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Clatsop Loop Trail

Intermediate
 4.4 (16)

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


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Map Key

2.6

Miles

4.2

KM

Point to Point

761' 232 m

High

50' 15 m

Low

710' 217 m

Up

699' 213 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

30%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Leashed

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Land Manager: Oregon State Parks

Shared By:

Anne Travels

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 16 votes

#507

Overall
  4.4 from 16 votes
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4 Star
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Trail Rankings

#14

in Oregon

#507

Overall
151 Views Last Month
3,579 Since Jan 14, 2017
Intermediate

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Photos

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

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Check-Ins

Oct 24, 2019
Susan Suffion
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
2.6mi
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