Views · Wildflowers
This trail is popular and deservedly so—it offers amazing coastal views. Although the trail begins on one side of the mountain, reaches near the summit, and descends to the other side of the mountain, most people will only do half the trail as an out and back (unless they are doing the Oregon Coast Trail of which this is a part). The easiest and most popular route is from the south to the viewpoint and back, but people looking for a slightly greater challenge/fewer families can easily do the north to viewpoint route.
Parking for the south end is available up a short dirt road. Parking will fill up fast and cars will begin parking along the edge of the road by 10am or so. Parking for the north end is available at an obvious pull off on the opposite side of Highway 101 from the trail. Both ends are marked on 101.
The south end begins climbing along switchbacks right from the trailhead, through narrow singletrack that can be close to overgrown. Eventually the singletrack will enter evergreen forest and feel a bit wider/easier to pass, but it will also be covered with more roots - pay attention to where you step! After a little less than a mile you'll cross a forest road at a clear intersection. The trail can be very muddy from there out, but is less steep.
After about 1.4 miles, the trail will switch from the east to the west side of the mountain, and you'll come to the main view point. However, there is an informal trail just before this viewpoint at the sharp turn in the trail from east to west that leads up a scramble to a better view. Both the viewpoint and the higher point have steep cliff faces, so watch children.
To get to the north end of the trail continue along the trail, descending a little. The best views are done. You'll pass around the main summit of the mountain before you begin descending in earnest. The way down consists of may switchbacks, lots of roots, and lots of mud. The northern end is lower than the southern end by a little over 300 feet, and is about a mile farther from the main viewpoint - hence why it is a little less family-friendly than the southern approach. Be careful crossing 101 to get to the parking area!
Note, Short Sands Beach is only one mile north on 101 from the north end of this trail, and is a beautiful beach. Check it out if you have time.
Shared By: Karl W