it is an easy incline to the top the views are with it 1/2 Mile up. took both small dogs. Too many dogs on the trail. one had to be in heat it made my male super crazy. I'd leave them at home next time as it will be nice not to be tugged all the time. Nice beach and picnic area. A do over 4 sure.
For the record I am reviewing what the Oregon State Parks Service calls “Heceta Trail”, the section of trail that runs from very near the lighthouse up to a junction with Hobbit Trail. This section is approximately 1.25 miles in length and it is an actual trail, not a paved walking path. Most of the reviewers here are referring to the paved section from the Devil’s Elbow State Park parking area up to the Heceta Head Lighthouse. This section is about one half mile and it is relatively easy. But make no mistake, the trail between the lighthouse and Hobbit Trail is arduous. The trail is well maintained but it is rather steep. Measuring from the entrance to the unpaved trail near the lighthouse, the distance to the summit of the trail is about .4 mile. Strava rates an ascent from the parking lot and including the paved section up to the summit, a distance of about .8 mile, as a Category 4 climb, the easiest of the five categories Strava uses. But the overall grade of this section is 11.2%, and it is only the relatively short distance of the climb that places it into this lowest category. Steps are built into the trail in a couple of places to assist in the ascent, and there are even a few well placed benches. The topmost section of trail just before the summit, going away from Heceta Head, a distance of about .2 mile, has a grade of about 22%. Believe me, this will tax you! If leaving from Heceta Head when you reach the junction with Hobbit Trail you can turn left and take a short (less than half a mile, I believe) trail out to Hobbit Beach, a lovely section of the Oregon coast and one that is not too popular. Or you can turn right, take a very short trail out to Highway 101, cross the highway and pick up a trail on the east side of the highway, called “Valley Trail”, that leads to Carl Washburne Campground. The distance from the highway to the campground is about two miles. My review does not cover this trail as I have never seen it. So — Heceta Trail winds through lush forestland and has spectacular views to the ocean from a couple of places. You are not likely to see many other hikers along this trail, at least if you go on a weekday. Be advised, this trail can be quite muddy during the rainy season, and even at times during the summer. Footing can be tricky. Also, it can be quite windy along the trail during any season, lowering the “feels like” temperature by a number of degrees, so dress accordingly. And as you would on any trail you might visit, of course take plenty of water. Plan for at least two hours to cover the trail from Devil’s Elbow to Hobbit Beach and back, not counting any time you may want to spend on the beach.
Just an easy walk and the view is amazing!! Recommended for everyone. I went one day around noon and it was nice. But I went back another day late at night and that was AMAZING. Maybe this is just because I am not from a coastal state but seeing the lighthouse up close at night was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Give it a try!