Oregon Pictures (15 pictures)
Saddle Mountain Directions: Hwy 101 to Hwy 26 (just north of Cannon Beach) about 10 1/2 miles to road signing indicating Saddle Mountain that way (take a left). Go 7 miles along the paved, some times rough road to the trailhead [I joked with my dad that the trail was better maintained than the road]. There are flush toilets and running water at the parking lot. Free. Trails: This 2.5 miles one-person width trail goes to the top of Saddle Mountain, the tallest peak in Oregon's Coast Range. The trail is well maintained, but very steep at points - you'll want to be wearing good hiking shoes (not sneakers), even with the chicken wire in some areas. The trail goes through the woods for most of the way and there are markers every 1/4 of a mile (though I didn't spot all of them). After about 2 miles of climbing, things get difficult. You can see the mountain peak across the way, but first you have to go down steeply into a side saddle (not the one the mountain is named for) and then go up steeply and longer. This last bit is mostly in the open, above the tree line. there is a circle bench at the top. On a clear day, supposedly there are great views of the ocean and of the Cascade peaks in the distance. All we saw was clouds and a couple of mountains peaking through. It took us about 1 3/4 hours to get to the top. We encountered 2 people as we were heading up with a 9 am start, 3 people already at the top, and far too many people to count as we were heading back. Trail Length + Elevation: 2.5 miles one-way and 1,630 feet gained Area: Steep mountain area, in the woods until last 1/2 mile. Picture When I did the hike: Saturday, July 20, 2002 Recommendation: Maybe a clear day and less people would have made this a trail I'd recommend, but for all the effort, the reward wasn't much. The wildflowers were pretty, though.
Ecola State Park Directions: Hwy 101 to just north of Cannon Beach - hang a right of Hwy 101 where the sign says Ecola State Park that way and then take the next right where the sign says Ecola State Park that way. Take a right right after the entrance station and drive the windy road to the Indian Beach parking lot. Or park in the Ecola Point Parking Lot (2 mile trail to Indian Beach). Chemical toilet at the Indian Beach parking lot. $3 (day pass is good at all State Parks) Trails: For my second visit, I parked in the Ecola Point parking lot and took the 2 mile trail to Indian Beach before again doing the Clatsop Loop trail (described below). The point area is very pretty with good coastal views of sea stacks (even saw a puffin in the water) - take a left and out from the parking lot and wander the area before heading along the trail, which is to the right towards the end of the parking lot. After a short mild bit, the trail heads up to a ridge and then down the other side. At points there are great coast views (including down on Indian Beach) and at times you are in the trees. It is a bit of work, so don't think this is an easy walk (saw a couple of families with younger kids struggling (and I suggested that one of the parents go back and get the car and meet them at Indian Beach for a one-way hike)). The trail comes down near the beach and hook a right and cross the creek over the bridge and go through the parking lot (baring left) to hook up with the Clatsop Loop Trail (a 2 mile loop), which starts next to the toilets. The Clatsop Loop Trail has 14 interpretive signs along the way. For the loop, take the right branch and head up the blah gravel road. It's a steady climb and not very scenic as it is purely in the woods. After finally reaching the junction, continue straight to the Old Military Bunker (there are a couple of bunks from World War II) and at the end is a great view (barring fog) of the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, on an island 12 miles off shore). Make your way back to the junction and hook a right just past the outhouses for the narrower and prettier second half of the loop. The trail goes through the woods and has some good views of the ocean and sea stacks along the way (not a constant view, though). Looking back, you can sometimes see the lighthouse in the distance. It's not a steady down and there are a couple of mild ups. goes left over the bridge. A short ways from the start of the trail and on a very short side branch is a bench with a wonderful view of Indian Beach and the coast. The west portion of the loop and the trail to the Ecola Point Parking Lot is part of the Oregon Coast Trail. Trail Length: 2 miles one-way Ecola Point Parking Lot to Indian Beach 2 miles Clatsop Loop Trail Area: Woods and hills along the coast. Pictures When I did the hike: Sunday, July 21, 2002; Tuesday, August 7, 2007 Recommendation: Definitely. Do the Ecola Point trail and western portion of the Clatsop Loop trail (going and returning the same way) - skip the blah inner portion of the loop.
