BLOG: The Best Oregon Coastal Hikes
The southern Oregon coast holds treasures and a unique beaches unmatched by any other stretch of the west coast. To explore it on foot is to dive deep into a world of craggy shorelines with crashing waves, majestic Douglas Fir and Sitka Spruce forests, and seaside cliffs worthy of a classic novel. This area truly has the most spectacular scenery in the state.
We’ve gathered a list of the best beach trails on the Oregon coast. Be sure to bring your camera, but also stop often, unplug and simply enjoy being in the moment.
This is arguably one of the more unique hikes in Oregon. A trek through the Floras Lake Natural Area will guide you past towering bluffs above the beach and gorgeous sea stacks out on the ocean. This 6-mile round trip hike leads to the base of Blacklock Point. The lake is part of the New River Area of Critical Environmental Concern, with snowy plovers and migrating Canadian geese, making for an excellent walk through this unique habitat. Having said that, because of this protected habitat, sections of it can be off limits from March through September, so be sure to check the website.
Set along 12 miles of wayside on Highway 101, this corridor is full of trails – 27 miles of which include the Oregon Coast Trail. Here you will find a rugged coast with endless viewpoints peppered with sea stacks topped with Sitka Spruce. If you prefer to do your hiking in shorter bursts, we recommend Lone Ranch Beach at the southern end with a hike around Cape Ferrelo. It is an easy 1-mile loop up grassy slopes to the top of the cape. Or Natural Bridges viewpoint, which can be reached via an unmarked trail from an unmarked parking lot (how’s that for vague?) but directions are here. It features seven iconic arch rocks and blowholes that are the natural bridges.
As the westernmost point in the lower 48 states, Cape Blanco and its 19th century lighthouse (the oldest one on the Oregon coast) offers stunning viewpoints overlooking the ocean and various fishing spots along the Sixes River. Horseback riders also appreciate this trail, as 7 miles of it is devoted specifically for them, as well as a 150-acre open riding area. The trail itself leads to the beach with amazing scenery the entire way.
Blanco may boast the most western point, but Sebastian is the highest point (at least on the southern Oregon coast). Here you can simply park your car to have an incredible view of the ocean, but what fun is that? Get out and do the 3-mile roundtrip hike that takes you down to the beach and back. Enjoy Sitka forests along the way, and if you happen to hike during a gray whale migration, you just may spot one out on the water if you’re lucky. This is one of the lesser visited trails and ironically one of the more scenic on the coast. As you reach the beach at Hunters Cove and the final stretch, rope and posts have been installed to aid hikers with the steepness of the trail. And while the return hike is all uphill, it is meant to be savored slowly anyway, as you will no doubt stop and just take in the grandeur of it all.
Explore all of the natural wonder that the Southern Coast has to offer. Book your stay at Bay Point Landing – an excellent home base for your Oregon coast adventures.