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Pets allowed
Yes
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
5.00 mi (8.05 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Often overlooked by beach going visitors to Oswald West State Park, the relatively short trek to Cape Falcon makes for a relaxing day hike and offers a great alternative to relaxing on the beach. The 2.5-mile trail to the cape, or more specifically the Salal Headland, is a truly majestic journey through some of the Northwest’s best preserved old-growth coastal forests. In few other places will you see Sitka spruce and western redcedar on such scale. The undergrowth of the forest is so well protected that it also makes for one of the region’s most muddy excursions, so be prepared to get a little dirty. From the headlands, phenomenal views of the Pacific, Smugglers Cove, and Neahkahnie Mountain open up. If you visit in the spring or summer, you'll also get a beautiful showing of wildflowers including the white and pink bells of salal, fireweed, Columbia lily (tiger lily), and Idaho blue-eyed grass.

To get to Cape Falcon (Salal Headland), venture down the well-used path to Short Sand Beach. Just west of the restrooms you’ll find a trail that heads north. Hop on the trail heading north through the park’s old-growth, and as you near the headland with thick hedges of salal at your side, turn left onto a short spur trail that ends after a few hundred yards.

Cape Falcon is part of the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Area. This means that there are specific prohibitions against fishing and the harvesting of fish, invertebrates, and seaweed. Check here for specific clarifications on regulations, exemptions, and a detailed representation of the area's boundaries.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Spectacular views with little effort.

Cons

Extremely muddy trail.

Trailhead Elevation

100.00 ft (30.48 m)

Net Elevation Gain

200.00 ft (60.96 m)

Features

Big vistas
Old-growth forest
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Comments

03/19/2018
Nice early Spring (maybe too early) hike. Often muddy, but.....it's still the Oregon Coast!
10/25/2017
Enjoyable hike on drizzling muddy sort of afternoon. The reward may it well worth it.
09/09/2017
Well maintained, easily hike able trail. Do not let the cars in the parking lot deter you, most people are there for the beach and not the hike. Pack a lunch and hang out at the end of the trail, beautiful view, well worth it.
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