Introducing...the color green
The Clatsop Loop Trail is an excellent short loop hike in Ecola State Park, the Western half of which is part of the 8 mile long Oregon Coast Trail. This trail in part of a longer route reportedly used by William Clark and Sacajawea to locate a beached whale in the early 1800s.
The trailhead is located at the Indian Beach parking lot inside the park. You'll have to purchase a day-use pass upon entering the park in order to use the trail. This hike is a steady climb from the parking lot trailhead to a nice camp site and an amazing viewpoint of Tillamook (yes, just like the cheese) Head lighthouse. The first part of the loop follows a wide, well kept trail into the forest. The only highlight of this section is the size of the trees, several of which have interesting features pointed out by the park brochure. The trail eventually reaches the camp site, where there are three nice shelters that can be reserved for camping. From here there is a 1/4 mile trail (brochure says 1/2 mile, but that seemed a bit overstated) out to a viewpoint where you can see Tillamook Head Lighthouse out at sea. The brochure stated the lighthouse is 12 miles out, which is amazing, since it looks like you can swim to it.
Back at the campsite the trail continues through a dense green forest up above the coastline. There are points here and there where you can catch a glimpse of the shoreline and ocean. Along this section there is an amazing amount of green vegetation. Everything is green, or covered in green moss. Being from Arizona, my eyes were having an overdose of green, and that was a good thing. The Oregon Coast is a truly beautiful place, especially in the summer months. Ecola State park and the Clatsop trail are the perfect way to experience it.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.