Hiking Northern Coast Oregon Oregon Coast Trip report

Cannon Beach

For our second day while staying in Gearhart we picked Cannon Beach as our hike. Located just 10 miles south of Gearhart on the other side of Tillamook Head we planned on starting at the city information center on 2nd St. and hiking south along the beach to a waterfall at Hug Point. The round trip would be just under 10.5 miles and allow us to be back to our hotel before the Seahawks played their first regular season game. (We might have been better off hiking based on the way their offense wound up playing.)

The clouds from the previous day were still breaking up as we left our room creating a nice sunrise over Saddle Mountain.


We drove south on Highway 101 to Cannon Beach, parked, and walked three blocks to the beach.


The morning coastal fog was rolling in somewhat obscuring the view of Tillamook Head to the north.



To the south Haystack Rock fared a little better although some of the smaller rocks around it were in the fog.


We turned south on the beach heading for Haystack Rock which was about a mile away. The rock began catching some early morning sunlight as we passed.





We continued on passing the Tolovana Beach Wayside on the way to Silver Point two miles beyond Haystack Rock.


It was fairly foggy at Silver Point where we found several large rocks just offshore, including the aptly named Jockey Cap.



IMG_8282Jockey Cap

A little over a half mile after passing Silver Point we arrived at Humbug Point where we passed another well named rock, Lion Rock.




It was another mile to Hug Point which was also dealing with the morning fog.


Hug Point was part of a wagon route where settlers had to wait for low tide to be able to pass by. A roadbed was blasted in the headland around 1920 which was still obvious as we approached.


The other reason we had chosen this hike for the day is that low tide was around 9:20am which we figured was a little later than when we would be arriving. It was a little after 8:30 when we did reach the point and we could have easily stayed dry by crossing over on the roadbed but when we approached it we noticed a lot of marine life on the rocks.


Instead of trying to avoid them we decided to take off our shoes and socks and wade around Hug Point. The water was about calf deep at its deepest so getting through was easy enough. One the other side we found more anemones and other marine creatures clinging to the rocks.




Seagulls seemed to be treating it as a buffet.


After passing a small cove we spotted the small waterfall on Fall Creek. It wasn’t exactly the best time of year to be visiting the falls but the water was still flowing.





The falls can be accessed from the Hug Point Wayside which avoids the need to navigate around Hug Point. We’ll likely stop there some other time when the flow over the falls is greater.

We turned around here and headed back. After another wade around Hug Point we pulled out our Therm-A-Rest Z Seats and took a seat while our feet dried.


The clouds continued to break up as the morning progressed.





We finished our 10.4 mile hike just before 11am and headed back to the hotel for a relaxing afternoon of football. By the time the sun was setting most of the clouds had disappeared teasing a little more blue sky for our Monday Hikes.


Happy Trails!

Flickr: Cannon Beach

Hiking Northern Coast Oregon Oregon Coast Trip report

Tillamook Head

We recently wrapped up our 2013 hikes. We started on the Oregon Coast at Cape Perpetua in February and ended 140 miles to the north at Tillamook Head. Undaunted by some recent snow and cold weather (lows in the teens) we were determined to complete our final scheduled hike. The forecast for Seaside was for clear skies and a balmy 36 degrees and highway 26 over the coast looked passable so we bundled up and set off. We were looking forward to the possibility of seeing some snow at the coast since it is a rarity here in Oregon.

We chose to begin our hike at Ecola State Park on the Cannon Beach side of Tillamook Head. This meant paying a $5 fee to park which we could have avoided by parking at the Seaside end, but better views and a less steep start to the hike were worth the expense. We were the lone car in the large picnic parking area at 8am and had the views all to ourselves.

View south from the Ecola Picnic Area
View south from the Ecola Picnic Area

From the picnic area we headed north toward Indian Beach stopping occasionally to take in the views of Sea Lion Rock and the old lighthouse on Tillamook Rock.

Sea Lion Rock
Sea Lion Rock
Tillamook Rock
Tillamook Rock

When we arrived at Indian Beach we found some very interesting ice formation in addition to the superb views.




In addition to the ice there were a couple of small tide pools to check out.

From Indian Beach we continued north taking the Clatsop Loop Trail, part of which William Clark traveled in 1806 with a party in search of a stranded whale. The forest here is still home to some of the same Sitka Spruce trees that he and his group passed by which was a neat thing to think about. The loop trail turns back at Hikers Camp where you can visit the nearby remains of a WWII radar installation.

Hikers Camp
Hikers Camp
WWII radar installation
WWII radar installation

We kept heading north from Hikers Camp heading toward the summit of Tillamook Head, a whopping 1130′ above sea level :). We passed over the summit and went just a bit further until the trail began to really descend toward Seaside. We decided we didn’t want to have to climb all the way back up so we called it good and head back to Hikers Camp to complete the loop trail. It had started to snow, more like small white pellets, and the clear skies promised by the had never materialized. We passed more ocean views and various types of vegetation as we headed back to Indian Beach.



We had only seen one other group of people so far and that was a family that came down to Indian Beach briefly when we were there, but upon arriving back at the beach we discovered it had been populated by some brave surfers.



It wasn’t until we had left Indian Beach and were almost back to the picnic area though before we ran into any traffic on the trail.

She was moving too fast for the camera but it was fun to watch her come up the hillside and then dash off into the forest.

The number of cars in the parking lot had swollen to three (including ours) when we got back to the picnic area at about 3pm. Despite the completely incorrect weather forecast it had been a great hike and a perfect way to end for 2013. Happy Trails!


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