The 16 Best Oregon Coast Hikes – A Updated Guide

The Oregon coast is one of the most beautiful regions in the United States. You may spend all day exploring with Cliffside views, hikes along the shore, and gorgeous overlooks at every turn!

There are many beautiful places to hike on Oregon Coast. From towering Neahkahnie Mountain to the chasms of Cape Perpetua, there are hiking paths that go up and down our beautiful coastline, allowing you to explore the forests, dunes, tide pools, and beaches that make it up.

The length, difficulty, and geography of these Oregon Coast hikes vary, but all provide stunning vistas and an opportunity to breathe in the fresh ocean air and stretch your leg.

Sunshine on the Oregon Coast is always pleasant, but in December, it truly is a gift from above. That is what distinguishes the upcoming week. The Oregon Coast is expected to see several wonderful days of sunshine in the coming weeks. One of the finest ways to take advantage is with winter hikes in the Oregon coast.

Experience the beauty of Oregon with a hike traveling along the coast — or through a forest or park leading to a viewpoint on the coast. So pack up the car and let’s hit the road- here’s 16 Best Oregon Coast Hikes

16 Best Oregon Coast Hikes:

There’s nothing quite like a beautiful day on the Oregon coast, whether you opt to climb a mountain or take a casual walk down to the beach. Here are 16 amazing hikes to help you discover it.

  1. God’s Thumb
  2. Neahkahnie Mountain
  3. Cascade Head
  4. Cape Lookout
  5. Clatsop Loop Hike
  6. Cape Falcon
  7. Cape Kiwanda
  8. Cape Sebastian Trail
  9. Cape Perpetua
  10. Dellenback Dunes
  11. Boardman Corridor
  12. Floras Lake
  13. 804 Trail
  14. Fort to Sea Trail
  15. Oregon Coast Trail
  16. Amanda’s Trail

1. God’s Thumb (Best Oregon Coast Hike)

One of the most popular walks around Lincoln City is God’s Thumb. The thumb-like cliff is covered with lovely grasses, the ocean waves crash into the cliffside below, and there’s a great view of Lincoln City in the distance.

The trail’s initial section is relatively easy. To get to the viewpoint, you’ll have to hike up some steep hills and cross a tiny ridge near the end. You may take in a panoramic vista of the coastline while you gather your breath at the top.

God’s Thumb (Best Oregon Coast Hike)

Because the path is surrounded by private property, parking is essential. You’ll park at Road’s End State Park and then take the Road’s End Trailhead at the end of Port Drive to get to God’s Thumb Trail.

The path ascends a grassy ridge toward the thumb. Keep a lookout for elk, since they frequently rest here. In the winter and spring, this trail can become exceedingly muddy. There are numerous long uphill parts as well as some steep cliffs. The trail is dog-friendly; however, dogs must be kept on a leash.

  • Distance: 4.6 miles
  • Total Ascent: 1,025 ft.
  •  Difficulty: Moderate
  •  Time: 2h 30 min
  • Trail type: Out and Back
  •  Nearest Town: Lincoln City

2. Neahkahnie Mountain:

Neahkahnie Mountain is located within Oswald West State Park. Its top can be reached from either the north or south side. Both routes are rather short, yet each provides a unique experience and perspective. Making this a loop is not suggested because you will have to walk along the shoulder of Highway 101 for quite some distance.

Neahkahnie Mountain

Neahkahnie Mountain is one of the highest points on the West Coast. Legend has it that Spanish explorers buried wealth here at Oswald West State Park. While no treasure has been discovered, once you reach the summit, you will appreciate the hard-earned ocean views. The hike has a net elevation gain of 1,220 feet, and carrying lunch to eat at the top will give you plenty of time to catch your breath before heading back to the car.

  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Total Ascent: 2,300 ft.
  •  Difficulty: Moderate
  •  Time: 1 h 43 min
  • Trail type: Out and Back
  •  Nearest Town: Town of Manzanita

3. Cascade Head:

If you are looking for the best hike Cascade Head Trail is one of the best hikes on the Oregon Coast, with breathtaking views. Despite its proximity to the ocean, most of this trail is densely forested. However, you will have the opportunity to observe some incredible wildlife. Many people have reported seeing herds of elk in the forests, in particular.

Cascade Head

As you rise into the deep forest, you will come across multiple brook crossings. After about a mile, you will emerge from the woodland and onto beautiful grassland. The views from here are breathtaking.

