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Clatsop Loop

Ecola State Park

Northern Oregon Coast, Oregon

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Clatsop Loop

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  • Parking area at Indian Beach.- Clatsop Loop
  • The Clatsop Loop/Tillamook Head Trailhead.- Clatsop Loop
  • - Clatsop Loop
  • The first section of the Clatsop Loop is wide and surfaced with gravel.- Clatsop Loop
  • - Clatsop Loop
  • The Tillamook Head Trail breaks off and crosses to the town of Seaside.- Clatsop Loop
  • - Clatsop Loop
  • Interior of a shelter in Hiker's Camp.- Clatsop Loop
  • Hiker's camp.- Clatsop Loop
  • World War II radar bunker on the trail beween Hiker's Camp and the Tillamook Head Lighthouse viewpoint.- Clatsop Loop
  • - Clatsop Loop
  • - Clatsop Loop
  • The loop continues back to toward Indian Beach from Hiker's Camp.- Clatsop Loop
  • Roosevelt elk.- Clatsop Loop
  • View looking south toward Cannon Beach.- Clatsop Loop
  • - Clatsop Loop
  • View of Indian Beach.- Clatsop Loop
  • The view just a few hundred yards away from the shelters is magnificent. The viewpoint is several hundred feet above the water.- Clatsop Loop
  • "Terrible Tilly" is a mile offshore from Tillamook Head- Clatsop Loop
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Wildlife. Backcountry camping and shelters. Short loop.
Cons: 
Trail can get soggy.
Region:
Northern Oregon Coast, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
718.00 ft (218.85 m)
Parking Pass: 
State Park Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.70 mi (4.35 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
32.00 ft (9.75 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Starting at Indian Beach, the Clatsop Loop trail is just enough off the main path that it's spectacular ocean views off Tillamook Head and deep forest scenery don't get seen by the bigger coastal crowds.  Lewis and Clark documented the region as the southernmost destination in their journey along the Columbia River.  In search of whale blubber, they stood on the cliff walls gazing out into the same vast ocean.  Clark was both challenged and awed by Tillamook Head, cursing the climb as “the Steepest worst and highest mountain I ever ascended” and naming the views “the grandest and most pleasing prospects which my eyes ever surveyed.”  Ecola State Park gets its name for the Chinook word for whale, “ekkoli.”

Historical footprints can also be seen in the six-room bunker located at the top of the hike.  The U.S. government held a radar installation here during World War II.  Of course, the natural beauty of rugged, rocky beaches and crashing waves justifies the popularity of the site throughout the years. 

Tucked away on the north side of Ecola State Park, the trail begins on the north side of the Indian Beach parking lot and rises over 900 feet to offer a sweeping view of Tillamook Head lighthouse.  Old-growth benches dot the steep ascent.  After 1.6 miles, several bunk-style shelters sit near a covered picnic area.  Backcountry hikers can stay the night on a first-come, first served basis.  The concrete bunker lurks beneath layers of moss and forest debris just another 0.2 miles down the trail, just before the highest overlook point. From this vista, standing atop Tillamook Head, you can look out upon "Terrible Tilly" - the lighthouse perched on Tillamook Rock a mile out to sea. 

On the return journey to the trailhead, turn right at a junction near the shelters. Take your time stopping at more viewpoints on the descent before returning to your vehicle, as each is different and more beautiful than the last.

 

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(5 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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