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Trip Report: Tillamook Head - Ecola State Park
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Trip Report: Tillamook Head - Ecola State Park

Trip Report: Tillamook Head - Ecola State Park

When: 10/13/2018
Location: Tillamook Head - Ecola State Park
Conditions: Low 70's, Sunny
Duration: One Night
Difficulty: Moderate
Kid Friendly: Yes
Pet Friendly: Yes
Resources: www.oregonhiking.com | www.outdoorproject.com

Tillamook Head - Ecola State Park

The Full Report:
Located in the beautiful Ecola State Park, Tillamook head is an Oregon Coast classic hike. Accessible from two different trail-heads; One from the North near Seaside and the other from the south at Indian Beach public access/day use area. The most popular trailhead used by people looking for a nice day hike is from Indian Beach wherein a moderate mile and a half uphill hike you will reach the Tillamook head camping area & lighthouse lookout.

Tillamook Head - Ecola State Park

The route from Seaside is a solid 4 and a half miles mostly uphill. The moderate trail became slightly muddy in some areas and starts as a steady uphill through lush coastal rainforest and levels out on a mellow ridgeline, often overlooking the ocean. From the top of Tillamook Head the trail drops a couple of hundred feet down to the Tillamook head hikers camp. From here another 1/8th of a mile down a side trail leads to a lighthouse lookout- with amazing views of the ocean, an old lighthouse just offshore, as well as a black sandy beach down a steep cliff side underneath.

Campground
The campground at the top is unmissable, with three lean-to shelters and a covered picnic table in a circle around a large fire pit. If you don't fancy sleeping in the shelters, there are multiple camp spots nearby with plenty of flat ground to pitch a tent. There is a bathroom nearby stocked with toilet paper.

Tillamook Head - Ecola State Park

*Note: If you plan on staying at the campsite, there is a money box to buy wood bundles for $5 each. Be sure to use only already made fire rings and DO NOT start a fire if a fire ban is in effect. A sign for any potential fire bans will be posted at the beginning of each trailhead.

*Note: There is no viable water source at the hiker’s camp. If you plan on camping here, bring extra water for cooking and the walk back to the car in the morning!!!

Historical Significance
The Tillamook head area also has some neat historical significance. During the Winter of 1806 Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, climbed up the head and took observations of plants, wildlife, and the awe-inspiring beauty of the Oregon Coast. In addition, there is an abandoned bunker near the Lighthouse lookout that was commissioned during World War II as a lookout post for incoming enemy ships.

Tillamook Head - Ecola State Park

Permits/Fees
No permit is needed for the hiker’s camp.
If you park at the Indian Beach parking area a $5-day use fee is required.

Overall, I would rate this hike as a heavily trafficked moderate hike with well built, sometimes muddy trails that switch back generously and can easily be done as a nice day hike, or a mellow overnight trip for those making a weekend of it.

Tillamook Head - Ecola State Park

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