7-Day Oregon Coast Highway Journey Itinerary – Bearfoot Idea

7-Day Oregon Coast Highway Journey Itinerary – Bearfoot Idea

7-Day Oregon Coast Highway Journey Itinerary – Bearfoot Idea

Anybody who has visited the Pacific Northwest will in all probability agree that the Oregon Coast is without doubt one of the most stunning locations in North America. Stretching 363 miles from the mouth of the Columbia River to the California state line, this rugged shoreline is house to many hidden gems and limitless alternatives for out of doors journey.

I did an Oregon Coast highway journey in 2021, and I used to be blown away by all of the superb hidden coves, scenic overlooks, abandoned seashores, and distinctive stops alongside the way in which.

From the favored (however stunning!) Cannon Seashore to the luxurious forested trails at Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Hall, I cherished each second of our journey.

On this publish, I share an ideal 7-day Oregon Coast highway journey itinerary that hits all the perfect stops and sights alongside the shoreline.

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Oregon Coast Highway Journey at a Look

The Oregon Coast is nearly 400 miles lengthy, and there’s a ton to see and do inside that distance. Since I’m primarily all in favour of climbing and out of doors actions, this itinerary focuses totally on getting out in nature and having fun with the seashores, trails, and tidepools.

Right here’s an outline of what you’ll see and do on this 7-day Oregon Coast highway journey itinerary:

  • Stroll alongside a few of Oregon’s greatest seashores
  • Discover charming coastal cities
  • Hike lush temperate rainforest trails
  • Take pleasure in scenic overlooks of the Pacific Ocean
  • DAY 1: Portland & Astoria
  • DAY 2: Ecola State Park & Cannon Seashore
  • DAY 3: Hug Level & Oswald West State Parks
  • DAY 4: Cape Kiwanda & Newport
  • DAY 5: Yachats, Sea Lion Caves & Oregon Dunes
  • DAY 6: Bullard Seashore
  • DAY 7: Return to Portland

Day 1: Portland to Astoria

Day 1 Overview

  • DRIVING DISTANCE – 98 miles
  • DRIVE TIME – 2 hours
  • ON THE WAY – Hike to Beaver Falls, cease on the Fern Hill Glass Studio
  • CAMPING OPTION – Fort Stevens State Park
  • LODGING OPTION – Numerous resort choices in Astoria

Portland

I like to recommend beginning your Oregon Coast highway journey in Portland, particularly for those who’ll be flying in. Portland has a big worldwide airport and there are many choices for automobile leases or camper van leases.

You probably have an additional day or two, Portland can be a enjoyable metropolis to discover. Under are just a few concepts on how you can take advantage of your time there.

Issues to do in Portland

  • Discover a number of the greatest hikes round Portland
  • Stroll across the famend Japanese Gardens
  • Get misplaced in Powell’s Bookstore
  • Expertise the meals cart and meals truck tradition (a lot of that are plant-based!)
  • Take a day journey to Multnomah Falls – simply bear in mind it will get REALLY busy on weekends! (Observe – this isn’t on the way in which to Astoria, so solely go right here you probably have further time in Portland)
Woman standing in front of Multnomah Falls in Oregon
Multnomah Falls is an extremely stunning waterfall solely half-hour from Portland

Astoria

When you’re able to hit the highway and embark in your Oregon Coast highway journey, set your GPS to Astoria – your first cease. Astoria is a few two-hour drive from Portland and far of it’s alongside the Columbia River.

If you wish to stretch your legs, you possibly can hike to Beaver Falls, which is about midway between Portland and Astoria. (Observe: the path is a brief drive off the freeway, so that you’ll must get instructions to the trailhead). The 0.6-mile path ends at a fairly waterfall cascading right into a pool of water.

Beaver Falls outside of portland Oregon
The hike to Beaver Falls is brief and candy and the reward is value it!

