Frequently Asked Questions
No. This is not a camping trip; it is a series of three day hikes. You need to find your own lodging. We will offer suggestions for the most convenient towns to base your weekend out of (see LODGING & DINING). There are lots of options, from tent or yurt camping at a state park to staying at a luxurious inn or vacation rental. We urge you to reserve lodging (especially campsites) as early as possible, as September weekends on the Oregon Coast can be busy.
Mostly not. After breakfast on your own, we get an early start and provide snacks and opportunities to refill water bottle along the way, to tide you over until lunch (on your own) after the hike on Days 1 and 2. Day 3 ends with a celebration lunch. You’ll find plenty of options for places to dine, at a range of prices, during your stay on the Oregon Coast.
You get …
- Bus shuttles to the start of each day’s walk and back to your car at the end of the walk. On some years’ routes we provide boat ferries across bay mouths.
- Midway refreshment stops each day, with snacks and opportunity to refill water bottles.
- Detailed maps and in-person wayfinding help from people who are experts on the coast and the Oregon Coast Trail.
- An opportunity to learn something of the human and natural history of this stretch of the Oregon Coast from enthusiastic naturalists and interpreters.
- The chance to meet and spend time with other interesting, outdoorsy people like yourself.
And, the best gift of all: the satisfaction of knowing you are contributing to the urgent and important work of conserving Oregon’s coastal lands, forever. That’s really what this walk is all about.
No. We are sometimes miles from the nearest road, on remote trails and beaches. In general, participants are expected to come prepared to complete each day’s roughly 10-mile walk in 5 hours or less. If you are not accustomed to walking long distances, you will need to train in advance. That said, we won’t abandon you! Should you be unable to complete a day’s walk, we’ll make sure you aren’t left behind.
CoastWalk Oregon begins each day at a parking location in the vicinity of that day’s walk; from there participants are shuttled to the trailhead and are shuttled back after the day’s hike. In 2020 every day starts at 8 am at Circle Creek Conservation Center at the south end of Seaside.)
No. About half of the Oregon Coast Trail is on sandy beach; the other half is on forest trails or roads. Make sure your training includes hiking hills.
Our daily mileage averages 10 miles, but distances vary day to day. Some walkers complete 10 miles in 3 hours; we expect everyone to complete the walk in 5 hours. CoastWalk is not a race, but neither is it a leisurely day-long stroll. You will not be able to walk this distance at this pace without training! And you need to be comfortable with walking over rough ground and climbing over logs and rocks. Our goal is to finish each day’s walk by lunchtime (loosely defined), leaving you the afternoon to spend as you wish. Our return shuttles will wait for everyone. The CoastWalk Oregon staff will be happy to make suggestions for things to do while you’re visiting the area.
Our last day of hiking ends with lunch and, typically, a shuttle back to our starting point. You can expect to be back to your car by 2 or 3 pm, possibly earlier. If you are flying in and out of Portland to participate in CoastWalk Oregon, we strongly recommend you don’t plan to fly home before Monday morning.
Our daily route is determined by a complex mix of factors including distance between access points, safety of access points, tides, availability of toilets, and more. We do our best to make each day about the same length (roughly 10 miles). When possible, we put significant elevation gain at the start of the day, but some years a climb at the end of the day is unavoidable. We start hiking in the early morning, when winds are usually lightest. We may hike northward or southward, and sometimes we change the announced direction of a hike to adapt to changing conditions.
No. We love dogs; most of us are dog owners ourselves. But we are a big group (90 participants, plus staff). Our route includes narrow forest paths and highway crossings. Adding your dog to that mix might be fun for you but is likely to compromise other participants’ comfort and safety. Dogs are not allowed on our shuttle vehicles.
We are one of the largest and most respected private, nonprofit land conservancies in Oregon. We acquire or otherwise care for land on the Oregon Coast to benefit people, plants, and wildlife. Explore our website or talk with CoastWalk Oregon staff to learn more about how we work and the lands we conserve. Your participation in CoastWalk Oregon helps us move a few steps closer to conserving important coastal habitat, including our current major project: creation of the 3,500-acre Rainforest Reserve, key to a huge conservation corridor that will stretch from the coastal mountaintops to and into the Pacific Ocean.
Contact us at coastwalkoregon@NCLCtrust.org or (503) 738-9126. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have about CoastWalk Oregon.