Bayocean Peninsula

Northern Oregon Coast, Oregon

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Bayocean Peninsula

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  • Heading out onto the Bayocean Peninsula.- Bayocean Peninsula
  • Heading out onto the Bayocean Peninsula.- Bayocean Peninsula
  • Looking east across Tillamook Bay from Bayocean Peninsula.- Bayocean Peninsula
  • Shore pine/lodgpole pine (Pinus contorta).- Bayocean Peninsula
  • A backcountry campsite on Bayocean Peninsula.- Bayocean Peninsula
  • A backcountry campsite on Bayocean Peninsula.- Bayocean Peninsula
  • Bayocean Peninsula.- Bayocean Peninsula
  • Bayocean Peninsula.- Bayocean Peninsula
  • Bayocean Peninsula.- Bayocean Peninsula
  • The main gravel road on Bayocean Peninsula.- Bayocean Peninsula
  • Looking east across Tillamook Bay from Bayocean Peninsula.- Bayocean Peninsula
  • Looking south toward Cape Meares.- Bayocean Peninsula
  • Looking southeast across Tillamook Bay.- Bayocean Peninsula
  • Bayocean Peninsula.- Bayocean Peninsula
  • The hiking trail through Bayocean Peninsula.- Bayocean Peninsula
  • Moss and lichen covered shore pine.- Bayocean Peninsula
  • Salal bush (Gaultheria shallon).- Bayocean Peninsula
  • Looking south toward Cape Meares.- Bayocean Peninsula
  • Looking south toward Cape Meares.- Bayocean Peninsula
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Isolated beach. Backcountry campsites.
Cons: 
Sandy trails.
Region:
Northern Oregon Coast, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
Not Required
Total Distance: 
6.80 mi (10.94 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
10 ft (3 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
20 ft (6 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking, Horseback
Trail type: 
Loop
Dogs allowed: 
Yes
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Partly cloudy overnight.
68°F
49°

Mon

Partly cloudy throughout the day.
66°F
58°

Tue

Foggy starting in the evening.
64°F
57°

Wed

Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
63°F
58°

Thu

Mostly cloudy in the morning.
62°F
56°

Fri

Clear throughout the day.
66°F
56°

Sat

Clear throughout the day.
71°F
56°
Published in collaboration with
Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

Given the crowds of visitors that tour the Northern Oregon Coast, you may be surprised to learn that one of the most pristine and quiet beaches in the state is located just outside of Tillamook.  Protruding 7 miles north from Cape Meares, the slender Bayocean Peninsula shields Tillamook Bay from the harsh Pacific storms and provides a healthy habitat for a uniquely isolated and well-preserved coastal ecosystem.

The Bayocean Peninsula is also unique because it is one of the few places on the Oregon Coast where you can go backpacking.*  From the parking area at the end of Bayocean Drive, sling on your backpack and venture down the old gravel road that functions as the Peninsula’s main corridor.  From this spine that extends down the full length of the peninsula’s eastern edge, peel off onto any one of the numerous hiking trails to explore this unique coastal setting.  As you hike on predominantly sandy trails through thick groves of shore pine, salal bushes, and even robust Sitka spruce, you’ll stumble upon numerous backcountry campsites that are protected from the coastal winds.  As you continue further on the trails you will eventually emerge onto the grassy sand dunes and undeveloped beach that makes the Bayocean Peninsula so special.

The history of Bayocean is one of the most interesting and bizarre stories of the Oregon Coast.  The peninsula is the former site of one of the state’s first and, for its time, most spectacular resorts.  Envisioned as the “Atlantic City of the West,” the resort town of Bayocean boasted a 1,000-seat movie theater, a natatorium (indoor swimming facility), 4 miles of paved roads (when paved roads were extremely rare), and a bowling alley.

Bayocean tourists predominantly traveled from Portland by rail to Tillamook, then through the choppy waters of the Tillamook Bay as they finally reached the resort destination by ferry.  The community quickly pushed for the construction of jetties at the mouth of the Tillamook Bay to make travel to the resort more comfortable.  The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers conducted a study, provided an estimate, and agreed to equally share the costs with Bayocean residents.  The original estimate soared to over $2 million, however, and despite the recommendations of the USACE study, the residents elected to have only one jetty built.  In 1914, construction of the North Jetty began.

This seemingly prudent but contradictory decision would ultimately seal Bayocean's fate.  As coastal dynamics and principals of jetty engineering predicted, the single-sided jetty construction created an imbalance of silt and sand deposits and a simultaneous erosion of the peninsula itself.  The gradual effects of the town’s decision had run their course by 1960, when the last house in Bayocean fell into the sea.  It wasn't until 1965 that the South Jetty was constructed, long after the demise of a resort that at the looked to have such a promising future.  In 1971 the last structure, a garage, washed away.  Today, no evidence of “the town that fell into the ocean” remains on Bayocean Peninsula.

* Signs at the peninsula parking area read “No Camping” and refer to the prohibition against RV and car camping in the parking area itself.  Backpacking on the peninsula is permitted, however.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(49 within a 30 mile radius)

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Published in collaboration with The People's Coast

A profound concept originally envisioned by governor Oswald West, in 1967 the Oregon legislature ultimately realized his vision of making the entire Oregon Coast forever open to the public in a piece of landmark legislation titled the Oregon Beach Bill, officially making all 363 miles public land. "The People's Coast" is truly a one-of-a-kind coastline, a unique blend of mountains and rocky stacks, towering old growth forests, marine sanctuaries, tide pools and kelp forests, charming towns, historic fishing communities, world-class golfing, breweries, and simply jaw-dropping scenic beaches. We encourage you to plan your next trip at visittheoregoncoast.com or by calling (541) 574-2679.

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