In Astoria, you’ve gotten plenty of choices for exploring! It’s an enthralling port metropolis nestled on the mouth of the mighty Columbia River. Astoria is acknowledged because the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies, based in 1811 as a fur buying and selling publish. If you wish to study extra concerning the historical past, head to the Columbia River Maritime Museum.

I additionally suggest strolling down Astoria’s picturesque essential road, which is lined with superbly preserved Victorian properties and buildings, together with the enduring Flavel Home Museum. For excellent views, drive as much as the Astoria Column the place you’ll additionally discover plenty of climbing trails.

When you’re into motion pictures, Astoria can be house to the Oregon Movie Museum, the place you possibly can study concerning the making of The Goonies!

Issues to do in Astoria

  • Go to the Columbia River Maritime Museum to find out about Astoria’s historical past
  • Stroll down the charming essential road lined with Victorian buildings
  • Drive as much as the Astoria Column and stretch your legs on the climbing trails
  • Drive out to Sundown Seashore to observe the sundown over the Pacific Ocean
  • Stroll by way of the Oregon Movie Museum
Views out over river delta from hike near Astoria, Oregon
Views out over Astoria and the Columbia River from the Astoria Column
Brief on Time?

When you don’t have a full 7-days, I like to recommend skipping Astoria (except you’re a MAJOR Goonies Fan) and going straight to Ecola State Park close to Cannon Seashore by way of US-26 West. You’ll shave off a little bit of driving time and the primary day and a half of this itinerary. For a 3-day itinerary choice, learn to the top of this publish.

Day 2: Astoria to Cannon Seashore

Day 2 Overview

  • DRIVING DISTANCE – 26 miles
  • DRIVE TIME – 40 minutes
  • ON THE WAY – Fort Steven State Park, Lewis and Clark Nationwide Historic Park, Ecola State Park
  • CAMPING OPTION – There are a number of RV Resorts in Cannon Seashore
  • LODGING OPTION – Cannon Seashore resorts

Fort Steven State Park

When you didn’t camp right here final night time, it’s value driving out to Fort Steven State Park within the morning to discover the seashore and Peter Iredale shipwreck that sits proper offshore. You may also drive all the way in which out onto the jetty to see the confluence of the Pacific Ocean and Columbia River.

Peter Iredale Shipwreck at Fort Stevens State Park in Oregon
The Peter Iredale shipwreck at Fort Steven State Park

Lewis and Clark Nationwide Historic Park

After trying out the shipwreck, begin heading south towards Cannon Seashore. On the way in which, you’ll move near Lewis and Clark Nationwide Historic Park. When you’re into historical past, this can be a cool place to take a look at for an hour or two.

The park encompasses a reproduction of Fort Clatsop, the encampment of the explorers on the mouth of the Columbia River. There are additionally interactive shows the place you possibly can study concerning the Corp of Discovery and Lewis and Clark’s 8,000-mile journey.

Ecola State Park

Ecola State Park is a lovely park with plenty of climbing trails and beautiful viewpoints. Park on the Ecola Level Viewpoint and hike to Indian Seashore for superb views and nice tidepooling.

Observe: This path could be very muddy, so make sure you put on good climbing boots and think about using trekking poles.

You may also stroll for miles alongside Crescent Seashore which is proven within the picture under.

Woman standing on the edge of an overlook looking down at a sandy beach at Ecola State Park in Oregon
Ecola State Park viewpoint

Cannon Seashore

Your closing vacation spot for at the moment is the gorgeous Cannon Seashore! This beautiful seashore and quaint seashore city are among the many hottest on the Oregon Coast, however for good cause. Cannon Seashore options the towering Haystack Rock, which juts up out of the water not too far offshore.

Spend a while strolling the sandy seashore earlier than heading into city to seize dinner at Pelican Brewing. Additionally, Cannon Seashore may be very dog-friendly. Canine are allowed off-leash on the seashore so long as they’re underneath voice management.