The Salmon River Estuary is visible below, while Lincoln City is visible in the background. The trail continues up a hill before offering a view of the beach to the north from a high cliff. In the end, there is an elevated viewpoint. After heavy rain, this trail can get extremely muddy. On a clear day, it’s a fantastic hike.

  • Distance: 6.3 miles
  • Total Ascent: 1380 ft.
  •  Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult
  •  Time: 2 h 10 min
  • Trail type: Out and Back
  •  Nearest Town: Lincoln City

4. Cape Lookout:

Cape Lookout, which rises 900 feet above the ocean, offers some of the best possibilities to see any of the 20,000 migrating grey whales that navigate the park’s two-mile-long peninsula during their migration phases from Alaska’s arctic waters to Baja Mexico’s warm lagoons.

Cape Lookout

This journey will take you through an unbelievably dense forest full of moss-laden trees and primordial ferns, on a trail that alternates between being a dirt path and a wooden boardwalk. After 2.5 kilometers, you’ll be rewarded with broad views of the ocean from the cape, providing a wonderful vantage point to see not just whales, but also sea lions and birds that live in the Pacific.

If you’re feeling particularly brave, you can prolong your journey once you’ve returned to the trailhead by taking the South Trail to a hidden beach nestled against the sheer cliffs of Cape Lookout.

  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Total Ascent: 900 ft
  •  Difficulty: Moderate
  •  Time: 2 h 26min
  • Trail type: Out and Back
  •  Nearest Town: Harkers Island, NC

5. Clatsop Loop Hike:

This is a short and easy hike near Cannon Beach that is great for kids. This 3-mile loop in Ecola State Park includes vistas of the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, a rich forest area, and plenty of ocean views. To begin the loop, begin at the Indian Beach parking area, proceed north to the trailhead, and bridge Indian Creek.

Clatsop Loop Hike

Continue straight up the ancient Indian Creek Road Trail until you reach a crossroads and turn right towards a backpacker campsite. Simply take Tillamook Head Trail back toward Indian Beach to return. All the while, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the ocean and lighthouse!

  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Total Ascent: 785 ft.
  •  Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail type: Loop
  •  Nearest Town: Cannon Beach

6. Cape Falcon:

The 4.6-mile round-trip Cape Falcon climb provides access to some of the Northwest’s best-preserved old-growth coastal forests.

With so few of these types of woods remaining, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The size of the trees in this area is amazing. The dirt that can accompany them may also make you shake your head.

Cape Falcon

Even in the hottest summer months, this trail might be wet. Beautiful hiking with breathtaking views, wildflower displays in the spring and summer, and little elevation gain, however, because of everything it has to offer, Cape Falcon is a popular resort, so solitude will be in short supply.

This is a popular trail for bird and wildlife observation. Dogs are permitted but must be kept on a leash. It should be noted that the hike might be muddy at any time of year.

  • Distance: 4.6 miles
  • Total Ascent: 623 ft.
  •  Difficulty: Moderate
  •  Time: 2 h 16min
  • Trail type: Out and Back
  •  Nearest Town: Manzanita and Cannon Beach

7.  Cape Kiwanda:

The hike to Cape Kiwanda is the shortest and easiest on this list, but it’s also one of the most iconic on the Oregon coast. The hike, located next to the original Pelican Brewing pub in Pacific City, is more of a tromp over a massive sand dune. The sandstone cliffs may be seen from a short hike around the top.

Cape Kiwanda

Start traveling up the dunes for stunning vistas, then descend to the beach and walk north along the water’s edge. As you go along this scenic and peaceful coastal hike, you’ll notice Haystack Rock (not the one we all know and love in Cannon Beach!) on your left.

  • Distance: 1 mile
  • Total Ascent: 187 ft.
  •  Difficulty: Easy
  •  Time: 32 min
  • Trail type: Lollipop loop
  •  Nearest Town: Pacific City

8. Cape Sebastian Trail:

This is the greatest Oregon Coast hike if you want a short hike with a huge reward. The trail begins at Cape Sebastian Viewpoint, just off Highway 101, and gently descends through a shaded, old-growth forest to the beach.

The trail leads you to a rocky bench at the base of Cape Sebastian, where the ocean waves crash dramatically right next to you. Continue down to the beach using the rope handrail – it’s well worth it. The rock formations are fascinating, and the views of the ocean are breathtaking. You might even spot a whale in the distance if you’re lucky. It’s a nice spot to bring a picnic and spend the afternoon.

