Oregon Coast Trail (Section 01): South Jetty to Gearhart

This 14.7-mile section hike of the Oregon Coast Trail starts at the mouth of the Columbia River and explores sandy beaches and the remains of a 100-year-old shipwreck.
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This 14.7-mile section hike of the Oregon Coast Trail starts at the mouth of the Columbia River and explores sandy beaches and the remains of a 100-year-old shipwreck.

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

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 23.2

Waypoints

OCT001

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.

OCT002

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.

OCT003

Location: 46.2244137, -124.008624

Turn right and descend a small berm to reach the sandy beach. From here, walk south toward the shoreline.

OCT004

Location: 46.2188555, -124.0076964

As you hike along the beach, turn around every once in awhile for beach views to the north.

OCT005

Location: 46.2143032, -124.0049064

Pass a beach access parking lot (Lot B) on the left. Continue south-southeast.

OCT006

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.

OCT007

Location: 46.1957105, -123.9918923

Scan the horizon for the first views of the Peter Iredale.

OCT008

Location: 46.1919517, -123.9892645

The remains of the ship slowly come into focus as you hike south-southeast.

OCT009

Location: 46.1784041, -123.9809918

Stand next to the remains of the Peter Iredale. Its metal skeleton still draws visitors on sunny days.

OCT010

Location: 46.1326013, -123.9565569

Take a break at the midway point and have a picnic on the beach; use driftwood for benches.

OCT011

Location: 46.0987394, -123.9429045

Pass the Sunset Beach access on the left.

OCT012

Location: 46.0486632, -123.9315319

Pass the beach access for Del Rey Beach State Park. The next mile winds through this small park.

OCT013

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).

South Jetty

Location: 46.2265384, -124.0141466

Views north from the observation platform

Pacific Coastline

Location: 46.2264939, -124.0141171

Views south from the observation platform

Beach Access

Location: 46.224269, -124.0085757

Descend the berm to reach the beach.

Beach Views

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

Kelp

Location: 46.1384523, -123.9594269

Picnic Spot

Location: 46.1326236, -123.9560795

Views of Tillamook Head

Location: 46.0347518, -123.9302874

Home Stretch

Location: 46.0309829, -123.9283562