Oswald State Park Directions: Hwy 101 to about 10 miles south of Cannon Beach. There are 3 parking areas right off Hwy 101 - take your pick (or which ever you can find a parking spot in). There are flush toilets and water in the camping area and near the beach. $3 (day pass is good at all State Parks) Trails: We took a stop of Oswald State Park to hike out to the cape view point. From the parking lot is paved trails down to the beach area. The Cape Falcon trail (part of the Oregon Coast Trail) goes up to the right between the beach and the bathrooms - there is a sign pointing the way. Interestingly, the one-person width trail has asphalt at some points (including spots a ways in), but is mostly packed dirt. Where the trail cuts through the cape, there is a trail branch to the left with tall bushes on both sides and ends at a small view point with views back towards the beach (there are no views for the other side of the cape). There is a little bit of up and down, but not too much elevation change. Trail Length: 1/4 a mile from the parking lot down to the beach area 1 3/4 miles from the beach to Cape Falcon (one-way) The Oregon Coast Trail runs through the park Area: Woods along the coast. Picture When I did the hike: Sunday, July 21, 2002; Monday, August 6, 2007 Recommendation: If you have time to do both Ecola and Oswald, then do both. If you only time for one, stick to Ecola - it is the prettier of the 2 with better views.
Lookout State Park Directions: Take Hwy 101 to Tillamook. Head west on the Three Capes Scenic Route towards Oceanside on 3rd Street (I think it is the 2nd light in Tillamook heading South). Fork left with the road (or fork right to take a short trip to the Cape Meares lighthouse). Follow the signs for Cape Lookout - about 6 miles from Tillamook. Go past the main entrance and park in the parking lot about 2 miles ahead. No facilities at the trailhead parking lot. $3 (day pass is good at all State Parks) [have to get the pass at the day use area, not available at the trailhead parking lot] Trails: There are 3 trails in Lookout State Park plus 2 good-sized beaches. The Cape Trail is 2.4 miles from the trailhead to the tip of the cape. The South Trail is 1.8 miles from the trailhead down to an isolated beach. Both these trails start to the left at the end of the parking lot (the South Trail branches down a short ways in). The North trail goes 2.3 miles from the parking lot back to the main day-use and campground area (haven't hiked this trail). The North trail starts in the middle at the end of the parking lot. South Trail down to the beach: The trail takes long switchbacks down the mountain in the woods about 500 feet down to the beach. It's a softer fern, dirt floor trail - very peaceful. The beach has a rocky area for a ways to the right and a nice, long sand beach to the left. I spent some time strolling along the sand and seconds at a time in the surf (brrrr) barefoot for a while and then explored the rocks. I found some neat green rocks down there. The hike back out wasn't too bad. Cape Trail: The trail heads along the peninsula for 2.4 miles to the tip. The 2-person width trail varies between being along the peninsula's edge with coastal views (mostly to the south as there are only 2 short areas with views to the north) and weaving its way through the middle through the trees. It can get muddy at points and there are a couple of sections with boardwalks. The views are nice, but not stunning as it simply is not a stunning coastal area. The trail ends with a very small area (not truly at the tip and the views are only to the south). The trail starts fairly level and then has a good section heading down and another heading back up (which means you have to do the reverse on the return) before become mild again to the viewpoint. Trail Length + Elevation: Cape Trail is 2.4 miles one-way to the cape tip South Trail is 1.8 miles and 500 feet one-way down to the beach North Trail is 2.3 miles one-way Area: Woods, small mountain area and ocean with beaches When I did the hike: South Trail: Monday, July 22, 2002 Cape Trail: Sunday, August 5, 2007 Recommendation: I loved my time at the beach. Though worth doing, the Cape Trail was a little disappointing as I was expecting grand coastal views.
