Adventure Projects is hiring an Android engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Trail Run Project Logo

Gales Creek Trail

 4.5 (2)

9.9 Miles 15.9 Kilometers


88%

Runnable

1,801' 549 m

Ascent

-1,569' -478 m

Descent

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

25%

Max Grade (14°)

2,521' 768 m

High

908' 277 m

Low

Shared By Brock Warner

Conditions


Unknown

Getting forecast...

A long, great, tough singletrack climb. This is one of the crown jewels of Tillamook State Forest.

Brock Warner

Dogs Leashed

Features -none-

Description

Gales Creek Trail is among the best trails in Tillamook State Forest. This long, challenging run can provide a real sense of accomplishment, but it can also break the spirits of those less prepared.

It's a good idea to think of the trail as being split into two parts, divided by the summit at the Bell Camp Road Trailhead. The southern portion is a longer, more gradual climb up to the summit and the better part to run. The northern section is much shorter, but also substantially steeper.

Starting from the southern trailhead at Gales Creek Campground, the trail follows its namesake for a number of miles up the valley. After only about three-quarters of a mile, the trail crosses a bridge and immediately T's at a junction. Heading left would start the steep, sinewy climb up the Storey Burn Trail.

Turning right continues on Gales Creek Trail. The trail is often within sight or earshot of the creek as the singletrack winds along the ravines and gulleys that drain into Gales Creek. It makes for a lot of short, intermittent climbs and brief flat stretches, giving your legs relief from any one stretch of a sustained grade. It can feel rewarding nonetheless. Although not very technical for the most part, the ever-changing direction of the trail will keep you on your toes.

At about five-and-a-half miles, a short but super fun reroute of the trail brings some obvious MTB-inspired flow to the trail and is a beautiful section to explore, keeping an eye and ear toward fellow trail users on two wheels. The last half-mile is the steepest climb yet, but seeing the small parking lot for the Bell Camp Road Trailhead lets you know you're at the summit. This marks the end of the southern section of the trail.

Continuing north on the trail begins a very steep downhill as the trail loses all of the elevation it just gained in about half the distance. Much of the upper mile is almost straight down with few switchbacks. It begins to mellow out eventually and the bottom mile or so feels more like the first part of the trail.

The Triple C Trail and Step Creek Trail loops can be found at the northern end of this trail, but only the strongest runners will want to add these to their day because that intense downhill must now be conquered in the opposite direction to get back. It's exhausting and brutal and might rob you of any sense of accomplishment for the run. Many runners should consider just doing the Gales Creek - Southern Climb. There's no shame in it.

The trail is well signed and easy to follow.

Contacts

You & This Trail


Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

none

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes

#4321

Overall
  4.5 from 2 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#106

in Oregon

#4,321

Overall
44 Views Last Month
460 Since Aug 1, 2017
Intermediate Intermediate

0%
50%
0%
50%
0%
0%

0 Comments

Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running