Explore Oceaside - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Challenging, quiet and beautiful! Our Apple Watch showed 8.8 miles when we finished.

Go early to avoid a crowd at the top.

Overall, the hike was amazing. I only rate this a 3/5 since it’s a longer distance from Portland than other beautiful coast hikes, and the geotagged trailhead on AllTrails is wrong. AllTrails will likely take you to a fork in the road—but drive 1.5 miles farther on the left fork. I didn’t find the ascent difficult, but I can imagine it can be depending on the weather/experience of the hikers. Bring a nice lunch to enjoy the view at the meadow, it was awesome to emerge from the rainy and cloudy forest to a sunny coastal meadow.

hiking
10 days ago

Nice hike. Some beautiful views. Half the trail is very well maintained, the rest is roots and puddles. Went hiking on a rainy September day.

hiking
13 days ago

Lots of sea lions barking, you can also see them swimming at the end. The cove is super cool. We opted to track over to the right of the grassy knoll down onto the rocks and sit for a couple hours. Saw lots of sea lions, birds and even a whale throw it's tail up! Traffic was light and we didn't see a whole lot of people. It did kick our asses

A really good all day hike if you like a challenge.

trail running
17 days ago

Whether hiking or running, I strongly recommend doing this loop clockwise (in reverse according to AllTrails). The first mile is extremely steep - approximately 1,500 feet of gain, much of it on very rocky terrain. While it is less physically taxing to descend this terrain it isn’t necessarily much easier to go down because of the technicality. It’s mostly non-runnable both up and down. After that, however, the 2nd mile is much easier and the third is totally runnable. You then get a nice easy 4 miles downhill to the parking lot. The last half mile is next to the river so you can cool off after a good effort on a hot day. The views aren’t awesome except during that first (or last) mile and at the peak of Elk’s but it’s a very peaceful and serene hike/run.

As many have said this is a strenuous hike. At this time it's very dry and skidding in the rocky dusty trail areas is very likely. Poles help a lot . Someone said when you reach a fork take the hard route. that is an unnecessary and slightly treacherous short cut

A pretty easy hike through old growth forest with views of the Pacific Ocean. The end point is worth it, only wished we had packed some snacks and wine to enjoy while there. Heading back we also took the short trail down to the beach and watched the surfers with the fog rolling in. Loved it!!

hiking
19 days ago

A beautiful trail with great views! The trail is a tad bit challenging with the number of roots crowding the path. Would highly recommend going during the summer time!

Good conditioning hike that is appropriately rated as Difficult. Trail is in decent condition barring two or three spots that have loose scree. Rainfall can make some sections dicey. Pleasant fern forest at the lower elevations followed by Alders and other mid-growth trees during the ascent. Saw Mt. Hood from the top and the surrounding Wilson River valley along with other peaks. Suggest taking at least 2 litres of water and hiking poles for the descent especially if the knees are troublesome. Not recommended for pets or children due to gradient.

This hike is filled with beautiful views of the ocean as well as the old growth forest. The trail has several areas where the tree roots are quite dominant creating steps in some places and obstacles in others. There are several quite muddy places that require some careful navigation. The only wildlife we saw on this particular day was a couple of snakes. The hike was lovely and enough of a challenge to be satisfying without being overly taxing.

I would highly recommend this hike. The views over the ocean are absolutely stunning. There are some very muddy spots that are not all that easy to traverse, but it's so worth it. I saw one guy trying to go through in flip flops, which I do not recommend. Appropriate water proof footwear is almost an Oregon coast must have. Also the parking lot was overflowing when I arrived about 11am. So, go early.

I started at King and went counter-clockwise. Very challenging but rewarding hike. 6 hours of adventuring. If you're a moderately experienced adventurer I would definitely bring a partner to join you since you go well into the Tillamook Forest and are unlikely to see any other hikers for hours (I went 4-5 hours without seeing anyone). I wouldnt dare try this one without poles since my calves strated cramping up by mile 7; I really relied on my upper body to help me muscle through and give my calves some support. Bring water, a bell, poles, and and adventurous attitude and you'll feel very accomplished when you hit Elk Summit, Kings Summit, and Kings Mt Trailhead.

Tougher than expected. Trail is only moderately groomed/maintained - not bad, at all, but just be aware. Very slick and steeper than anticipated.

Great quick hike with views.

Very challenging hike, but great views!

This hike was okay, great views (even with the fog). But it was SO muddy, wear appropriate footwear, we were ankle deep in mud at a couple points through out the hike. Very crowded but that was expected close to the holiday weekend. We brought our two dogs who are well behaved and were leashes the entire time and encountered a couple off leash dogs, PLEASE keep your dog leashes.

Very muddy, but a great hike!

The view at the end makes it worth the long uphill hike. Def not easy but also not that bad. My 2 small dogs were able to do it with no problem and there were lots of kids on the trail. Recommend good hiking shoes. Lots of roots to climb over and a little muddy.

Favorite. Hike. Ever.

hiking
25 days ago

What a beautiful climb rewarding in awesome views at the summit.

Did on Sunday 08/26/2018. Awesome loop trek, with amazing views. GPS had it right at 11 miles. Took us 6.5 hours, but have to descend slower than average due to knee issues. The steep ascent to Elk Mountain itself is exactly whats on here. Roughly 1.5 miles of straight up, with a decent amount of scrambling. Clouds were covering peaks when we went, so we will be back!

hiking
27 days ago

I absolutely this trail, my pup and I go on it probably 2 -3 times a month because of how challenging the summit trail is. Just a heads up the trail is rated extremely difficult, wear the appropriate shoes with lots of grip and a gym outfit you don't mind getting dirty. The trail is relatively safe for the most part, there are a few very steep areas once you go higher up the trail, just be careful. If it's your first time on this trail I recommend at least 2 liters of water, you will need it. Finally, if it looks like the harder direction to go, you are going the correct way. You'll know what I mean when you get you that intersection. Have Fun and good luck :)

Beautiful trail and a beautiful viewpoint. Saw lots of wildlife. Will kick your ass on the way back up though.

Great view at the end. Edge of a cliff, into the ocean.

I absolutely loved this hike! For the most part it was a flat trail. I didn’t even realize we were going up until we got to a lookout that showed all of the trees in front and in the back showed the short sand beach. It was amazing and we were in awe the entire time!

hiking
28 days ago

Great hike but not for the unconditioned. Be sure to stretch the legs well before you get going, at the summit, and after because you put tons of stress on the quads and calfs. Definitely be sure you have hiking shoes with good tread to help deal with the loose gravel and sliding. Enjoy!

A well maintained trail with beautiful old growth forest and amazing viewpoints near the top end of the trail. There are lots of roots in the trail so watch your step. The trail does have a steady gradual incline

hiking
29 days ago

A lot of roots, but lots of great views

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