Cape Sebastian Trail

Before going on this hike, make sure to check the tide. At high tide, the beach may be inaccessible. Remember that you will be ascending on the way back, so leave plenty of time for the return trip to your car.

  • Distance: 2.7 miles
  • Total Ascent: 718 ft.
  •  Difficulty: Moderate
  •  Time: 1h 34 min
  • Trail type: Out and Back
  •  Nearest Town: Gold Beach

9. Cape Perpetua:

Cape Perpetua has even more family-friendly hiking on the Oregon Coast! Take the short, paved route down to the beach from the parking lot to see tide pools, spouts, and a variety of marine life. Start at the Cape Perpetua visitors center in the parking area to learn about the various species that may be found here. The rangers will inform you of the creatures to be on the lookout for!

Cape Perpetua

The vista from the summit of Cape Perpetua is spectacular, but a path network closer to the water reveals tide pools, spouting horns, and other dramatic rock formations seen along the central Oregon coast. Hike the Captain Cook Trail from the Cape Perpetua Visitors Center to Thor’s Well and Cook’s Chasm, then the Cape Cove Trail to the Trail of the Restless Waters, which leads to Devils Churn.

  • Distance: 1.8 mile
  • Total Ascent: 1381 ft.
  •  Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail type: In and outs + short loops
  •  Nearest Town: Yachats

10. John Dellenback Dunes Trail:

This is another hike with a variety of landscapes. It begins with a beautiful evergreen forest and then opens up to the widest expanse of sand dunes on the Oregon Coast.

The trail through the dunes is marked with wooden poles with a blue stripe across the top, however, they can be difficult to find. Continue on your way to the beach, and if you get lost, climb the tallest dune. You’ll pass through another tract of dense coastal woodland before reaching the coast, and then you’ll be right on the water.

John Dellenback Dunes Trail

You can park for $5 per day at the John Dellenback Dunes Trailhead in Eel Creek Campground. It’s a fantastic family-friendly hike along the Oregon Coast. The route is named after John Dellenback, a former Oregon Representative who pushed for legislation authorizing the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area in 1972.

  • Distance: 5.5 mile
  • Total Ascent: 300 ft.
  •  Difficulty: Moderate
  •  Time: 2h 25 min
  • Trail type: Loop
  •  Nearest Town: Reedsport

11. Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor:

The Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor is one of the most stunning Oregon photography destinations in the state! On the Oregon coast, you may actually locate multiple short hiking trails, each with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor

The Natural Bridges, Indian Sands, Cape Ferrell, Secret Beach, and China Beach are among the most recognizable paths on the Oregon Coast at Samuel H. Boardman. Bring waterproof boots and a rain jacket!

  • Distance: 0.5 mile
  • Total Ascent: 154 ft.
  •  Difficulty: Moderate (but Scary)
  •  Time: 2h 25 min
  • Trail type: Loop
  •  Nearest Town: Gold Beach

12. Floras Lake to Blacklock Point:

The journey from Floras Lake to Blacklock Point is not as well known as the others, but it is still one of the best excursions on the southern Oregon coast. The journey takes you from lake to ocean, from sand to sandstone, and past the famous seaside cliffs and rock arch. It’s roughly nine miles out and back, but even shortened, it’s a fun experience.

Floras Lake to Blacklock Point

Free parking is available at Cape Blanco Airport. This is where the trails to Blacklock Point, Floras Lake, and the Oregon Coast Trail begin. The trail is largely flat and winds through a Douglas Fir forest, occasionally heading out near the ocean.

The views from Blacklock Point are spectacular. There are several little rock islands to admire, as well as spectacular coastline cliffs. Take a brief detour down to a deserted beach where you’ll have the entire beach to yourself.

  • Distance: 8.5 mile
  • Total Ascent: 200 ft.
  •  Difficulty: Easy
  •  Time: 3h 10 min
  • Trail type: Loop
  •  Nearest Town: Port Orford

13. 804 Trail:

The 804 Trail in Yachats is one of the best city routes in Oregon, connecting sandy beaches to rocky tide pools and grassy cliffs while weaving through state park areas and peaceful neighborhood roads along the coast. You can trek the trail from Yachats State Recreation Area to Smelt Sands State Recreation Area, then continue on the sandy beach all the way to Waldport if you choose.

804 Trail

This walk offers panoramic ocean views as well as access to tide pools and pebbled coves. Caution: If you do venture off-trail towards the ocean, keep an eye out for sneaker waves.

