Stretching from the mouth of the Columbia River to the California border, the 382-mile Oregon Coast Trail links sandy shoreline, rugged headlands, and numerous state parks. This northernmost section of the OCT starts at the south jetty in Fort Stevens State Park and travels 14.7 miles to the town of Gearhart.
From the parking area, walk southeast along the jetty to a grassy berm overlooking the beach. Descend the berm, then follow the shoreline to the south-southeast. Near mile 2, the route passes the equestrian beach access parking area on the left and continues to Columbia Beach. (Pack layers: the waterfront can be windy and cold.) Two miles later, hike past the metal skeleton of the Peter Iredale, a ship that ran ashore on October 25, 1906.
Midway through the route, re-fuel with a picnic on the beach. Afterwards, continue south-southeast to Sunset Beach and Del Rey Beach State Park. The section hike ends 0.3 mile south of Del Rey Beach State Park. Pick up your shuttle car, then return to Fort Stevens State Park.
Caution: Do not try to round headlands without knowledge of tide heights and times. Bring a tide chart and a detailed topo map. Free tide tables are available at state park offices, information centers, and the Hatfield Marine Science Center website.
Info: Oregon Coast Trail
MORE OREGON COAST TRAIL MAPS
Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3 | Section 4
-Mapped by Echo Hobbs, Salem Hiking Meetup
- Distance: 23.2
Location: 46.2268112, -124.0139455
The Oregon Coast Trail starts at the south jetty in Fort Stevens State Park. (The park's namesake fort was active for 84 years from the Civil War to the end of World War II.) Walk south from the parking area (Lot C) toward the observation platform.
Location: 46.2265384, -124.0141788
Climb the stairs to the top of the observation platform for photo-worthy views. The south jetty and the mouth of the Columbia River can be seen to the north; the beach extends to the south. Next, hike southeast toward the beach.
Location: 46.2244137, -124.008624
Turn right and descend a small berm to reach the sandy beach. From here, walk south toward the shoreline.
Location: 46.2188555, -124.0076964
As you hike along the beach, turn around every once in awhile for beach views to the north.
Location: 46.2143032, -124.0049064
Pass a beach access parking lot (Lot B) on the left. Continue south-southeast.
Location: 46.2040052, -123.997643
Pass the equestrian beach access parking area (Lot A) on the left. Continue south-southeast. Make sure to pack layers, even when it's sunny, this waterfront route can be windy and cold. (The winds come from the north, which is why most people hike north to south.) Ahead: The wreck of the Peter Iredale, a ship that ran ashore on October 25, 1906, slowly comes into view.
Location: 46.1957105, -123.9918923
Scan the horizon for the first views of the Peter Iredale.
Location: 46.1919517, -123.9892645
The remains of the ship slowly come into focus as you hike south-southeast.
Location: 46.1784041, -123.9809918
Stand next to the remains of the Peter Iredale. Its metal skeleton still draws visitors on sunny days.
Location: 46.1326013, -123.9565569
Take a break at the midway point and have a picnic on the beach; use driftwood for benches.
Location: 46.0987394, -123.9429045
Pass the Sunset Beach access on the left.
Location: 46.0486632, -123.9315319
Pass the beach access for Del Rey Beach State Park. The next mile winds through this small park.
Location: 46.0309754, -123.9285493
Pick up your shuttle car and return to Waypoint 1. Hungry hikers can grab a bite to eat around the corner at McMenamins Sand Trap Bar & Grill (10th Street and Marion Avenue).
Location: 46.2265384, -124.0141466
Views north from the observation platform
Location: 46.2264939, -124.0141171
Views south from the observation platform
Location: 46.224269, -124.0085757
Descend the berm to reach the beach.
Location: 46.2200268, -124.0083826
The Wreck of the Peter Iredale
Location: 46.1957105, -123.9917529
Scan the horizon for distant views of the Peter Iredale.
The Wreck of the Peter Iredale
Location: 46.1919674, -123.989017
The Peter Iredale
Location: 46.1777206, -123.9805841
Location: 46.1384523, -123.9594269
Location: 46.1326236, -123.9560795
Views of Tillamook Head
Location: 46.0347518, -123.9302874
Location: 46.0309829, -123.9283562