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Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail [CLOSED]

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Ecola State Park

Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail [CLOSED] is a 9.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Cannon Beach, Oregon that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and camping and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 9.9 mi Elevation gain 2,454 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Camping Hiking Walking Beach Forest Views Wildlife Muddy Closed
Description
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Facilities
Getting There

Note: The park is currently closed due to storm damage. For more information, please see https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkPage&parkId=136 Hike with the Lewis and Clark Expedition to Tillamook Head via Ecola State Park and discover the explorers' farthest western point of discovery. The wide, graveled trail starts on the right-hand side of the Indian Beach parking turnaround. After 100 yards keep left at a fork and climb, steeply at times, through old-growth spruce and alder woods. After 1.6 miles you'll reach an X-shaped trail crossing beside three open-sided shelters and a primitive camping area for backpackers. The shelters and tent sites are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis, but there is no drinking water nearby. Turn left at the trail junction for 0.2 mile to find a 6-room concrete bunker that housed a radar installation in World War II. Just beyond is a cliff-edge viewpoint at the tip of Tillamook Head, breathtakingly high above a rugged rock beach. A mile to sea is Tillamook Rock, a bleak island with a lighthouse that operated from 1881 to 1957. Nicknamed "Terrible Tilly," the light was repeatedly overswept by winter storms that dashed water, rocks and fish into the lantern room 150 feet above normal sea level. The island was finally bought by funeral entrepreneurs who bring in urns of cremated remains by helicopter.

$5 day pass or Oregon state park annual pass. Plenty of parking & restrooms. Camping too.

Drive west from Portland on Highway 26 to the Oregon Coast. Turn left on Highway 101 for 3 miles, take the north exit for Cannon Beach and follow Ecola State Park signs, keeping right for 2 miles to the park's entrance booth. Turn right at the booth for 1.5 miles to the Indian Beach picnic area parking lot.

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Reviews (262)
Photos (768)
Recordings (206)
Completed (634)
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Marie Romani
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HikingMuddy

Nice forest hike, shaded and cool (bordering cold at times). Not a lot of views because you are in the trees but some good views of Tillamook Lighthouse and the ocean during some tree breaks and at the viewpoints. REALLY muddy!!

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Kristi Bauer
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Hiking

Beautiful views. A few slick muddy spots. Enchanting lush forest. Would definitely recommend!

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Bryon Allen
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 25, 2020
Hiking

Only a few muddy spots, not bad. Only did part of the trail.

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Glen Werner
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Tons of fun! Couple of mud patches to be wary about. The overlook and the old bunker were super cool!

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Jaimie Barchus
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Hiking

Muddy! But worth it. Some parts of the trail are pretty narrow. Lots of switchbacks at the start.

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Zsofia Csikos-Tardy
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Hiking

Super muddy, but great hike! Not many people. Worth the effort!

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Brook Sattler
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HikingMuddy

Very, very muddy. But so worth it. The views are stunning.

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Chris Schaus
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HikingMuddy

One word: Muddy the i

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Megan Cohen
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HikingMuddy

Started in late afternoon, trail very very muddy but still beautiful. Thwarted by the mist at the lighthouse view point. Turned around there. Starting from Seaside is open still.

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Eric Sloan
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HikingMuddy

Beautiful scenery and not too crowded. You have to be ok and prepared for the mud. But def worth it.

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Matt H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 14, 2020
Muddy

Yes it was muddy. A pole helps to get over the mud pits. Views in forest, beach, lighthouse all worth it. No water source other than a light muddy trickle at about 2miles. Make sure you reach the lighthouse viewpoint on the right just past hikers camp. Trail was empty going in, back out we passed 18 or so people in total.

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Isaac Duran
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HikingMuddy
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Amanda Madsen
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HikingMuddy

Pretty hike with muddy and slippery conditions at times.

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Jeremy Noble
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Muddy

very beautiful trail, although it was foggy when I went so ocean views were not great. Dense rain forest trail, so beautiful. Very muddy, tons of tree roots and very slick but worth it. I started from the seaside trail head, lots of switchbacks but not tough.

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Nancy Cooper
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Hiking

So muddy. Unbelievably muddy. Just kept getting more and more muddy. Ugh.

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christian mcneely
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Hiking

Marked as “closed” from seaside entrance but still hiked it. A fair amount of fallen trees and pretty muddy, so would definitely wear hiking boots. Great views midway up. Went about 2/3 the way and turned around.

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Rachel L.
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HikingClosed

This is ridiculous! How does closing hiking trails along the beach stop the spread of covid-19? So many other inland or south coast trails are open. What is the reasoning here?!

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shane williams
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HikingMuddy
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Aaron Smith
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While the road is closed use the other trailhead in Seaside. It is the same hike, almost better because hike to the beach not a parking lot.

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Miri Carr
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 19, 2020
HikingClosed

Road closed at cannon beach entry. No date suggested for reopening.

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Adriana Campagna
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HikingMuddy
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Charlie Collier
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HikingMuddy
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Todd Dixon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 23, 2019
Hiking

This is a great hike for the entire family! My wife and I have hiked parts of this trail for three years: this is the first time we have done the entire 5.25 mile trip. We started from the Cannon Beach side. Five adults of all ages and a 7 year old grandson! If you go straight at the trail head, beware. The first 1.25 miles is a lot of work. Wide open trail but a steep incline. You will sweat. My grandson started to complain and wanted to go back. I kept him in the game telling him there are log cabins at the end of the incline. Once we got there: he led the entire 4 remaining miles. So, the whole family can do this trip. We had parked a car on the Seaside side. It had rained hard the five days prior: but there was very limited mud on the trail. There is some mud in places but you can get through it. This was a great day.

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William Sanders
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HikingScramble
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Amber Whitehorse
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HikingMuddyRocky
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Lindsay Nicole
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HikingMuddyOver grownRockyWashed out
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