Home > Travels > Long Distance Hiking > Oregon Coast Trail > Map #2 – Oswald West State Park to Cape Lookout State Park

The Trail

Map #2 starts in Oswald West State Park, which includes the climb up Arch Cape at the beginning.

Leaving E. Shingle Mill Lane, aka Mill Rd. on the state map, the trail climbs Arch Cape. Somewhere near the top you will have to cross 101 and locate the Oregon Coast Trail marker on the other side.

If the climb was more difficult than you thought it would be, or if you simply don't want to go back in the woods for a quarter of a mile of up and down hill climbs only to end up back on 101, simply follow 101 south for a short distance to a side dirt road. Walk down this a bit to reconnect with the OCT.

Following the trail over and down Cape Falcon is a twisting and turning adventure. At several points you'll start to doubt that you are even on the right trail as the trail markers all but disappear, and the trail itself seems to be going in the wrong direction. It seems to be a never ending, very muddy trail, but eventually you will come out to the bottom, most likely seeing the first signs of people near the beach and bathrooms in Oswald West State Park.

That being said it is still a very nice hike if you don't allow yourself to get stressed out about potentially being lost.

Because you aren't.

The climb out of Oswald West is nice with some decent views of the ocean and cliffs just off to your right.

Soon enough you'll be crossing 101 again, this time to climb Neahkahnie Mountain. After the climb the trail continues as a road walk along 101 until you take a right on Nehalem Road, which turns into Ocean Rd. as it rounds the bend. The last time I hiked through there was no road sign, but it is fairly obvious which road you should take to bring you back to the beach.

Once you are back on the beach follow this south, which means the water is on your right, into Nehalem Bay State Park.

The trail continues along the coast until you get to the end of Nehalem Spit. This is the north jetty of Nehalem Bay. On the south jetty is where you will find the Jetty Fishery, which offers ferry rides for hikers. Look for a bright yellow building, which you'll most likely have to hike up the bay for a while before you can spot it.

Call for a ride, the price is $10, cash. (503) 368-5746

From the Jetty Fishery you can follow the railroad tracks into Rockaway Beach if you don't want to road walk. Otherwise there is also a bus which will take you not only into Rockaway Beach, but also through Garibaldi and on into Tillamook if you'd like to avoid a lot of road walking.

You can also try to flag down a fisherman or crabber on Tillamook Bay before you get to Garibaldi, perhaps by waving a $5 bill, and asking for a ride across to Crab Harbor. Though not an official part of the Oregon Coast Trail it is still a nice way to see the coast.

Crossing to Crab Harbor means that you will be skipping Tillamook which is a long road walk anyway, both going into Tillamook and hiking out to Cape Mears.

Which way you go is entirely up to you but the one benefit of going into Tillamook is that it can be a major resupply point.

Either way, after hiking south on the OCT from Cape Mears you will be returning to more road walking, this time on Three Capes Highway until you get into Oceanside. Just be sure to check out the tunnel through the cliff at Oceanside before you start your trek south along the beach.

It isn't long before you are once again on the road, this time all the way to Cape Lookout State Park.

Where to Stay

Map #2 starts of with very little in the way of official camping options as it has been restricted in Oswald West State Park. As I mentioned many hikers choose to stealth camp in this area, the top of Cape Falcon being one of the most popular.

Oswald West State Park is one of the major gaps or setbacks in planning a thru hike of the OCT. They used to have a campground but I was told by several people that it was closed due to abuse by locals more than anything else.

There is a popular surfer beach in the park and it is unofficially known as a nude beach from what I was told by locals. It was unclear if this was simply due to the fact that they liked to go down and watch the surfers change out of their wet suits, or if there was more to it than that.

After that Nehalem Bay State Park has a terrific hiker/biker camp. It is close enough to the beach, and like all Oregon State Parks, it has unlimited free hot showers. As you hike south along the beach look for a small brown sign on a post in the dunes that says ABC. Follow the trail next to it up and over the dunes to come into the back of the campground.

Just south of that is the Sea Haven Motel. At one point they had a hostel option that was cheap, but it is now under new management. That doesn't mean it isn't a good place to stay if it is in your budget.

Sea Haven Motel & Guest House
520 North Hwy 101 (520 Coast Highway), Rockaway Beach, Oregon 97136
503-355-8101

If you chose to ferry across Tillamook Bay there is plenty of free camping available in Crab Harbor and perhaps even at the Bayocean Peninsula County Park further down the peninsula closer to Cape Meares. Just don't expect potable water or bathrooms.

Following the Oregon Coast Trail inland, heading into Tillamook, you'll have no legal camping options but plenty of hotels to choose from.

Resupply

Even if you left Oswald West State Park without any food left in your pack the town of Manzanita is an easy downhill walk. After hiking up and over Neahkahnie Mountain that is, unless you skipped that.

Following Ocean Rd. along the beach south until it comes to an end is the best way to find Laneda Ave, the main thoroughfare in town. Go left onto Laneda Ave and a little way up on the left hand side of the road is a small market, called The Little Apple or the Manzanita Market, with plenty for resupply as well as freshly prepared foods like breakfast sandwiches and pizzas.

Continuing down Laneda Ave. on the right at 5th St. are public restrooms. Further up on the left is the public library, and if you continue on Laneda until you get to 101 you can take a left to go to another supermarket, Manzanita Fresh Foods.

Resupply in Manzanita really depends on what your plans are for the rest of Map #2. Are you staying at Nehalem Bay State Park? Do you plan on catching a ferry across Tillamook Bay to camp at Crab Harbor? Or doing the road walk through Garibaldi into Tillamook? Or the bus from Garibaldi to Tillamook to avoid the long road walk?

If you go the ferry route you'll need more than if you plan on taking the bus to skip the road walk. Tillamook is easy enough to reach by the inland route, even if you decide to do the road walk, that you wont need much more than a few snacks. Even leaving Nehalem Bay State Park in the morning you will still have resupply options in Rockaway Beach and Garibaldi.

Rockaway Beach has plenty of restaurants and pizza places as well as the Rockaway Beach Market, which is just off 101 at S. 2nd Ave. Garibaldi has the Food Basket Market Place grocery store as well as a Dairy Queen.

Heading into Tillamook there are plenty of options as soon as you hit town, including a Fred Meyer Supermarket and plenty of fast food. Further into downtown there is a Safeway one block off the OCT route where it turns right onto Third St./Netarts Highway, as well as plenty of dining options.

Tillamook should be a major resupply as the road walk out to Cape Meares, then down to Cape Lookout State Park, has very few options for food with the exception of a cafe in Oceanside. You'll also have to plan on packing food out of Tillamook to get you at least to Pacific City, halfway through Map #3.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*