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4 Scenic Hiking Trails On The Oregon Coast

By Nikki C

The Oregon Coast has miles of scenic trails for hikers of every skill level. It all depends what kind of adventure you’re looking for and what kind of views you want to soak in. Do you want an easygoing walk on the beach with wide-open views of the crashing waves? Or would you prefer a more challenging, steep climb through the woods for panoramic views of the beach and surrounding landscape?

Here’s a few of the many scenic hiking trails on the Oregon Coast. They are all relatively easy and offer a great adventure (not to mention incredible views).

1. Drift Creek Falls

Length: About 3 miles

Drift Creek Falls is one of my favorite hiking trails on the Oregon Coast. This is a short and sweet hike that traverses through lush coastal woods and over a 240-foot suspension bridge to view Drift Creek Falls up-close. 

hiking trails on the Oregon Coast
Drift Creek Falls – Photo by author, Nikki Cleveland. Sept. 2019

The turnoff for Drift Creek Road is just south of Lincoln City along Highway 101. The winding back road twists and turns all the way up to the trailhead in the Siuslaw National Forest.

Drive slowly and carefully, this road is extremely narrow and you never know who may be coming around the corner in the other direction. This trail is also popular and the parking lot can get full, so plan your hike on a weekday or earlier in the morning before the crowds arrive.

2. God’s Thumb

Length: 4.4 miles

God’s Thumb is another scenic hike near Lincoln City. It is a bit more difficult than Drift Creek Falls at 4.4 miles in length with just over 1,000 feet in elevation gain. However, it is very doable if you are already a little experienced. 

God’s Thumb. Photo by Jeff Hollett. Cover photo also by Jeff Hollett

The payoff is incredible; to the north, you can get a panoramic view of the ocean and waves crashing up against the cliffs, and to the south, you’ll get a birds-eye view of Lincoln City. The trail gets a bit steep and muddy in some places, so be prepared.

3. Hug Point Trail

Length: 1.2 miles

Just south of Cannon Beach is Hug Point State Recreation Site right along the 101. The beach is the real gem of this park, easily explored along the one-mile Hug Point Trail. Though short, the trail offers great highlights like small sea caves, tide pools, and a waterfall along the way. 

hiking trails on the Oregon Coast
Hug Point Falls, one of the short and easy hiking trails on the Oregon Coast. Photo by GPA

Before you head out, check the tide tables and plan your hike around low tide. There are also picnic tables hidden among the trees for a nice post-hike lunch.

4. Cape Falcon

Length: 4.6 miles

Just south of Hug Point State Recreation Site is Oswald West State Park with quite a few hiking trails of varying lengths. One of these is the Cape Falcon Trail, which runs less than 5 miles with about 623 feet in elevation gain.

hiking trails on the Oregon Coast
Views from the Cape Falcon trail. Photo: Wikipedia

The trail leads through the woods up to a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the coastline. It gets muddy in some areas, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear.

After a good hike, the Oregon Coast has lots of great seafood markets for a post-hike meal. Check out 10 of the best seafood markets on the Oregon Coast in our previous article here.

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