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  • Writer's pictureTina McLain

Clatsop Loop Trail

A trail in Ecola State Park that leads to a hikers camp and view of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse.

Indian Beach

Trail Name: Clatsop Loop

TH Coordinates: 45.93122, -123.97855

Access: Trail

Distance: 3.81 miles (round trip)

Elevation Range: 0' to 749'

Ascent/Descent: +752 ft / -738 ft

Trail Type: Loop

Route: Took short trail down to Indian Beach then did west side of the Clatsop Loop Trail up to Tillamook Rock Lighthouse Viewpoint then took the east side of the Clatsop Loop Trail back to the trailhead.

Outing Type: Day Hike

Permits/Fees: $5 parking fee for Ecola State Park

Notes: Trails can be very muddy during winter and spring. A section of this trail is part of the Oregon Coast Trail.

Location: Ecola State Park, Oregon, U.S.A.

Administration: Ecola State Park

Date Accessed: 5-4-24

I wasn't expecting to go for a hike when we arrived at the parking area. I was thinking we'd take pictures of Indian Beach, maybe take a short trail to the beach and that would be it. It was rainy so I was wearing my rain gear and hiking boots. I went down to the beach and it was beautiful. There was a wash up of a "blue tide" so it was stinky.

My mom was with me and we decided to hike back up to the parking area but got distracted by a trail that looked like it went up to a viewpoint. On the sign it said it was 1/8th mile so we decided to check it out. The trail kept going uphill into the forest and I started to get a bit confused because we were well over 1/8th mile. I looked at the maps and turns out we missed the viewpoint but on the maps saw that there was a viewpoint for the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse supposedly only 1.3 miles ahead (it was a bit further than that).

I didn't have my backpack or my water which felt overwhelming but I decided to continue on with my mom anyways. It was raining the whole time and the trail was pretty muddy with streams of water running through it on and off. It was all uphill with sporadic switchbacks. The forest was beautiful but I was in a mood and not fully able to enjoy it. There were some cool views of the ocean and Tillamook Rock Lighthouse along the way. I was starting to get hungry and I wanted my water bottle. I was nearing the point of a sensory overload because I was feeling so out of control and overwhelmed.

We made it to the top and took the trail to the viewpoint. It was a pretty great view even with all the rain. I think it's one of the best views of the lighthouse. It's the closest you can get to it on the mainland. The lighthouse has a pretty cool history. We also passed the hikers camp and some different cement bunkers. We decided to take the east side of the Clatsop Loop Trail back, it was wider and a continuous grade. It reminded me of hiking the road back to the trailhead when I hiked Mt. Defiance a few years ago.

I was done and ready to eat and be dry. It was a good reminder for me to bring the gear that makes me feel relaxed hiking. It also reminded me how anxious I get when I don't have water on me. I was too overdone to enjoy this hike in the moment and it ended up being Type 2 fun for me. The hike and trail are pretty cool and I'd recommend it for a shorter hike in Ecola State Park.


My Wild Adventure is not responsible for your safety, any possible injury, or anything that happens if you choose to follow anything on this website. Maps are not intended to be used for navigational purposes, but to give an overview of the route taken. By going outdoors you are solely responsible to know your strengths and limitations, be aware of current conditions and proceed with the appropriate caution. My Wild Adventure is not responsible for your choices and the outcome. Reference my disclaimer for more information on being responsible outdoors.

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