Tip: There isn’t quite a lot of nice tenting round right here, so this could be a spot to splurge on a Cannon seashore resort.

Haystack Rock at Cannon beach with the sun setting behind it. A dog is sitting on the beach
When you can, catch Cannon Seashore at sundown

Day 3: Cannon Seashore to Camp Lookout State Park

Day 3 Overview

  • DRIVING DISTANCE – 52 miles
  • DRIVE TIME – 1 hour quarter-hour
  • ON THE WAY – Hug Level State Park, Oswald West State Park, Neahkahnie Viewpoint
  • CAMPING OPTION – Camp Lookout State Park Campground
  • LODGING OPTION – Tillamook Lodges, Camp Lookout State Park has cabins and yurts

Hug Level State Park

Hug Level is a small state park situated proper simply south of Cannon Seashore. It options a lovely seashore with a small waterfall that you may hike out to at low tide (it’s not accessible at excessive tide, so time your go to if you wish to see it). You may maintain strolling alongside the seashore previous the waterfall, however simply be aware of the tide!

You gained’t discover a ton of vacationers at Hug Level, which makes it one in all my favourite stops to benefit from the magnificence and ruggedness of the Oregon Coast.

Waterfall at sandy beach at Hug Point in Oregon
Be sure to go to the falls at Hug Level a low tide

Oswald West State Park

Persevering with south from Hug Level, head to Oswad West State Park. When you arrive at Oswald West State Park, there are extra climbing trails, so pack a picnic lunch and lace up your boots.

I like to recommend climbing the Cape Falcon Path, which leads out to Cape Falcon Lookout. The path is 4.5 miles roundtrip with about 580 ft of elevation achieve.

Camp Lookout State Park

Your vacation spot for at the moment is Camp Lookout State Park, which has a very nice campground in addition to yurts and cabins tucked again into the woods. In your manner, pull over at Neahkahnie Viewpoint for a fast picture op that’s proper subsequent to the freeway.

Relying on what time you arrive on the campground, you possibly can merely arrange camp and benefit from the peace and quiet of the park or head out on one of many many climbing trails.

Day 4: Camp Lookout State Park to Newport

Day 4 Overview

  • DRIVING DISTANCE – 62 miles
  • DRIVE TIME – 1 hour half-hour
  • ON THE WAY – Cape Kiwanda, Satan’s Punchbowl, Yaquina Head Lighthouse
  • CAMPING OPTION – South Seashore State Park Campground
  • LODGING OPTIONNewport Hotels

Cape Kiwanda State Pure Space

Get an early begin at the moment so you possibly can spend a very good period of time at Cape Kiwanda State Pure Space. This stunning space is only a brief drive from Camp Lookout State Park and it’s one in all my favourite locations on the Oregon Coast. You may stroll the seashore, discover tidepools, fly a kite, or just chill out and watch the waves crash on the shore.

Cape Kiwanda State Park in Oregon
Cape Kiwanda State Pure Space

Satan’s Punchbowl

A fast pitstop, Satan’s Punchbowl is a collapsed sea cave the place the waves slam up by way of a big gap. At excessive tide, you possibly can see the motion from the perspective which is true subsequent to the parking zone. And in case you are there throughout whale season, you may get fortunate seeing some whales spouting offshore.

At low tide, you possibly can stroll down into the punchbowl from the seashore. The hike is fast – 0.8 miles spherical journey.

Devil's Punchbowl on the Oregon Coast at sunset
Satan’s Punchbowl at Sundown. As a consequence of it being excessive tide, i couldn’t stroll down onto the seashore

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

As you proceed south towards Newport, Yaquina Head Lighthouse is one other nice cease in your Oregon Coast highway journey. This lighthouse is without doubt one of the oldest lighthouses on the Pacific Coast and likewise the tallest lighthouse in Oregon, standing at 93 ft.