Munson Ceek Falls Directions: Take Hwy 101 to about 6 miles south of Tillamook to Munson Creek Road - there should be a sign saying Munson Creek Falls that way. Go about 2 miles (the road turns gravel a short ways in, but no problem for a compact) to the small parking area. Free. Trails: Short, wide trail to a 300 foot tall waterfall - you don't get too close to it. I read about there being a 1/2 mile trail to the top of the falls, but I saw no signs of an existing trail besides the one that goes to the base of the falls. Trail Length: 1/4 mile one-way (flat) Area: Woody area next to a creek to a 300 foot tall waterfall. When I did the hike: July 22, 2002 Recommendation: Unless you're desperate for a waterfall, don't waste your time with this not very impressive waterfall - especially with some neat coastal areas nearby.
Cape Perpetua Directions: Hwy 101 to Cape Perpetua, just south of Yachats. Park alongside the road near mile 167.4 or at the interpretive center at mile 167.3. No facilities (might be some at center). Free. Trails: Though one of the tourist Oregon magazines says there are 25 miles of hiking trails in the area, I stopped there to see the blowhole and water chasm - and was fortunate that the sea was rough and had great water action for the blowhole, chasm, and simply crashing against the rocks. From the pullout, take the short trail down to the viewing area for Spouting Horn (the blowhole) and watch the water spout out of the hole. From there, you can make your way down, around, and over the solid sandstone/rocks of the shore, heading to the left for Cook's Chasm or it's a short trail down from the interpretive center. The chasm is a long crevice in the rock from the ocean to nearly the road (but well below the road) with the water consently crashing through it. Trail Length: short Area: Ocean, blow holes, water chasm When I did the hike: Saturday, August 4, 2007 Recommendation: Definitely worth a short visit for these neat features.
Hecta Head Lighthouse Directions: Hwy 101 to Hecta Head Lighthouse (about 10 miles north of Florence), Pull into the parking lot for the small beach. Note there is nice distance view of the lighthouse at a pulloff on Hwy 101 about 1/2 mile before the lot. $3 parking fee. Toilets at parking lot. Trails: It's a .5 mile walk up a road to the lighthouse. A short bit before the lighthouse, you can hook a right onto a true trail and head up a short bit for a view from above of the lighthouse (it's not a great view as the trees obscure most of the view). I went up to the ridge a little bit, hoping for a view of the coast to the south, but turned around without getting one. The trail (part of the Oregon Coast Trail) goes for .5 miles, heading down, to an viewpoint of the beach below and then continues .75 miles down to the beach parking lot (hook a left to get out to the large beach). Trail Length + Elevation: .5 mile, 150 feet to lighthouse 1.25 miles, 600 feet one-way lighthouse to beach Area: Beach, woods, hill, pretty lighthouse Picture When I did the hike: Saturday, August 4, 2007 Recommendation: Worth a short visit. One of the prettier lighthouses and lighthouse settings.
Port Orford Heads State Park Directions: Hwy 101 to Port Orford. In town, take a left (west) at the sign for the park and drive to the parking area. Port-a-potties next to tennis court. Free. Trails: Next to the parking area is an old Lifeboat Station (1934-1970) including a museum and one of the boats. Head to the left to the old tennis court and then go through the court to the left and the trail to the headlands viewpoint starts there. It's a .5 mile walk on a path covered with wood chips to the viewpoint (take right at the trail junction), with a couple of benchs along the way. The ocean views are wonderful and I even saw a whale off the shore while there (even though it wasn't whaling season). On the way back, you can hook a right at the trail junction and continue with ocean views to the lookout site (taking a right at the next junction). The Cove Trail heads east just short of the lookout site. From the lookout site, it's .25 miles of paved trail back up to the Lifeboat Station area. Trail Length: Number of short trails .5 miles to Headlands viewpoint .25 miles to Lookout site ?? Cove Trail Area: Pretty wooded headlands with good ocean views. Picture When I did the hike: Friday, August 3, 2007 Recommendation: Very pretty area.
