (or one way, with a shuttle car for campers at Beverly Beach State Park). Day visitors to Devils Punchbowl may take the beach walk after exploring the punchbowl area. Otter Crest refers to the shoreline here; Otter Rock refers to the community at Devils Punchbowl as well as the rock 0.5 mile offshore at Beverly Beach. Place names are all that’s left of the sea otter on the Oregon coast; history records that Otter Rock is the site where, in 1906, the last remaining sea otter in Oregon was shot. Successful reintroduction of sea otters off the Washington coast bodes well for plans to reestablish the species along Oregon’s shore, too.
Otter Rock, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
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One local resident characterizes Blacklock Point as “the land of the lost” or “the Land of Oz.” Even if you don’t get lost, the place has that kind of feel to it—like you might encounter winged monkeys or fighting trees. Officially designated Floras Lake State Natural Area, Blacklock Point has never been developed, and though it now has a network of trails, they wind rather confusingly through a dense mix of shore pine and salal. Trail signs help, as does the map in this book. What’s the appeal? Well, one reason is that you’re unlikely to encounter another hiker, and the whole area has a mysterious, remote, wild feel. (The airport is occasionally used by private pilots; the only time you’re likely to meet a crowd is July Fourth weekend, when there are car races at Cape Blanco State Airport.) The main trailhead is at the airport, but the trail system is accessible from beaches to the north or south as part of the Oregon Coast Trail route; consider a one-day or longer backpacking trip between Floras Lake and Cape Blanco. These trails are open to mountain biking as well as hiking.
Denmark, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 15.25
Bluebill Lake is a tranquil spot, especially at the end of the day when the frog chorus is tuned up. This forty-acre “lake” is actually dry most of the year but serves as wetland habitat in winter. The trail that circumnavigates it makes a short, pleasant stroll.
Glasgow, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.25
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At Hunter Creek, US 101 begins its slow ascent of Cape Sebastian. Far below the highway the beach stretches out, wide and remote, inviting to beach walkers with a love of solitude.
Hunter Creek, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.5
The coves on the north and south sides of Cape Arago offer good opportunities year-round for watching coastal wildlife, from the tiny residents of tide pools to huge elephant seals. So good, in fact, that the trail to the north cove closes in spring to avoid disturbing the marine mammals that breed here. If you do see a seal pup on the beach, don’t touch it; despite appearances, it’s probably not abandoned. Its mother is probably fishing nearby.
Charleston, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.8
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Meandering through oldgrowth forest east of Cape Arago, the pack trail follows an old wagon road that once led down to Whiskey Run Beach and Bandon. It was revived during World War II as an access route to hidden mountainside bunkers. More recently a portion of the road was revived for use by hikers.
Charleston, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.25
Cape Arago Shoreline Trail is a section of the Oregon Coast Trail between Sunset Bay and Cape Arago State Parks that makes an appealing and varied day hike; if possible, arrange a car shuttle for this one-way walk. Along with visits to a spectacular formal garden, and superb wildlife-watching opportunities, it offers glimpses of sculpted sandstone rocks and reefs offshore that aren’t visible except by walking the trail.
Charleston, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.5
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In contrast to the dense vegetation covering all but the very tip of Blacklock Point, Cape Blanco is bare and windswept. The park occupies much of the nearly 2000-acre former Hughes family ranch, which began as an eighty-acre parcel of land purchased by Irish immigrant Patrick Hughes in 1860. In 1870, Cape Blanco Lighthouse went into operation on the point— the oldest operating lighthouse on the Oregon coast, the westernmost light in the forty-eight contiguous states, and, at an elevation of 245 feet, the highest in Oregon as well. It's nearly seven-foot-tall Fresnel lens is still in use and is visible twenty-six miles at sea. It is open for tours weekends in summer. Cape Blanco offers dramatic hiking. The north shore between the lighthouse and the Sixes River is a natural choice with its panorama of craggy rocks strewn offshore and tide pools at the cape’s tip.
Sixes, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 10
Most of the hiking trails at Cape Blanco State Park are on the north side of the cape, but the shoreline south of the lighthouse offers plenty of beach to walk, from the tip of the cape to the mouth of the Elk River. Long-distance hikers can wade the river in late summer.
Sixes, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 12.6
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From the cape’s interpretive center, the Oregon Coast Trail rolls south through the forest 1.3 miles along the route of the old stage road. Follow it to access Gwynn Creek or Cummins Creek Trails, or just for an easy, short walk in the woods. Pick up the Oregon Coast Trail at the interpretive center. At 1 mile Gwynn Creek Trail comes in from the left. Continuing south, the trail crosses the creek on a footbridge; cut down the grassy opening and across the highway to the wayside here, or continue south another 0.3 mile to the trail’s end.
Yachats, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.3
The longest unbroken forested stretch of the Oregon Coast Trail runs from Arch Cape to the highway below Neahkahnie Mountain. Arrange a shuttle car and hike it all, or make a shorter out-and-back hike from the park’s parking area to the remote tip of the cape. Along the way you’ll cross trickling creeks, listen to forest songbirds, and grab occasional ocean views. Carry binoculars not only to watch for whales but to watch the surfers far below off Short Sand Beach.
Neahkahnie Beach, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 13.5
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Cape Ferrelo isn’t the tallest cape on the coast, but it offers some outstanding views. A walk south from the cape on the Oregon Coast Trail leads to Lone Ranch Wayside, the southernmost day-use area in Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. At low tide, scattered rocks form tide pools at Lone Ranch Beach.
Brookings, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
The highlight is the climb up Cape Kiwanda’s sandy saddle— a 120-foot ascent that feels more like 300—and the sliding descent on the other side. Unlike its sister capes to the north, Cape Kiwanda is made of sandstone. It’s eroding much faster than the coast’s basalt capes, but along the way the waves are shaping its cliffs into gorgeous ocher sculptures. Minus tides in summer expose intertidal life on vertical surfaces of rocks at the cape’s base.
Woods, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
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From the top of Cape Lookout you can hike 2 miles down to a secluded beach with a small tide-pool area. Continue your hike down the beach before returning, if you like, or arrange for a shuttle car at Sand Beach Campground.
Sandlake, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
This stretch of the Oregon Coast Trail serves day hikers as a link from the sea-level campground to trails taking off from atop Cape Lookout. Between the campground and the picnic area is a 0.25-mile loop hike designed for young children, with sixteen marked stations identifying plants and forest processes. Pick up a trail guide brochure at the campground registration booth. A second short loop trail along Jackson Creek trail has a panel explaining fish habitat restoration efforts here; look for it off the park entrance road east of the RV dump station.
Sandlake, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.5
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