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Oswald West State Park Professional Review and Guide
"This ultra-popular state park includes two of the best hikes on the northern Oregon coast: a nearly flat stroll through old-growth forest to a cliff-top ocean view, and a vigorous hike to a peak with a grand panorama."
--Paul Gerald, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Portland (Menasha Ridge Press).
The trail from the lodge to Paradise Park and back through Paradise Park's loop trail to lodge was simply awesome...It offers so much variety in scenes within the 12-mile loop trip. Scenes included tundra (for a short time but worthwhile to appreciate its beauty) to meadows with beautiful and colorful wildflowers to lush forest with moss growing on trees; and not to mention there were some neat creeks and small waterfalls. The most challenging part of this trail was zigzagging down to the Zigzag River in the canyon and back up on the other side. There were also quite some areas that had fine gravel and sand trail that took so much toll on the feet causing blisters and on the body. Quite dusty in these specific areas when stepping in the gravel or sand, I would say!
The trail is a moderate hike that affords multiple fantastic views of Mt Hood. It was interesting because you go from Zig Zag canon to lush green scenery with fantastic views. Zig Zag canon is comprised of mostly volcanic ash and resembles the surface of the moon with a river running through it. A very worthwile hike. There are some great falls where a person can actually cool off in glacial melt if you are the hardy type, its' cold but refreshing.
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