You probably have time, there are just a few brief trails at Yaquina Head Lighthouse in addition to a small interpretive middle if you wish to study extra about its historical past.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse
The picturesque Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Newport

Newport is an enthralling coastal city that has rather a lot to see and do. Relying on what time you arrive, you possibly can stroll round downtown or take a look at a number of the sights.

Newport is house to the Oregon Coast Aquarium the place you possibly can study concerning the native marine life and see some creatures up shut.

Simply south of Newport is the South Seashore State Campground which affords good clear campsites inside ear shot of the ocean.

Sprinter Van parked at a campsite at South Beach State Campground in Oregon
Our campsite at South Seashore Campground

Day 5: Newport to Coos Bay

Day 5 Overview

  • DRIVING DISTANCE – 98 miles
  • DRIVE TIME – 2 hours
  • ON THE WAY – Yachats, Heceta Head Lighthouse, Sea Lion Caves
  • CAMPING OPTION – Sundown Bay State Park
  • LODGING OPTIONCoos Bay Hotels

Yachats, Cape Perpetua, & Thor’s Nicely

Heading south from Newport, your first cease at the moment is Yachats. One in all my favourite small cities on the Oregon Coast, Yachats is all the things you’d hope a small Oregon Coast city to be: it’s laid again, set in a lovely location, and has a ton of native attraction. When you’re on the lookout for breakfast or a mid-morning snack, cease at Inexperienced Salmon for scrumptious espresso and baked items.

After trying out Yachats, proceed a bit farther down Route 101 to Cape Perpetua, Satan’s Churn Lookout, and Thor’s Nicely. All of those stops are very shut to one another, and you will get out to stretch your legs on a number of the climbing trails.

I additionally suggest stopping in on the Cape Perpetua Customer Middle, which has nice views out over the shoreline and fascinating shows to study extra concerning the space.

Thor's Well outside of Yachats Oregon
Thor’s Nicely seemingly makes water disappear into its big cavern

Heceta Head Lighthouse

The Heceta Head Lighthouse is a pleasant, fast cease as you proceed your drive. It’s a scenic lighthouse and price snapping a photograph of.

If you wish to discover this space additional, you possibly can hike from Heceta Head Lighthouse right down to Hobbit Seashore. It’s 3.9 miles spherical journey with 1,000 ft of elevation achieve and takes you thru a lovely forest earlier than spitting you out on the seashore.

Woman hiking through lush green forest from Heceta Head Lighthouse to hobbit beach on the oregon coast
I cherished climbing by way of this coastal forest to Hobbit Seashore

Sea Lion Caves

Full disclosure – we didn’t do that, but it surely’s an excellent widespread cease, so I needed to say it. Simply south of Heceta Head Lighthouse are the Sea Lion Caves. This space is privately owned and also you’ll want to purchase a ticket to enter the cave (the most important sea cave within the US!). There’s a very good likelihood you’ll get to see Stellar sea lions lounging on rocks and diving into the water.

This isn’t a zoo, although, and the ocean lions come and go as they need, so seeing them isn’t assured. If you wish to view them free of charge, there’s a parking space simply north of the Sea Lion Caves the place you could possibly see them from the vantage level.

Oregon Dunes Nationwide Recreation Space

Your drive will take you thru Oregon Dunes Nationwide Recreation Space, one of many largest stretches of temperate coastal sand dunes on the planet. Right here, you possibly can cease and play on the dunes and even rent a dune buggy.

If you wish to spend extra time exploring the dunes, there are many tenting choices however know that this space may be very widespread with ATVers, so it’s going to in all probability be loud and busy, particularly on weekends.

We sadly didn’t get nice climate right here. It was so foggy, you couldn’t even see the ocean. Additionally vital to notice is that from Might 15-September 15, canine are usually not allowed on lots of the seashores within the Oregon Dunes Recreation space throughout the snowy plover nesting season.

Observe: You’ll move again by way of the Oregon Dunes space for those who head again to Portland on the finish of your journey. You may spend extra time exploring the dunes then.