Humbug Mountain Directions: Hwy 101 to Humbug Mountain State Park (about 25 miles north of Gold Beach). Go around the mountain, past the campground, and then turn left (west) in to the parking area. No facilities (flush toilets in the campground). Free. Trails: You would think hiking a mountain next to the ocean would have lots of great ocean views. For this hike, that is not the case as the mountain is heavily wooded. Humbug Mountain is the tallest mountain along the Oregon coast and this trail goes to the top. The trail heads up for a mile, with very few switchbacks, and gains 700 feet along the way. Just past the 1/2 mile marker is a pretty ocean view including 3 sea stacks. At the junction, you can either go left or right as it is a loop trail to the top - to the left it is 1.8 miles to the top and to the right it is 1.6 miles. I headed left, as I was doing the loop. A little after the 2 mile marker is a bench (the only bench on the Eastern Route). Later you do get a couple of views to the south through the trees of the ocean, but it's not that pretty. There are a few switchbacks, but not a ton. At the junction, take a left for the short trip to the summit - there is a small open area and one bench under a tree. Again there is an ocean view to the south (none to the north), but it's not a great view. Heading down the Western Route, the trail remains in the trees. A little past the 1.5 mile marker is a bench (the only bench on the Western Route) and a good view south of the ocean. Trail Length + Elevation: 5.4 miles, 1750 feet Area: Trees, mountain, very few ocean views Picture When I did the hike: Friday, August 3, 2007 Recommendation: Na. A lot of work for hardly any good views.
Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor Directions: 2 miles north of Brookings, just north of the California border, on Hwy 101. Various pulloffs and parking areas throughout the 10 mile corridor. Stop at the state visitor center near Harris Beach (directly off of Hwy 101) and pick up up the brochure for the corridor. Vault toilets at the Lone Ranch Picnic area, Whaleshead Picnic area, and Arch Rocks Picnic area. Free. Trails: I had originally planned on just spending a few hours in the Boardman area, but ended up spending most of the day as the beaches along this stretch of coast are just wonderful. The Oregon Coast Trail goes through the corridor, but about 1/3 of the trail is walking various beaches. I ended up actually not doing much true hiking, but used the car to move between the various viewpoints and beaches. I walked (barefoot, of course) the entire length of Lone Ranch Beach and Whaleshead Beach (note for Whaleshead, the first parking area that says Whaleshead is an overlook with a steep, non-trail down to the beach; but about 1/2 mile north on the road is another parking area with a much easier walk down to the beach). The various viewpoint areas are of pretty coastal views including a number of sea stacks (rock mounds) in the ocean - Arch Rock is probably the most famous (and is a short loop walk to see it), but I liked Natural Bridges with its double-arch the best. For Indian Sands, you have to take a steep walk down (and harder back up) then hook right to get to the sand dunes and walk over the dunes in various directions for great ocean views (above the coast) and some more sea arches. The hard to find jewel is Secret Beach - it's not marked and you have to look for a very small unpaved pulloff area (room for about 8 cars) and then take a short trail down that ends at a rock mound that you have to make your way very carefully down to the very small beach with a waterfall right next to it and several very large sea stacks in the ocean for a very scenic spot. I returned to the area in 2009 with thoughts of hiking more of the coastal trail than I had on the first visit. Have to say that it was a disappointment as the views from the overlooks were better than from the trail and the trail varied between ups and downs (not mild), often was in the trees with no coastal views, and even went next to (and even on) the road at times. So, stick to the car to drive between the overlooks and beaches. There is a nice little loop trail at the Thunder Cove area - about .5 mile loop that drops some to 2 view points. Trail Length: 10 miles of combination trail and beach walking Area: Trees, ocean cliffs, beaches, large sea stacks Pictures When I did the hike: Thursday, August 2, 2007; Monday, August 3, 2009 Recommendation: Absolutely. A wonderful area and the beaches are grand. Secret Beach is one of the highlights of the pretty area. See http://www.nbps.gov/crla for Crater Lake's official web pate.
