Tillamook Head

Seaside, Oregon 97138

Tillamook Head

Tillamook Head Professional Review and Guide

"Tillamook Head dominates the skyline in Seaside, where it forms a brooding backdrop to the lively beach scene. Signage along the trail that ascends the head reminds hikers of the Lewis and Clark Expedition's acquaintance with this landmark.

In January 1806, members of the expedition used a rough approximation of this trail to hike over Tillamook Head to the mouth of Ecola Creek to barter for blubber from a beached whale."

More Tillamook Head Professional Reviews and Guides

"Tillamook Head is a towering headland that rises more than 1000 feet above the pounding surf of the Pacific Ocean between Cannon Beach and Seaside. This imposing landmark is protected in Ecola State Park, truly one of Oregon’s “crown jewel” parks. Along a route taken by Captain William Clark, Sacagawea, and other members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the park is crossed by an enjoyable and historic section of the Oregon Coast Trail that passes through lush coastal rain forests and visits several fine viewpoints. Unlike most other trails along the Oregon Coast, this one also includes a designated backpacker’s campsite, allowing hikers to extend their stay and enjoy the scenery a little longer. The park enforces a three-night maximum for staying at the Hiker’s Camp."

"A moderate hike through lush coastal vegetation with wonderful views across the Pacific to the horizon. While you’re enjoying the view look for whales. “Ecola” comes from an Indian word for “whale.” Special attractions: Some wildflowers in the spring; good views include Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, Oregon’s oldest lighthouse; old military bunker.

Begin hiking Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail, traveling through the forest at an easy to moderate grade. Along the way ravens, pigeons, and in the early summer, wildflowers, may accompany you. After 0.6 mile there’s a nice view of the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, commissioned in 1881. Standing 133 feet above the sea, the 62-foot-high tower has been exposed to tremendous storm waves, thus the nickname
“Terrible Tilly.” Replaced by a whistle buoy in 1957, this privately owned Oregon coast lighthouse, the only private one on the National Register of Historic Places, is used as a columbarium, a storage place for ashes of the deceased."

Tillamook Head Reviews

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I've hiked this nearly every year for about 8 years now. I've taken my three boys on it, with the youngest starting at 5 years old and though it was a lot of work for him, he did the entire trail. Last the four of us hiked it and there was significant blow down from the previous winter. Great trail!

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Trail Information

Nearby City
900 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
3-4 hours
Hiking, Camping
Additional Use
Ecola State Park
Local Contacts