Sundown Bay State Park

Whether or not you’re tenting right here or not, it’s value driving out to Sundown Bay State Park for the sundown! Seize a picnic dinner in Coos and sit on Sundown Seashore for an unforgettable night.

Day 6: Coos Bay to Bandon

Day 5 Overview

  • DRIVING DISTANCE – 31 miles
  • DRIVE TIME – 45 minutes (by way of Seven Satan’s Highway)
  • ON THE WAY – South Slough Nationwide Estuarine Analysis Reserve, Seven Satan’s State Recreation Web site
  • CAMPING OPTION – Bullard Seashore State Park
  • LODGING OPTION – Bandon Lodges, yurts accessible at Bullard Seashore State Park

South Slough Nationwide Estuarine Analysis Reserve

Begin your day with a pleasant stroll on the South Slough Nationwide Estuarine Analysis Reserve. The South Slough path is a 3-mile loop by way of this stunning space. A part of the path is on boardwalk and it’s an amazing place to search for wildlife and discover the native vegetation.

Trail through lush forest at South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Oregon
the South Slough Trails is a lovely and quiet path that’s value trying out in your technique to Bandon

Seven Satan’s State Recreation Web site

For a secluded seashore, head out to Satan’s State Recreation Web site. It’s a bit off the overwhelmed path, so that you’ll probably have it to your self. Pack a picnic and spend just a few hours having fun with the solitude on this stunning seashore.

Bullard Seashore State Park

Your closing vacation spot in your Oregon Coast highway journey! Bullard Seashore is the proper place to finish your journey. The 4.5-mile seashore is nice for strolling, enjoying on sand dunes, flying kites, and having fun with one final stunning sundown.

Day 7: Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Hall Day Journey

Day 7 Overview

  • DRIVING DISTANCE – 83 miles
  • DRIVE TIME – 1 hour 35 minutes
  • ON THE WAY – Ophir Seashore, Port Orford, Lone Ranch Seashore
  • CAMPING OPTION – Bullard Seashore State Park
  • LODGING OPTION – Bandon Lodges, yurts accessible at Bullard Seashore State Park

In your closing day, you get to discover the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Hall. Situated about an hour south of Bandon, this space is extremely stunning with quite a lot of nice hikes. We visited this space with my mother and father, and it was one in all my favourite areas alongside the entire Oregon Coast. It’s simply as fairly, and there are manner fewer folks than the remainder of the coast on account of the truth that it’s farther from Portland.

Because you’ll should retrace your route as you make your manner again north to Portland, the best factor can be to remain on the identical campsite (or resort) in Bullard because the night time earlier than and make a day journey out of this.

Alternatively, if it’s important to make it again to Portland on day 7, you possibly can drive down Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Hall stopping at a seashore or two within the morning, after which spend the afternoon making the 5-hour drive again to Portland.

To get to Portland, you’ll retrace your steps slightly bit again by way of Oregon Dunes Nationwide Recreation Space. From there, you’ll flip inland to observe the Umpqua River earlier than getting on I-5 North to Portland.

Ophir Seashore

You probably have pups, you’re going to wish to cease right here. This is without doubt one of the few seashores in your journey that’s off-leash pleasant. The seashore is very large, there are only a few folks, and your canine can run for miles.

border collie and mini-aussie on Ophir Beach in Oregon on a sunny day
Charlie and Gumbo cherished Ophir Seashore

Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Hall

The Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Hall is a 12- mile part of freeway that hugs the cliffs alongside the Southern Oregon coast with a number of locations to get out and stretch your legs. Some widespread trails embrace the Indian Sands Path and the Secret Seashore Path.

Personally, we stopped at Lone Ranch Seashore which has ample parking, nooks and crannies to poke round in, and trails on each ends of the seashore.

