hikes

July 13, 2015

Tillamook Head backpacking

These photos are from a backpacking trip with seven friends to the hiker’s camp on Tillamook Head. Since we wanted the hike to be longer than starting from Indian Beach at Ecola State Park, we started at the Seaside trailhead. Total distance one-way: 4 miles with 1,200 ft. elevation gain. The trail is a bit challenging due to all of the mud pits, downed trees to climb over or under, and tree root steps.

The hiker’s camp has three wooden shelters, and a large area behind them to setup tents. Unusual features for a backpacking site included a vault toilet (no cathole digging!), and bundles of firewood to burn in the campfire ring. There’s even a covered shelter with a picnic table. What there isn’t, however, is access to water for filtering… unless you hike another 1.5 miles down the trail, with about 800 ft. elevation loss (and then gain on the way back up).

To add interest to this trip, this trail has a bit of historical significance… it was part of the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1906. They crossed the headland to buy whale blubber from the Native Americans in Cannon Beach. From the hiker’s camp, a short trail leads to a viewpoint of Tillamook Lighthouse, passing by an old WWII bunker for radar equipment.

From the hiker’s camp, continue another 1.5 miles on a hiking trail to Indian Beach at Ecola State Park. Great views of the coastline and Coast Range mountains are seen from the trail. Return via the Clatsop loop on an old road for an easier route back up to the hiker’s camp.

Tillamook Head

Seaside trailhead for Tillamook Head

Tillamook Head

coastal forest

Tillamook Head

hiker’s camp, four miles in

Tillamook Head

two of our tents

my tent

my tent

Tillamook Head

organized, even while backpacking!

Tillamook Head

trail to Tillamook Lighthouse viewpoint

WWII bunker for radar equipment

WWII bunker for radar equipment

Tillamook Head

view 700 ft down

Tillamook Head

coastal forest

Tillamook Head

foggy conditions

Tillamook Head

tent area behind hiker’s camp structures

Tillamook Head

coastal forest

Tillamook Head

foggy forest

Tillamook Head

hiker’s camp from the shelter

Tillamook Head

hanging our food to keep rodents out

Tillamook Head

after dinner at the campfire

Tillamook Head

campfire!

Tillamook Head

view from my tent

muddy trail

muddy trail

more mud

more mud

mud mud mud

mud mud mud

still muddy

still muddy

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