Explore the most popular beach trails in Oswald West State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Just completed a short 2 day backpacking trip on this great section of the OCT. The views were amazing and every mile it seemed like we were in a different forest.

The path is still a bit muddy and the trail is overgrown in some sections. I would recommend pants for this hike.

If you don’t want to stealth camp along the trail, we stayed at the Nehalem Bay State Park hiker biker camp. It was quiet and had god amenities. It’s about a mile and a half south of downtown Manzanita.

I would also recommend hiking to the top of Neahkahnie mountain. It adds some miles and a lot of vertical, but the views are well worth it.

Took me and my girlfriend around 2 hours 45 minutes to complete with around a half hour at the top. Not to difficult but am in decent physical condition. The first 15-20 minutes is pretty thick brush (got stung by something on my arm) but trail opens up after that. View at the top is beautiful. Entrance to the hike is well marked with a sign.

5 days ago

When I arrived at the trailhead all the parking lots were full. Had to park along the highway as many others had done. However, most of the people went to the beach as the Cape Falcon trail didn't have that many people on it. The trail was muddy in a few places but otherwise in good shape. As others have mentioned there are a lot of tree roots, but other than that it is an easy hike with outstanding views.

Great views...however there are a number of very overgrown areas.

nature trips
9 days ago

Excellent trail with beautiful views! Beginner hiking family did it with ease. Yes a little muddy wear hiking boots or tennis shoes but overall a worthwhile hike.

18 days ago

No mud on trail on 6/1/18. Beautiful trail but you definitely need to look down while hiking because of all of the tree roots so you don’t trip. You get views of the ocean all throughout the hike and when you reach the top you get an even better view while surrounded by water on both sides. The trail gets narrow towards the top but only because of the foliage on each side, I was happy to be wearing a long sleeve shirt and pants. Hike was easy due to no mud on trail (however, rain may be in the forecast so always check weather trends before you go!), we even opted to walk towards smugglers cove (towards the memorial) which was a beautiful treat as well to see some folks surfing.

You get an amazing view of the Pacific. Worth the hike

One of the most beautiful sections of the OCT. Consider a stealth camp near Devils Cauldron. That’s what I did on my recent NB hike. Nobody bothered me in the elk meadows and Short Sands is only about 2 miles away with water and restrooms/trash. I easily made it to Ecola hiker/biker by the next night even though I had planned on a stealth camp further north by Arch Cape. See Photos!

24 days ago

Incredible views of the Cape. The trail is a bit overgrown and muddy. Eagles abound along the trail. Rugged and slow going, give yourself extra time if hiking from Arch Cape. I did not hit my mileage goals on the day I passed through on my recent OCT hike but it is so beautiful here I could hardly complain!

Nice secluded beach with surf breaks. I stopped here for snack on recent OCT hike. Great spot to replenish water, there are bathrooms and trash cans.

Just hiked part of this trail (Arch Cape to Short Sand Beach) with my wife yesterday and it was amazing. View from westmost part of Cape Falcon is a classic scenery but my favourite spot was to the north overlooking Arch Cape. Forest changes wildly throughout the course of this trail and it’s fantastic observe it as it happens. Although we did run into a few muddy patches, vast majority of the trail was dry but still fairly challenging. Carefull though, after you start descending from the peak on the trail about 4 miles into the hike, there are fallen trees that block the trail. It’s easy to get off the trail - it is to the right side looking downhill.

25 days ago

The hike is very beautiful, but when we went, there was a lot of mud in the trail, which made it difficult for the kiddos. Be prepared with good boots! The view at the top was well worth it!

