We were anxious to travel to Lincoln City, OR as we had read so many intriguing reviews of the areas we chose for hiking. The Cascade Head Preserve seemed especially promising. It is a coastal headland with two trails one of which is much longer; 4.2 miles. The upper trail leads to the most scenic views and brings hikers to the top of the hills overlooking the ocean and nearby shore. This was really a no-brainer for us.
We opted for the shorter upper trail which was a relatively flat mile-long hike. We had been hiking for several days already and planned to continue hiking once we arrived at Crater Lake National Park so this seemed prudent.
It was difficult to find the correct forest road (Cascade Head Road 1861) which is more of a cut out along the highway than anything else. We persevered and finally wound up at the trailhead ready to go.
The first part of the hike looked like a pathway in Jurassic Park with the fungi and mosses covering the tree branches.
Jungle-like growth at the start of the trail
After hiking for a a bit more than twenty minutes, we reached the meadow viewpoints. The vista was stunning.
The meadow and ocean revealed themselves
As we moved closer to the descending side of the hill, we could watch hikers arriving from the lower trail.
Hikers were arriving from the lower trail
The contrast of the golden meadow, the green trees and shrubs against the blue ocean was a superb display of nature’s palette.
A contrast of colors
The craggy rock outcroppings were also very dramatic.
I couldn’t resist taking a panorama from this expansive vantage point with such a remarkable view.
Feeling self-satisfied, we decided to attempt the trek to Hart’s Cove and drove to that trailhead. We were somewhat daunted by the steepness of the trail heading down as we knew it would be uphill coming back. One rule of hiking when there is no loop is that for every down, there is an up!
We asked some ascending hikers what their thoughts were and after some encouragement, we began the descent. It was indeed downhill!
The first part of the hike takes trekkers through forests of hemlock and Sitka spruce. We then arrived at the open trail to the grassy meadow with anticipation of seeing the cove.
Finally, the path to the cove
We were careful with our footing and made our way to an area where we could have lunch and enjoy the view of the cove.
A scenic backdrop
Although we couldn’t see the sea lions, we could hear them barking in the distance.
A wonderful spot to enjoy lunch
We lingered for a time taking in the view and enjoying the best this area had to offer. Although we faced a strenuous (for us) return trip, the memories will remain long after our muscles have recovered.
A final view of the cove before we headed back
For more information, you can refer to this web page: Cascade Head and Hart’s Cove
Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:
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