  • Distance: 1.7 mile
  • Total Ascent: 20 ft.
  •  Difficulty: Easy
  •  Time: 32 min
  • Trail type: In and Out
  •  Nearest Town: Yachats

14. Fort to Sea Trail:

The Fort to Sea Trail offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore several ecosystems in a single trip. This hike begins in Fort Clatsop and ends at the Pacific Ocean, just as the name implies. The hike’s most interesting feature is the variety of biomes it passes through.

Fort to Sea Trail

The trail begins at Fort Clatsop and winds through a temperate rainforest before descending and passing through cow fields and farmland. The route then winds its way past Sunset Shore State Recreation Area and down to the beach.

You can park a car at either end and use this as a shuttle, or you can do the entire hike as an out-and-back. You can alternatively begin at Sunset Beach and hike backward from the sea to Fort Clatsop. It’s a pleasant hike either way. Dogs are permitted on this trail, but they must be kept on a leash.

  • Distance: 6.1 mile
  • Total Ascent: 530 ft.
  •  Difficulty: Moderate
  •  Time: 2h 49min
  • Trail type: One-Way or Out & Back
  •  Nearest Town: Astoria

15. Oregon Coast Trail

The Oregon Coast Trail is undoubtedly one of the most iconic hikes on the Oregon coast, even if it takes many weeks to complete. The Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) is one of the Pacific Northwest’s numerous scenic thru-hikes, stretching 383 miles along the coast. It is, however, not always simple to traverse. Some sections necessitate walking along the shoulder of US Highway 101, catching boat rides across river mouths, and illegally camping on beaches.

Oregon Coast Trail

  • Distance: 383 miles
  • Total Ascent: 62 ft.
  •  Difficulty: difficult
  •  Time: 1h 14min
  • Nearest Town: Brookings

16. Amanda’s Trail:

Amanda’s Trail is a beautiful trail with a tragic past. It is named after Amanda De-Guys, one of several Native Americans who were picked up and marched along the rocky shoreline by U.S. Indian Agents in the mid-1800s.

Amanda’s Trail

On the trail, a statue and a sign remember the memory of those victims and keep the terrible story alive. Amanda’s Trail travels south along US 101 from Yachats Ocean Road State Natural Site, then into the forest and up to the top of Cape Perpetua.

  • Distance: 7.4 mile
  • Total Ascent: 1170 ft.
  •  Difficulty: Moderate
  •  Time: 3h 21min
  • Trail type: In and Out
  •  Nearest Town: Yachats

Oregon Coast Hikes – FAQs

When should I hike the Oregon Coast Trail?
On some parts of the Oregon coast, the Pacific Northwest receives up to 200 inches of rain every year. The driest months, and thus the greatest times to hike, are from mid-June to September. This is a little window of opportunity to hike the trail; however, it is highly recommended.
How long does it take to walk the Oregon Coast Trail?
For those committed individuals who are in it only for the challenge, trekking the entire Oregon Coast Trail takes roughly four weeks. Hikers who prefer to take their time might spend many extra days and weeks exploring the coastal towns, which are rich in old museums and seafood restaurants.
Where does the Oregon Coast Trail start and finish?
The Oregon Coast Trail begins at the state’s farthest northern point, the Columbia River south jetty in Fort Stevens State Park. The trek finishes at Crissey Field State Recreation Site on the California border.
What is the best section of the Oregon Coast Trail?
While some of the paths require hikers to walk alongside Highway 101, the expansive Oregon Coast Trail in the south is incomparable. Try the section between Port Orford and Bandon, or the one between Brookings and Gold Beach, for the greatest views and most reliable stretches of the actual trail.
Do you need a permit for the Oregon Coast Trail?
Hikers do not require a permit. If you park your car at an Oregon State Park or a US Forest Service trailhead, you may need to make reservations in order to obtain a permit.

 

Conclusion:

It’s difficult to pick favorites, but the Cape Lookout Trail may be one of them. On this route, 900-foot cliff edge views alternate with deep old-growth forest. There is also plenty of wildlife. Gray whales traveling north from Mexico with their calves may be spotted just off the shore in March.

Also, God’s Thumb is one the Oregon Best Trail and my favorite also because it is the iconic Oregon hike with views of the strange thumb-like rock covered with rich green grass, crashing surf at the cliffside, and a breathtaking perspective of Lincoln City and the beach from above- You’d be difficult to find a more worthwhile hike in the area.

Bring your camera if you want to capture vistas of Cape Kiwanda to the south. This is a popular walk, so you will not be alone in admiring the scenery. It is the simplest hike of all.

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