OUR FAVORITE TRAILS TO EXPLORE THIS SUMMER
A HIKING ITINERARY ON THE NORTH OREGON COAST
The North Coast is full of magical trails and pathways that are even more alluring during the summer months. From leisurely, meditative trails that begin just steps from the lodge to invigorating half-day hikes under towering Sitka Spruce, our captivatingly beautiful trails beckon us to recharge and reconnect.
Day 1 – Pacific City Pathways
Begin your coastal getaway with a stroll on a lovely trail that’s just a short walk from the lodge. The 1.2-mile Pacific City Pathways Loop starts out in a Douglas Fir plantation, climbs through an old-growth forest layered with giant ferns and moss, wends along a ridge with unique glimpses of Pacific City, then slopes down through a quiet stand of pines. At the half-way point you’ll find a perfect spot to rest and enjoy mesmerizing views of the coastline. During the summer we particularly love to explore this trail in the early evening when the western light begins to peek through the trees and the sky begins to take on a pre-sunset glow.
Day 2 – Sitka Sedge State Natural Area
Arise early and watch a Pacific City tradition from your balcony as the Dory fishermen launch their boats through the surf from the beach. Grab trekking poles and binoculars from the Adventure Center and venture out to the secluded Sitka Sedge State Natural Area, a ten-minute drive from Pacific City. Sitka Sedge boasts over 4 miles of trails with stunning views of tidal flats and saltwater marshes, and open water vistas to the north and south. During the summer months foxglove, salal, and wild roses bloom along the main trail, providing a lovely border to your quiet early morning walk. Especially in the early morning there are an abundance of birds at the park—great blue heron, bald eagles, and in the summer months, the California brown pelican.
Day 3 – Cape Lookout State Park
No trip to the Oregon Coast is complete without a visit to the magnificent trails at Cape Lookout State Park. Pick up your Adventure Provisions at Meridian Restaurant & Bar and head north for a stunning 25-minute drive to the Cape Lookout trailhead. Perched 900-ft above the Pacific, the 5-mile trail wanders through lush old-growth forest and offers plenty of vantage points along the way with sweeping views of the seascape below. At the tip of the cape there’s a spot to rest and enjoy panoramic’ views before you head back. If the weather is clear you’ll be rewarded with views 39 miles south to Cape Foulweather, and 42 miles north to Tillamook Head. The 1.75-mile South Trail— more strenuous but less trafficked–descends through a forest of Sitka Spruce to a secluded beach, an ideal spot for your picnic lunch. Be aware that both trails can be muddy at times.
Day 4 – Great Dune at Cape Kiwanda
You can’t visit Pacific City without a climb up the Great Dune at Cape Kiwanda! Before heading out, don’t forget to check in with our Adventure Team to learn about our favorite ways to ascend the dune. For a serious cardio workout, scramble 240-ft straight up Oregon’s tallest dune. At the top you’ll enjoy expansive views stretching from Cape Lookout to the north to Cascade Head to the south. Or follow the dune path that winds in a northwesterly direction and climbs up the west side of the dune, offering mesmerizing views of Haystack Rock. Remember to keep your eyes out for the gray whales who reside nearly year-round along Oregon’s coast.
Learn more about our seasonal hikes and adventures from our Adventure Team at Headlands.