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Oregon Coast Trail: Arch Cape to Devil's Cauldron [CLOSED]

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Oswald West State Park

Oregon Coast Trail: Arch Cape to Devil's Cauldron [CLOSED] is a 8.5 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Arch Cape, Oregon that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, mountain biking, and backpacking and is best used from March until October.

Length 8.5 mi Elevation gain 1,817 ft Route type Point to Point
Backpacking Hiking Mountain biking Beach Forest Views Waterfall Blowdown Muddy Over grown Closed No dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)

Note: As of September 2020, due to downed trees this trail is difficult to traverse. There are signs that says that the trail is closed due to hazardous conditions. More information here: https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=v.notices&parkId=139

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (86)
Photos (760)
Recordings (64)
Completed (159)
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Kevin Lauinger
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RunningBlowdownMuddyRocky

Ran this from Elk Flats trailhead north to where the trail crosses 101. Trail was extremely muddy, wet and with a lot of exposed roots. The only real issue was about mile 1 on the Elk Flats section, there are a few downed trees that hide the trail switchback. Otherwise the trail was passable down to Short Sands, up to Cape Falcon and down to HWY 101. Would love to do this when it’s dry or has been for a few days.

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clint taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 19, 2020
HikingClosed

Probably a really cool trail but the amount of downed trees in the path makes it impassable. To be fair, there are signs at the start of the trail stating "Trail closed due to hazardous conditions" . It would be best to wait for the trail to be cleared out before making the drive out here. We did find some oyster mushrooms at the start of the trail, so if you are looking for some wild edible mushrooms then you don't have to go far. We attempted the hike on 9/19/20.

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Andrew O'Kane
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BackpackingBlowdown

I made this an easy weekend backpacking trip to escape the wildfire smoke in Portland - traded the smoke for fog, but still a big upgrade. Great trail overall without many hikers, but I have to take a star off due to lots of recently fallen trees making it difficult to progress past certain parts. There are signs posted at various road crossings stating that the trail is not maintained, so these fallen trees are likely to stay in place for quite a while. The initial 1.3 mile section from Arch Cape to the highway is basically impassable for all intents and purposes - I can't recommend it in its current state. Tree after tree to navigate over like an obstacle course, getting scraped up by branches and pine needles. Hours of delay and I eventually lost the trail amidst the downed trees and decided to just bushwhack west to Hwy 101 and hike the shoulder to the next portion rather than try to find the trail again. I would recommend starting at the intersection with Hwy 101 instead, just be advised that the "Oregon Coast Trail" signs are tiny (size of a playing card) and difficult to spot. Portions of the trail have "No Camping" and/or "Day Use Only" signs, namely around Short Sands Beach, but I found a nice camping spot off the trail north of the beach on Cape Falcon. I didn't actually make it all the way to Devil's Cauldron since the last stretch after the pedestrian bridge on Elk Flats Trail had yet another massive downed tree blocking the trail and I was tired of going over dead trees in my heavy pack at that point. Beautiful trail though, and I still enjoyed myself despite the downed trees. Some amazing views of the ocean and Short Sands Beach is very pleasant. Just be aware that until significant trail maintenance can occur, you'll have a lot of obstacles to contend with if you hike it yourself.

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Gonzalo Zamora
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Hiking
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Colleen Buckley
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BackpackingGreat!

This was a great trail! We parked closer to the beach to avoid parking in a residential neighborhood and left our car overnight. The trail is very peaceful and not heavily trafficked, which we loved. This trip was our first backpacking hike, and it was the perfect difficulty. The ground was very springy and the woods were beautiful. The moss closer to the ocean was amazing! There are some great spots to stop nearer the coast which we took advantage of. The beach is also a great place to relax, and there is a small waterfall at one edge of it. Highly recommend this trail!!

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Kath A
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 30, 2020
Hiking

If you start at the Arch Cape point be mindful of where you park in the neighborhood. I was yelled at by a neighbor for being in their parking spot even though there was no “private property” or “no parking sign”. Avoid the col-de-sac at the end of the road to avoid being chewed out by crusty coast people.

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Regina Fuchs
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HikingGreat!

Absolutely stunning! Did this hike with my 5 month old puppy and 2 kiddos(7 and 4). Was worth the drive and the hassle to find parking. Completely worth it though

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Cassidy McCrea
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Hiking

trail has to cross a busy main road. Trail markers are small as a deck of cards, once you reach the Oregon coast highway, cut across safely and you will see the trail head a bit ahead heading left!

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Rian Heim
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HikingGreat!

I started the hike south of Arch Cape at the trailhead off the 101. The hike from there to Short Sands Beach was 6.3 miles. Really peaceful hiking. I didn’t see another person for the first 4.5 miles. A few sections were overgrown. There were some muddy patches but nothing that couldn’t be hiked around. I was in running shoes and didn’t have any issues. Almost entirely shaded which was nice on a sunny day. The next time I’m in the mood for a trail less travelled I’ll have this one toward the top of the list. Recommended!

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Kayla Hoff
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HikingMuddyOver grown

A lot of really muddy and overgrown patches. Other parts were nice, flat, and beautiful through the forest.

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Ally Hella
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Hiking

Took 5 miles to get to the coast itself. Overgrown areas and some mud, wear good shoes

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Israel Arellano
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HikingBlowdownBugsMuddyOff trailOver grown
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Melinda M
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Hiking

Beautiful coast forest with some nice views. Trail is overgrown in some areas.

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Colleen Crane
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HikingBlowdownBugsMuddyOver grownRockyWashed out
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Cindy Upham
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HikingMuddyOver grown

This would be a beautiful trail after a few warm days. Most of it was shaded, with some gorgeous viewpoints over the ocean where we got a nice cool breeze. Unfortunately, it rained a bit the day before and it was SO crazy muddy. More than I’d ever hiked in. We followed the map perfectly (I thought), but it ended up being about 11.5 miles, not the 8.5 we planned on (??). We stopped at the old campground for lunch, where there were picnic tables and a restroom. The trail got very narrow and busy as the beach visitors ventured out on the nearby trails. The beach was filled with the surfers, sun seekers, and families with kids and dogs. We probably should’ve parked a car there and called it a day. But we continued on the extra 1.3 miles through VERY overgrown trail, climbing over fallen trees (which look like they’d been there a couple years), little shade, a field of rosebushes which would be prettier if they were blooming, and a gradual incline back to the parking lot where we left one vehicle.

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Patrick Bradley
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HikingBugsFloodedMuddyOver grown

Bring waders: rained once this week and the mud was shin-deep.

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