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McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails

Southwest Washington Coast, Washington

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McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails

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  • Hiking along the McKenzie Head trail.- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • Looking out toward Cape Disappointment Lighthouse and the McKenzie Head Lagoon.- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • WWII bunker at the top of McKenzie Head.- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • WWII bunker at the top of McKenzie Head.- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • WWII bunker at the top of McKenzie Head.- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • View out toward the North Jetty from McKenzie Head.- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • Coastal artillery gun mounting pads at the top of McKenzie Head.- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • WWII bunker at the top of McKenzie Head.- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • Cape Disappointment Lighthouse and Saddle Mountain (3,288 ft.) from McKenzie Head.- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • The lower portion of the North Head Trail.- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • Light splitting through a canopy of red alder (Alnus rubra).- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • Old-growth sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis).- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • North Head Trail.- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • Old-growth sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis).- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • Old-growth sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis).- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • Old-growth sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis).- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • Fungis and salal.- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • Old-growth sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis).- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • View down toward Campgrounds A, B + C from the North Head Trail.- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
  • Final destination: North Head Lighthouse.- McKenzie + North Head Hiking Trails
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Historic Bunkers. Views of 2 lighthouses. Old-growth sitka spruce.
Cons: 
Limited vistas along North Head Trail.
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Region:
Southwest Washington Coast, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
240.00 ft (73.15 m)
Parking Pass: 
Washington Discovery Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
5.50 mi (8.85 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
10.00 ft (3.05 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

At 1,882 acres Cape Disappointment State Park packs in a lot of attractions for visitors year-round, and certainly one of the best ways to discover the many sides of the park is to hike up to McKenzie Head and through old-growth coastal forest up to North Head Lighthouse and Bell's View.

Just a quarter-mile west of Campground D, a small parking lot near McKenzie Lagoon marks the trailhead for both hikes.

First, climb a short 200 ft. in elevation up a quarter-mile long old military road to the top of McKenzie Head.  Like a scene out of a movie, a giant fern covered WWII bunker sits hidden atop of the giant basalt mound, with two mounting pads for coastal artillery guns flanking both sides of the giant concrete structure.  The bunker is completely open to the public and offers a unique insight into the previous era of the park, as Fort Canby.  And, through opening in the hill top's dense vegetation, panoramic views of park and region open up, including Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, the North Jetty, and Saddle Mountain, northwestern Oregon's highest point.

Second, hit the 1.9 mile long trail that meanders its way up to North Head.  Passing giant sitka spruces, western hemlock and thick hedges of salal this trail climbs up, over, and under more of the basalt outcroppings that make up much of the park.  Before reaching the North Head destination, the trail reaches numerous openings where views of Campground A,B + C appear as well as the park's 1.8 mile long Benson Beach.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

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(29 within a 30 mile radius)

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