Woman holding dog at Oregon Coast lookout on Lone Rock Beach
The distinctive rock formations at Lone Rock Seashore

3-Day Oregon Coast Highway journey itinerary

Brief on time? When you don’t have a full seven days to highway journey the Oregon Coast, here’s a shortened itinerary that you may cowl on a protracted weekend.

Day 1: Portland to Cannon Seashore

  • Begin your journey in Portland and head out in direction of the shoreline.
  • Take Freeway 26 straight to Ecola State Park. Try the perspective and hike right down to Indian or Crescent Seashore
  • Go to Cannon Seashore, seize some meals, and watch the sundown at Haystack Rock
  • Keep at a resort in Cannon Seashore

Day 2: Cannon Seashore to Newport

  • Drive down the coast and cease at Hug Level State Recreation Space and Cape Kiwanda.
  • Make your manner into Newport, stroll the waterfront, and seize a chew to eat.
  • Camp at South Seashore Campground and head to the seashore for sundown

Day 3: Newport to Coos Bay

  • Driving down the coast, cease at Inexperienced Salmon espresso in Yachats for breakfast
  • Cease at Thor’s Nicely and proceed onto Heceta Head Lighthouse. Hike to Hobbit Seashore.
  • Discover the Oregon Dunes Nationwide Recreation Space by way of the John Dellenback Dunes Trailhead
  • Drive again to Portland

Finest Time to Go to the Oregon Coast

Top-of-the-line components concerning the Oregon Coast is that it’s nice throughout any time of yr for the reason that shoreline hardly ever sees snow. Though it does get chilly in winter!

I’ve visited in each July and in October. Each instances I had superb climate, but it surely was a lot simpler to search out campsites in October. You probably have flexibility, I like to recommend planning your journey within the fall from September to early November. Throughout these months, you’ll see fewer crowds however you’ll nonetheless get to get pleasure from that magical and moody-coastal feeling that Oregon has.

Spring on the Oregon coast may also be good, however there’s a higher threat of rain and fog.

Three people on a hiking trail on a sunny day o the Oregon coast
Go to the Oregon Coast within the shoulder seasons to keep away from the crowds

Suggestions for Your Oregon Coast Highway Journey

Under are just a few ideas in your Oregon Coast highway journey to assist be certain that your journey goes easily.

  • Examine the climate: The climate on the Oregon Coast could be unpredictable. It’s what provides it its moody really feel! Make sure you verify the climate so you understand what to anticipate and may pack the best clothes like a rain jacket and many layers.
  • Store for picnic lunches: There are such a lot of nice picnic spots alongside the coast from parks to seashores. Packing a small cooler and searching for easy-to-make lunches is a good concept.
  • Guide lodging and campsites prematurely: The lodging and campgrounds alongside the coast can refill in a short time, so make sure you e book far sufficient prematurely that you just don’t miss out in your first decisions. Additionally there may be little or no free dispersed tenting accessible alongside the Oregon coast, so be ready to pay for tenting.
  • Pay attention to seashore security: Whereas seashores are nice enjoyable, it’s vital to grasp security on the seashore. Know when the tides can be high and low, take note of warning indicators, and watch out for those who do go for a swim.
  • Take your time: Speeding by way of a visit down the coast isn’t ideally suited. It’s greatest to take your time so you possibly can actually see all the things that there’s to see.
  • Have the mandatory passes: When you’re visiting state parks, you’ll wish to just be sure you have an Oregon State Parks pass. Another areas alongside the coast additionally might require a move or allow, so make sure you maintain these in thoughts!
Bearfoot Theory founder Kristen Bor sitting in a camp chair next to her dad at a campsite with their Sprinter vans behind them
Tenting with my dad close to Ophir Seashore. Be sure that to e book your campsites early, particularly on summer time weekends!

Placing collectively a Pacific Northwest highway journey? Try these posts for assist planning your journey:

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Is an Oregon Coast highway journey in your bucket listing? What questions do you continue to have about planning one? When you’ve already been there, what are your favourite stops, hikes, and issues to do? Go away a remark under!