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Oregon Coast Trail-What Are You Waiting For?

Western Azalea

We spent four days hiking several sections of the Oregon Coast Trail……a trail that extends from the California border to the Washington border along the Pacific Ocean.
Thunder Rock Indian Sands Campsite Day 5 (12)
This trail has some fabulous and surprising views and the sections we hiked were mostly within the Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor. If you ever have the chance to even hike a mile or so along this trail, grab it and enjoy the tall trees, the green ferns, and the views of the rugged and awesome Oregon Coast.

Harris Beach 1
We camped at Harris Beach and four out of the five evenings were just like this….clear, sunny and filled with beautiful waves. We walked on the beach every night after dinner and then we would go back to the campsite and build a big campfire and roast marshmallows.

Thunder Rock Indian Sands Campsite Day 5 (48)
The first section we hiked started at Indian Sands and just like its name suggests, it has some huge sand dunes. The trail is a little sketchy at some points and you have to really hunt for signs but it is worth the effort. The dunes were perfect for running down or rolling down if you preferred.

Just around the corner from the dunes, the trail turns into a narrow path through wildflowers and Sitka spruce. Yes, that is the trail right along the cliff’s edge. It was a spectacular section of the trail and the wildflowers are so thick you have a hard time seeing them all. Wild strawberry, Indian paintbrush, wild iris, clover, daisies….I can’t even remember all the different flowers. We came back a second time to rehike this section because it was awesome.

Foxglove 1
The foxglove was dazzling and the forests were dotted with purple blossoms here and there. I love purple.

Another section of the trail leads down to China Beach. The trail was not well worn and was very narrow in sections but the wildflowers were spectacular. I loved this place and spent lots of time looking at all the different wildflowers. While I was busy doing that, the boys were busy doing something else.

Cape Blanco 1
Another day we drove farther north and caught up with the trail at Cape Blanco. It was a little cooler and definitely more windy here and if you look closely in the background of the photo above, you will see the lighthouse. This was a fantastic place with a huge campground. We would like to come back to Cape Blanco some day and camp for a few days to explore more. This time though we hiked the bluffs and then headed down to the beach to see if we could find some tidepools.

Cape Blanco Wildflowers
Monkey flower, clover, and lupine all make a lovely mix of colors.

Cape Blanco Tidepools
We did find a few tidepools and these snails in the splash zone. We watched them climb around for a few minutes and then we had the most fabulous time watching the birds at the beach. We saw mostly crows and turkey vultures but a few swallows, gulls, and songbirds as well.

Thunder Rock Indian Sands Campsite Day 5 (13)
The next morning found us hiking along the section of the Oregon Coast Trail at Thunder Rock. The trees were so thick along the path that it was quite dark and eerie. We had the trail to ourselves and when we broke out of the trees, we saw the view above. A spectacular cove with an arch rock and pretty clear water.

Indian Sands snail on trail
This invertebrate was crossing the path and he was the most beautiful snail that I have ever seen, if that is even possible for a snail to be beautiful.

Thunder Rock Indian Sands
The turn around spot on this section of the trail was a place called Secret Beach. The water was here and the beach, although small, was very nice.

I encourage families to consider a trip to the Oregon Coast and try some of the Oregon Coast Trail….you will not soon forget the beauty and the wonder of this unique place.

12 thoughts on “Oregon Coast Trail-What Are You Waiting For?

  1. Oooh! Banana slugs, foxglove, and rocky beaches: reminds me of home (Olympic Peninsula). Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures!

  2. Gorgeous pictures! I especially like the one you’re using as a header now. All the boys and I have decided to put this in our vacation plans sometime. For this summer though we’re living vicariously through everyone else’s travels as I’m in the middle of some severe morning sickness and we just don’t get out much at all these days. We do have a few days in Bryce Canyon planned at the end of August. I hope I’m up to it. I hope the rest of your summer is as lovely as this post. 🙂

  3. Oh, my!!! I really do love seeing these photos you share because it’s all so different than anywhere around here, or anything I’ve ever seen. I haven’t traveled much, but I hope eventually to change that!
    (I’ve decided that when any of your kids get married, we just have to do the wedding photography so we’ll have a legitimate excuse to come out there! How fun would that be!? 😀 )

  4. Oh, Barb! Looks like you guys had a great time! Also looks like a place we are going to have to explore!

  5. Brittney,
    I thought of you when we were there…no bears. 🙂 If you decide to go, email me and I will give you some specific places to go and some great places to explore besides the ones in this post. This is our third trip to this part of the coast and we have learned a lot.

    Weddings…..sigh. I am so not ready for that. 🙂 I will keep you posted.


    I didn’t know you were expecting! Congrats! I would love to go to Bryce and Zion sometime…we have thought about it every year but so far we have not taken the trip. The boys want to take bikes to ride through the parks and I am not sure I am up to that. 🙂

    Thanks for the comments, it is a beautiful part of our country.

    Barb-Harmony Art Mom

  6. So, so, so beautiful!!!

  7. How I would love to take that hike!! We are on the other coast, which certainly can be beautiful, but in my book there’s nothing like out west. Thanks for sharing! How wonderful you are able to take advantage of your proximity to such beautiful places.

  8. Just a note if anyone is reading the comments….

    This is a nine hour drive from our house. We love roadtrips and this really is not in our backyard. We just love the coast of Oregon so much that it is worth the day’s drive to get there.

    Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to get to a great spot but then it is a great refreshing time that stays with you for a long time to come.

    Thanks for all the encouraging comments.


  9. I’m sold! What a beautiful, beautiful way to spend a vacation. If we ever get to the Oregon coast, I’ll be referencing this post to retrace your steps!

  10. My hubby brought up moving to Washington state and now I think we just might have to (we are an AF family) this is so beautiful, thanks for sharing. Definitely excited to start NS this fall.

  11. What an incredible trip! And, your wildlife is so different than what we have in Texas. I love the banana slug! I’ve never seen one and he’s huge!

    Thanks for sharing the great photos. **sigh** I want to go on the trail! 🙂

  12. Wow! These pictures are amazing! What a great place to vacation! My oldest son would love that driftwood.

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