Tillamook Head Traverse Trail
About Tillamook Head Traverse trail
The Tillamook Head Traverse trail meanders along the coastline through a thriving old growth forest. A beautiful variety of trees and plants, beaches and ocean. Hike from the Seaside end through the forest until you reach the hikers camp, a collection of Adirondack cabins. This is where you will find a restroom. At this point, you can take a side trail to an ocean viewpoint. Here you can look out and see Tillamook Rock Lighthouse- an unused lighthouse. Also, there is a WWII bunker disappearing into the foliage of the forest along the same side trail.
Once you’ve hiked back to the hikers camp you will find a continuation of the trail near the restrooms. This continues to travel along the coast until you come out at Indian Beach, part of Ecola State Park.
There are several ways to do this hike. Do it as an out and back- which ends up being almost 13 miles. Or, park a car at Indian Beach and a second car at Seaside and then shuttle back and forth to retrieve them once done. Another option, have a friend drop you off and pick you up at the end.
The Tillamook Head Traverse trailhead starts in Seaside, Oregon and ends in Ecola State Park at Indian Beach.
6.3 miles (one way).
Start and endpoint
Start at the Seaside end of the trail and hike to Indian Beach. Alternately you can hike from Indian Beach to Seaside, but the turn around point is not as satisfying as arriving at a beach halfway along your trek.
Approximately 1350 ft.
This is a forested area, the trail is dirt and loamy forest floor. Once you get to Indian Beach you hit the sand.
There is day-use parking at Indian Beach. A parking pass costs $5 at the entrance to the park.
There is also a day-use parking area on the Seaside end of the trail. At the time this is written there is no fee at this parking area.
If you are going to backpack this trail either arrange to be dropped off and picked up at either end of the trail, or you can risk parking your car along the road leading up to the Seaside end of the trailhead.
There are no restrooms at the Seaside end of the trail. There is one restroom near the hikers camp. Indian Beach day-use area has a restroom available as well.
Why head to the Tillamook Head Traverse trail?
Things to see (aka. photo ops)
At the hikers camp (a collection of Adirondack cabins), there is a trail that splits off towards the ocean. Follow this trail to reach the lighthouse overlook, and along the trail, you will pass a WWII bunker. The bunker is blocked off and boarded shut, but you can climb on top and do some exploring around it.
Tillamook Rock Light
This lighthouse can be seen from the lookout point that splits off from the Tillamook Head trail. The lighthouse is over a mile away from the coastline. With binoculars or a zoom lens on a camera you can see hundreds of seals all over the rock on a sunny day.
From lush coastal forest to long stretching beach and cliffs that drop down to the ocean. The variety in environments is interesting and enjoyable to explore. Starting in the forest- flowers, trees, birds, squirrels, maybe even deer. Coming out at Indian Beach to seagulls, sand, open skies, ocean, beach grass and tide pools. All in one hike.
A beautiful beach to end a hike, or take a rest before turning around and heading back to the Seaside trailhead.