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 even “off-season” weekends on the Oregon Coast can be busy.
Mostly not. After breakfast on your own, we get an early start and provide snacks, beverages, and water bottle refills along the way and at the end of each day’s hike, to tide you over until lunch (on your own) 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 back to your car at the end of each day’s walk, and in some cases to the start of the walk. Where needed, we provide boat ferries across bay mouths.
- Midway refreshment stops each day, with beverages, water bottle refill, and snacks.
- 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. If you get injured, we will help you call emergency services. 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.
We try to start each day of CoastWalk at the same location in the middle of that year’s route; sometimes logistics require starting at another location one day. We always start early in the morning, but start times may vary slightly.
Start times will be posted on our ROUTE page. They will also be posted on Facebook.com/CoastWalkOregon. We will remind you of start times and locations in person and in writing at our Thursday evening Welcome Party. And they will be included in emails we will send you in advance of the weekend.
No. About half of the Oregon Coast Trail is on sandy beach; the other half is on forest trails or roads. We avoid road portions, but you can count on doing some hiking over one or more headlands. Make sure your training includes hiking hills.
Each day averages roughly 10 miles. Some walkers complete that 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 typically hike north to south, the direction of the prevailing winds, but we’re prepared to switch directions if a sou’wester blows in.
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 a 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.