Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail

MODERATE 47 reviews
#2 of 5 trails in

Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail is a 12.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Cannon Beach, Oregon that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and camping and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
12.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3293 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

beach

forest

views

muddy

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.

1 day ago

hiking
6 days ago

This trail was significantly harder than we were anticipating. It is very steep in places with loose rocks and muddy patches. I fell multiple times and I'm not usually that clumsy (although I am very out of shape). Because the trail was so difficult for me, I had a very hard time enjoying the beauty around me. There were some breaks in the trees that gave a splendid view of the ocean. Ended up just stopping at Indian Beach and not continuing on to Canon Beach. Only one person in our large party of hikers completed the trail. Apparently, the last leg of the trail wasn't well-maintained. I'd love to try it again when I'm in better shape, but I just wasn't physically up to the task.

hiking
12 days ago

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16 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

I hiked this last year in July, but was slacking on the review. A very very gorgeous trail! Great ocean views, lighthouse and beaches. We extended the hike by going from Seaside all the way to Cannon Beach on various trails because could not get enough of the views. Many great beaches along the way... and actually... with enough time and food you could keep heading south down the coastline! Why not?!? There's a landslide area and some tree fall but nothing that can't be passed easily with the seasoned hiker. Adds to the adventure. Mossy, green and gorgeous.

hiking
1 month ago

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1 month ago

Great! All the trails in Escola connect and so I did 10 miles worth and loved it! Some mud and fallen trees to climb over- but in my option that only adds to the adventure!

hiking
1 month ago

I really enjoyed this trail, a little more challenging than I was expecting. I really enjoyed the rugged trails, climbing over trees and all the obstacles along the way. A few notes, the map has you starting at Ecola parking lot at a paved path. The written directions start at the Indian Beach parking lot. Also a small part of the path connecting Ecola and Indian parking lots is closed due to a mud slide. However I easily found my way across the slide to the other path.

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