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Ask Oregon: A Coast Trip Itinerary for Great Hiking Locations
Published: 03/09/2018  Updated: 06/27/2018
Cape Falcon Trail in Oswald West State Park on the North Oregon Coast
Cape Falcon Trail in Oswald West State Park on the North Oregon Coast
Photo by Gary Hayes

Coast Explorer publisher Gary Hayes answers questions from travelers as Travel Oregon's "Ask Oregon" expert for the Oregon Coast.

Can you suggest an itinerary for a 7-9 day Oregon coast trip with emphasis on places to stay that are in great hiking areas?

With 7-9 days, it would be possible to do some of the best hikes all along Oregon's 363-mile coastline. On the North Oregon Coast, I would recommend Cannon Beach as a hiking base. It's located between Ecola State Park and Oswald West State Park where two days there would allow you to some of the best trails in each. Ecola Point to Crescent Beach and the western portion of the Clatsop Loop Trail from Indian Beach would be my top choices in Ecola State Park. The Cape Falcon trail and a combination of trails including Short Sand Beach, then Necarney Creek, Elk Flats and Devil's Cauldron trails would be my top choices in Oswald West State Park. There are also many miles of beaches that can be hiked south of Cannon Beach, especially if you plan your outing for low tides.

I would recommend Yachats as a Central Oregon Coast destination. You might want to hike the Cape Lookout Trail on your travel day south. Two nights in Yachats would allow you to do some of the great trails in the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. You can combine trails to hike the stretch of coastline between Cook's Chasm and Devil's Churn and choose from several rainforest trails ranging from the easy Giant Spruce Trail to several other trails offering extended hikes. Using Yachats as a base, you can also visit the Heceta Head Lighthouse, a short hike from the State Park or turn your visit into a longer hike between Washburne State Park (or the trailhead on the highway just to the south) to the lighthouse.

I would choose Bandon as a third destination for a two-night stay and on your travel day south, you could consider the John Dellenback Dunes Trail near Lakeside, the best place to hike the Oregon Dunes away from ATV noise. Bandon puts you nicely between Cape Arago and Port Orford for several other hiking options. Not to be missed is the trail on Cape Arago that passes through three State Parks (Cape Arago, Shore Acres and Sunset Bay). Your options south of Bandon include Blacklock Point (a little tricky to find), Cape Blanco trails and Port Orford Heads, an easy hike with great views. Bandon's beach also offers several miles of hiking with the most scenic stretch between the South Jetty of the Coquille River and the Face Rock viewpoint.

I've already accounted for six days of your itinerary, but I would consider Gold Beach for another stay of two nights. The best hiking is to the south including Cape Sebastian and several great options within the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor that lead to secluded coves and beaches. The short hike to Thunder Rock Cove leads to great viewpoints and can be extended to Secret Beach, looping back to the highway side trailhead. Trails also lead to secluded China Beach and cross over Cape Ferrelo. The 12-mile Boardman Corridor can be hiked in its entirety or in sections.

If you want to add a ninth night, a stay in Brookings would make it easy to hike the short trail through Oregon's largest stand of Redwoods near Loeb State Park. You can do this hike as an add-on from the Loeb State Park day-use area following the Riverview Trail through an aromatic stand of Myrtle trees before emerging at the road at the Oregon Redwoods Trail. You're making me want to hit the trail. You can submit your questions for the Ask Oregon program at: - By Gary Hayes

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