June 27th, 2007 12:00 am Bradley Campbell | Special Section Stories

The Coast

The beaches are public. You own them. Go play—hike in the old-growth forests.

IMAGE: walter fenk

Bike: Yachats River Road

Why go: Roll through the lands of the silent C (wear sunscreen—it's "ya-hot" out there!). What to expect: Calm country roads, the kind with slim shoulders. This nine-mile ride lets you pedal over the Yachats covered bridge, constructed in 1938. And the town has a cool watering hole with live music, the Landmark Restaurant and Lounge (111 Highway 101, 541-547-3215). Pack this: Bicycle, harmonica. Google it: Yachats River Road bike.

Clam dig: Whiskey Run

Why go: Extract tasty bivalves with your own two hands. What to expect: Early-morning sunrises and soft sand for digging. Follow the dimples to find the tasty mollusks. Pack away 15 clams per day under Oregon law. Pack this: Clam shovel, horseradish sauce and recreational shellfish license ($6.50 for Oregon residents; buy them anywhere fishing licenses are sold). Google it: Razor clams Whiskey Run.

ATV-In': Florence Dunes

Why go: Spit sand in the faces of Ed Weston wannabes. What to expect: Quads, sand rails and cookie-spinning fun. There's no better way to explore more than 27,000 acres of pristine beauty than on the back of a smog-belching quad. Pack this: Sunscreen, plugs of Skoal. Google it: Sand dunes Florence.

Hike: Saddle Mountain

Why go: Walk through wildflowers, without Tom Petty. What to expect: A 2 ½-mile trail that climbs 1,633 feet from the parking lot. The views from atop the open, rocky summit make the physical fatigue forgettable. Pack this: Walking stick and camera. Google it: Saddle Mountain Oregon. (BC)

Hike: Tillamook Head

Why go: Lewis and Clark hiked it to buy whale blubber. What to expect: A 1,000-foot cliff, old-growth spruce and alder. William Clark said of the hike, "I behold the grandest and most pleasing prospect which my eyes ever surveyed." Sacagawea promptly slapped him. Pack this: Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. Google it: Tillamook Head.

Hike: Cape Lookout

Why go: You prefer your ocean spray to be veiled in the mist of history. What to expect: A B-17 crashed into this cliff-lined cape, which extends two miles out into the Pacific, during World War II. The 4.8-mile, round-trip hike moves through old spruce, hemlock and shelter ferns. The endpoint is 400 feet above sea level. Expect crowds during whale-watching season in March and November. Pack this: Binoculars and mud shoes. Google it: Cape Lookout.

Kayak: Tillamook County

Why go: Shed some calories before the cheese-factory tour. What to expect: Five estuaries and four bays for easy paddling on flat water. Expect to see brown pelicans swooping overhead and, when alive, dragonflies humping mid-flight. Pack this: Sunscreen and sharp cheddar. Google it: Kayak Tillamook County.

Sand: Manzanita

Why go: It was a long winter. What to expect: Beaches to take long walks upon during sunsets. A romantic place to kiss a lover as waves lap against your ankles. (Luckily, it has more than six places to stay overnight. Pack this: A small pouch for seashells. Google it: Manzanita.

Surf: Cape Kiwanda

Why go: Compete with dory boats for waves. What to expect: A mix of left- and right-hand breaks. "Gas Chambers," located in front of Haystack Rock, is a beach break that snaps. Be careful: Great white sharks patrol underneath. Pack this: Wetsuit and hoodie. Google it: Kiwanda surf.

Surf: Nelscott Reef

Why go: If you can ride these waves, your wife is Gabrielle Reece. What to expect: HUGE, 30- to 40-foot waves thumping toward Lincoln City. To ride, you need a Jet Ski tow-in and balls, the big kind. Pack this: Bravery and behemoth skill. Google it: Nelscott Reef.

Surf: Seaside Cove

Why go: A straight-up hang-10 spot. What to expect: A north-side jetty setup that gives a nice, long, left-hand break. This is longboard territory, and good for intermediate-level surfers. Pack this: Longboard, toes and a round nose. Google it: Surf Seaside Cove.

Kite: Lincoln City

Why go: Discover electricity! What to expect: Reliable winds and rainbow kites the size of whales flapping in the skies. Kite Life magazine named this beach town on the 45th parallel "Kite Capital of the World." Pack this: The "Trophy Fish Fred" nautical windsock. Google it: Kite Lincoln City.

Look: Astoria Column

Why go: Overlook the city where Kindergarten Cop was filmed. What to expect: A 125-foot-tall column erected in 1926, with a 164-step spiral staircase going to the top. It cost $27,133 to build and, 69 years later, $750,000 to restore. Pack this: Binoculars, a California governor. Google it: Astoria Column.

Hike: Cape Falcon

Why go: Rumor has it Sacagawea and WIlliam Clark went here to neck. What to expect: A 750-foot climb with echoes of surf all around. The 1.8-mile path wanders through sword fens and, when in season, coastal huckleberries. But watch out for banana slugs. Pack this: A Shoshone gal Google it: Cape Falcon Oswald. (BC)

Tide Pool: Seal Rock

Why go: Relive fifth-grade science class. What to expect: Sea anemones, hermit crabs and starfish. The state park has sea lions lounging on offshore rock formations and sea urchins munching on algae in the pools. Pack this: Adhesive tube feet and boots. Google it: Seal Rock park.

Pirates: Haystack Rock

Why go: One-Eyed Willie isn't a dick. What to expect: Exactly what Mikey saw through the Spanish doubloon in the 1985 classic Goonies: a giant haystack rock. The beach is wide and the trip is quick from Portland. Make sure to invite Chunk. Pack this: Treasure map. Google it: Haystack Cannon Beach.

Fish: Depoe Bay

Why go: Put your second-grade obsession with knot-tying to good use. Finally. What to expect: Fish! Pacific halibut, king salmon, Coho salmon and various bottom fish. Go for the five-hour tour and hook dinner for 10 out of the "world's smallest harbor." Pack this: Hooks, ice, your lovingly worn copy of The Ashley Book of Knots. Google it: Fishing Depoe Bay.

Sand: John Dellenback Trail

Why go: Reenact your favorite scenes from Lawrence of Arabia. What to expect: Windswept sand, hidden lakes, moments of disbelief. The Forest Service boasts that this trail meanders through "the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America." Some rise to 500 feet above sea level. Pack this: Water bottle, shorts and a magic lamp. Google it: John Dellenback dunes.
Get Out!
These Forests Ain't Virgin Anymore
Over the Edge
Doggin' It
Cycle Tour 101
Get Out 100:
Willamette Valley
The Coast
Great Cascades/Columbia Gorge
Central Oregon/High Desert
Oregon's Outer Edges
Washington State
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