Garfield Peak - Crater Lake Directions: In Crater Lake Nation Park, go to the Rim Village area and park as close as to the Crater Lake Lodge at you can get. $10 per week (for a car load) or National Parks Pass Trails: This trail heads away from the lodge and after a little bit starts switchbacking up (with no views of the lake for a while). Eventually, though, you do get great views of the lake. I was able to go a quick 30 minutes up (it was late in the afternoon, so I was rushing) before I reached where the trail was closed (so I didn't get to the top). Apparently the park has a policy to close the trail where there is snow on the trail as too much damage is done by people going off the trail to get around the snow. Trail Length: 1.7 miles to the top, about 1,000 feet Area: Small mountain next to Crater Lake Picture When I did the hike: Sunday, July 23, 2006 Recommendation: Very pretty views of the lake, not too long or hard (but enough to leave some of the crowd behind).
Sun Notch Viewpoint - Crater Lake Directions: In Crater Lake Nation Park, go to the Sun Notch parking area (on the south side of the lake). $10 per week (for a car load) or National Parks Pass Trails: A short little pseudo-loop to a view point overlooking the lake. The views were worth the extra walk from the car, but I was swarmed by mosquitoes. Trail Length: about .5 miles Area: Short bit through woods to Crater Lake rim Picture When I did the hike: Monday, July 24, 2006 Recommendation: Worth the tiny bit extra work for your scenic drive around the rim.
Wizard Island - Crater Lake Directions: In Crater Lake Nation Park, go to the Cleetwood Cove parking area (on the north side of the lake). $10 per week (for a car load) or National Parks Pass Plus (I think) $25 for boat ride with stop at island - you purchase tickets at a hut in the parking lot. Arrive early for the opening of the hut (about an hour should be plenty of time) as they do sell out - they only sell tickets for that day. Make sure you buy a ticket with a stop on the island. Trails: There are 2 trails. First is the trail down to the lake (the only lake access) to get to the boat launch. It's steep switchback down of about a mile and 700 feet (of course, you have to go back up afterwards) - if you aren't going to do the boat ride, you should probably do this hike anyways as it is neat to get lakeside. It is a wide trail (it's used to supply the boat dock) and almost anyone can do this hike - for non-hikers, just tell them to take their time and take rests when they need to. It is an hour boat ride with a stop at the island in the middle (and you pick up a different boat in the middle). The bad news for me was that they had changed their island policy for the summer of 2006 (and hopefully they will change it again) - you were given a set time to pick up the departure boat and I only had about 75 minutes on the island (where as I had planned on spending several hours there). On Wizard Island, the one-person width trail heads up and to the left from the boat launch. At the intersection in the lava field, take a right. The trail will soon head through a small patch of woods and start heading up. The trail will head out of the trees and wind its way up the cinder cone (with a lava sand base (gravelish)). Don't forget to stop every once and a while and look out at the great views. After what seems like longer than a mile, the trail will curve around the north end and reach the top, with a small crater in the middle. Walk around the rim and again enjoy the great views (rest if you have time). There is another trail - back at the junction, head straight and the trail reaches Fumerole Bay, where you can swim in the lake - unfortunately, with the mandatory boat times, I didn't have time to do fully this trail (though I did do a quick partial visit). [I did send to the park a note complaining about the time limit restricting my enjoyment of the island and hopefully they will again change the rules for visiting the island.] Trail Length: 1.1 miles, 700 feet to boat launch about 1 mile, 750 feet to Wizard Island top Area: At, on, and in the middle of the large Crater Lake. And then on the cinder cone Wizard Island. Pictures When I did the hike: Sunday, July 23, 2006 Recommendation: Splurge and do this. You can't fully experience the lake from the rim and the views are wonderful and completely different from the rim. If you can't splurge or are unable to get a boat ticket, take the hike down to the lake anyways.