27 days ago

Great hike! I took to the trail an hour before sunset. Had to boogie to get to the top—not a lot of time to speak to the snails, marvel at the enormous trees, and take too many photos of the babbling water areas. The view was spectacular, though I do wonder if I should have made a different turn that would have taken me out on a grassy point樂. Oh well.. next time. I didn’t see a soul going up, or a soul coming down. The trek down took me a bit longer because it was Sooooo Very DARK! I came prepared with a headlamp and flashlight. The trail is easy to follow with no peripheral vision due to the darkness, but the tree roots can be treacherous. Take it easy. I occasionally thought of the random Monster that could be lurking in the quiet, but chose not to dwell on that thought, instead listening to the hoot of an owl, and myself... muttering a Hail Mary in the hopes that my 50 year old knees wouldn’t buckle with fright! Very fun. The sunset was worth the tricky trek down.
Kids in decent physical shape would have no problem. Most adults would have no problem. It’s not particularly “aerobic,” you just have to know where to put you foot so you aren’t caught up on a tree root. There was a little mud, but nothing to speak of. I would not go in the rainy season unless you are prepared for mud. Might be too narrow for folks that use those hiking poles.

lots of mud and roots.

First time doing this one and would definitely go again! The trails were a bit muddy with lots of roots and rocks but nothing too terrible. Once I got to the top viewpoint (so gorgeous btw) I opted to head down the other side to the highway. While there is a sketchy section of very little shoulder to walk along, most of the highway walk/jog ended up being on a sidewalk path.

Muddy muddy trails not moderate not for beginners

Wonderful hike with early elevation gain giving you amazing views of the coast. Busy 5/12/18 making an already muddy trail a slogfest. A scramble at the top gives you an amazing view of the coast and surrounding city so worth the 2000 ft climb.

We backpacked this trail and finished in two days total. We went early May and the weather was perfect. Some of the trail is overgrown and there are multiple patches of mud. If you wear a breathable long sleeve tee, pants and reliable hiking shoes, you should be good to go.
There are very few spots to set up camp if you’re planning on staying overnight, however Short Sands beach is strict about no overnight camping, so don’t plan on staying there. Follow the small blue markers for the Oregon Coast Trail. At the end, we hiked hwy101 and skipped Neahkahnie Mountain.

Nice trail lots of roots. Not very good drainage, lots of mud pits once you are far enough out on the headland there are nice views but not all that unique and really not as great as views from cape lookout or mears

Didn't have enough time to hike the entire trail so we just did the first part down to the beach. Anyone who does this trail should stop there: it's gorgeous. At the far side of the beach there's a nice waterfall and some tidepools. Go early though cause it was already pretty busy at 11AM. Popular spot for surfers too.

Gorgeous, sweeping views. Go!

Nice hike

Be prepared for mud! Great hike though. Kicked our butts. Loved the breaks of scenery.

This was a small surfing cove. Really neat driftwood to climb and photograph but the beach as well as the trail to get down there is slightly ugly.

1 month ago

I think it belongs somewhere between easy and moderate. Decent elevation gain so does require some exertion. Muddy right now but not too bad. Pleasant to be covered by trees 90% if the trail so not too hot. Amazing view.

1 month ago

Fun hike! Still very (very) muddy, but worth it for the view! Definitely recommend going early in the day because it does get quite busy.

Just did this section hike of the Oregon Coast Trail on Spring Break - was super fun, but also pretty challenging! Tons of roots to watch out for, and was SUPER muddy this time of year (though others we talked to said that parts of this trail are always muddy). Was overgrown out around Cape Falcon, and we must have been some of the earlier hikers through this area, because there were multiple trees blown down across the path that caused us to do a little "ad libbing" over and around them. Muddiest section of the path was after Cape Falcon and into Short Sands, probably because that path is more used. Awesome views, super cool forests, and you can stop at Short Sands for a beach break if you want. Be warned, the hike up out of Short Sands on the Elk Flats trail is super steep right away, levels off in the middle, and then is steep again up to Hwy 101. You can choose to do the hike up and over Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain if you want once you reach the end of the Elk Flats trail at 101, but we were too beat to do it, so we skipped the Mountain and hiked on the road until we got to Neah-Kah-Nie Meadows, where we walked through (steep) neighborhood streets to get to Manzanita.

2 months ago

A gorgeous springtime muddy hike. Ankle deep in mud in some places, but the view was worth it!!

Incredible! Very muddy, and busy.

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