Hiking along the southern Oregon and northern California coast often means the coastal trails. The coast trail is especially nice for day trippers. Parking and access is usually easy. Frequently it is possible to take two cars and make a one-way hike even more enjoyable.
It could be argued that the most spectacular portion is between Gold Beach and Brookings. The section between Port Orford and Gold Beach might be a close second. Of course, there is nothing like hiking through the California Redwoods.
The coast trails offer a unique opportunity to explore first hand the beauty of where the ocean meets the land. Much of the trail near Reedsport to Coos Bay is a beach walk. South of there, the trail is a mixture of hiking along the ocean cliffs, long, nearly empty beaches, with sections of walking along US101. Note that in the winter and spring, many of the rivers are impossible to cross by foot. By later in the summer, most (except the majors) become gentle streams that are relatively easy to ford at low tide.
Some portions (ex: China Beach) travel beaches that are only passable at mid to low tides, so knowing your tide tables is important.
Camping, motels, restaurants and stores are nearby. Most Oregon towns are about 25 miles apart while campgrounds are randomly spaced requiring some planning. Many hikers make their own impromptu camping spots and, as long as one is not on private property or in towns, seem to be left alone. Camp fires are possible but should only be built in an official campsite or on a beach far away from piles of driftwood and have a bucket of water. Rangers are especially proficient at enforcing this restriction because of the area’s history of forest fires.
The information for hiking is on this website but spread about by region. Many of the hikes include GPX, KMZ or KML downloadable files. KML and KMZ files will open in Google Earth to display the hike. GPX files are uploadable to a GPS device. Every attempt has been made to be accurate, but it cannot be guaranteed. If you find information that is not accurate or needs to be updated, please contact us. Sending GPX files would be appreciated.