- Location: Oswald West State Park
- Start: North Neahkahnie Mountain Trailhead
- Distance: 5 miles
- Elevation gain: 1450 feet
- Type: Out-and-back
- Time: 2 hours 14 minutes (breaks not included)
- References: Oregon Hikers
To celebrate the completion of successful end-of-year student recitals/concerts, we decided to get away for the weekend and take Cassie on her very first beach trip! Weather called for blue skies and sun, so in addition to our usual stroll on the beach and massive amounts of pizza, a hike up Neahkahnie Mountain was thrown into the mix.
*I don’t usually include photos unrelated to the hike, but Cassie got to see the ocean (for what we think was her first time) the night before and she looked so adorable!
We opted to start from the lesser used North trailhead (2 miles longer round-trip than starting from the South end), which is supposedly more varied in terms of scenery and terrain. We were not disappointed.
The first 15-20 minutes were spent in the thick of a luscious wildflower meadow overlooking the ocean. After spending most of this portion bushwhacking our way through the overgrown trail, as well as snacking on the salal and salmonberries that line it, we entered the forest portion of the hike. Since we started the hike relatively early, we had the entire trail to ourselves and enjoyed the peace and quiet. This sense of serenity was further enhanced by the fir and spruce trees shading us from the sun.
Similar to our recent Tom Dick and Harry Mountain hike, the elevation gain was moderate and the entire 2.5 miles felt like a breeze. The final push is a short, exposed scramble up to the rocky summit (although once we summited we noticed an easier approach from the southern part of the trail; the scramble was more fun anyways). The view of the coastline stretching south for miles and miles is definitely a reward that far outweighs the effort it takes to achieve it. It’s easy to see why the Tillamook named the mountain Neahkahnie, or “place of the god.”