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Clatsop Loop Trail



2.6 mile 4.2 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 710' 217 m
Descent: -699' -213 m
High: 761' 232 m
Low: 50' 15 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 30% (17°)


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Trail shared by Anne Travels


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Work your way through a coastal rain forest to the top of a headland in the footsteps of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Anne Travels

Features Views · Wildlife

Family Friendly A few drop-offs, natural and historical commentary, and a nice trail.

$5 per day fee is charged to enter Ecola State Park; state park passes only are accepted to waive fees.


This very popular trail begins at the Indian Beach parking area. About 400 ft. from the trailhead, the trail splits, with the road (return route) continuing straight, while a dirt path strikes off to the left. Turn left to ascend to a viewpoint over Ecola State Park and Indian Beach about 0.1 miles from the beginning of the trail. Enjoy the views before continuing up the trail.

The path winds upward through the coastal rain forest, complete with hanging mosses, giant trees, enormous ferns, etc. This place is even more rain-forest-like than the more famous rain forests of northern Washington. All we need now are some chattering monkeys, and you might believe that you are hiking in the tropics!

A few peek-a-boo views look out on the Pacific Ocean before the trail finally ceases climbing and connects to the return trail / road at a 4-way junction at mile 1.5. A primitive restroom is also available here, in case you drank too much water huffing and puffing up the headland.

Turn right down the road to return to the parking area, about 1.2 miles later.

Members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition walked this route as they searched for a beached whale they had heard about from local Native Americans, making this the furthest west the party traveled during their 2 year expedition.

Clockwise or counter clockwise? Taking the trail clockwise - as I have suggested here - makes the trail steeper on the way out, with a gentler slope on the way down. This is easier on the knees, while hiking counterclockwise is easier on the lungs, as the steeper sections would be on your trek down the headland.

Also note: The route is technically a nature trail, with a brochure lining up with numbers along the trail that discusses the area's natural and historical heritage. If you take the loop clockwise, as I've suggested here, you'll need to read the brochure beginning at the end and working your way backwards through the numbers.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Flora & Fauna


Land Manager: Oregon State Parks

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Jul 13, 2019
Paul Orlowski
Gorgeous. A lot of up, but doable 2.6mi — 12h 15m
Jul 2, 2019
Ben Barlow
Jun 9, 2019
Scott Warren
Jun 5, 2019
Tim Pahula
Jun 1, 2019
Morgan Linder
May 19, 2019
Glenn Dracopoulos
Half of the trail closest to the ocean was muddy today. Wear appropriate hiking shoes. We hiked the loop counter clockwise and recommend that way.
Mar 30, 2019
Andy Van Den Bos
Beautiful hike. No mud. Lots of people. Best views of the ocean if you take the trail counter clockwise. 2.6mi
Mar 15, 2019
Jonathan Martin

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 15 votes


  4.3 from 15 votes
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in Oregon


111 Views Last Month
2,450 Since Jan 14, 2017



View of Cannon Beach from Clatsop Loop Trail
Dec 30, 2018 near Cannon…, OR


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