Route

CHECK-IN AND ORIENTATION
THURSDAY, SEPT. 21

4:30 to 6:30 p.m.: THE BOATHOUSE, PIER’S END, GARIBALDI

Our Thursday evening check-in and orientation will be held in person at Garibaldi’s historic 1936 US Coast Guard Boathouse. Here you will pick up your maps, bandana, and other materials while perusing interpretive exhibits.

From 5:30 to 6 p.m., event staff and special guests will introduce you to the landscape we’ll be traversing, cover logistics and safety protocols, explain parking and breakfast routines, and give you a chance to ask questions.

Bundle up: The walk to the boathouse is on the longest pier in Oregon—760 feet—and if the wind is blowing, it can be chilly!

By checking in Thursday evening, you’ll help us all get an early start hiking on Friday. If you can’t make it to the Boathouse by 6:30 p.m. Thursday, check in during breakfast Friday morning at the Old Mill RV Resort.

DIRECTIONS TO THE BOATHOUSE: From US Highway 101 at the north end of Garibaldi, turn west on 12th Street, then in one block, turn north on Bay Lane and park at the end of the road. Or Google “Pier’s End Garibaldi.”

ABOUT THE BOATHOUSE: When it opened in 1936, the Boathouse could accommodate two 36-foot motor lifeboats and one 26-foot oar-powered surfboat. A system of rails allowed lifeboats to be rapidly launched fully manned. The boathouse served the USCG Tillamook Bay Station until it was decommissioned in the early 1960s. After sitting empty for many years, the boathouse is now being restored by a citizens’ group working to transform it into the Tillamook Bay Heritage Center at Pier’s End.

DAY 1
BAYOCEAN SPIT TO CAPE LOOKOUT

MEET AT THE OLD MILL RV RESORT EVENT CENTER, Garibaldi

  • Breakfast available starting at 7:30 a.m.
  • Buses leave at 8 a.m.

 

We will assemble every day at the Old Mill RV Resort before boarding buses to Bayocean Spit (a 40-minute ride). We’ll walk the beach south to the foot of Cape Meares and climb the trail to the top of the cape through Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge. After a midpoint rest stop, we’ll take a short bus ride to Netarts, where boats will ferry us across Netarts Bay to the tip of Netarts Spit. Our day ends with a 5-mile walk down remote Netarts Spit to the Cape Lookout State Park picnic area. (If weather or ocean conditions preclude a boat ferry, we’ll substitute a loop hike on the bay and outer shore of Bayocean Spit.)

DIRECTIONS TO OLD MILL RV RESORT: From US Highway 101 in Garibaldi, turn south (toward the bay) on Third Street, cross the railroad tracks, and turn left on American Avenue. The event center will be on your right; volunteers will direct you to parking.  Or Google “Old Mill RV Resort.”

Route details and distances (typically 8 to 10 miles) are still in flux and will be posted here as they firm up. The route will be well-marked, and you will receive a paper map of the day’s route. If you have a GPS device or a GPS program (such as GaiaGPS) on your phone, return here closer to the event to download a GPX file of the Day 1 map. The file will be stored in a Google Drive. Open the file and import it into your GPS device or GPS program.

ABOUT BAYOCEAN SPIT: In 1906, a real estate broker from Kansas City envisioned a second Atlantic City on Bayocean Spit, the sand spit separating Tillamook Bay from the Pacific Ocean. By 1914, as many as 600 building lots had been sold in what was called Bay Ocean Park, and the spit had become a bustling community complete with a hotel, a dance hall, a 1000-seat theater, and a natatorium. But the unstable sand spit couldn’t support the development. Lots began eroding steadily, and in 1950 the last house on the spit washed into the sea. Today Bayocean Spit is a natural area attracting hikers, mountain bikers, and birdwatchers.

ABOUT CAPE MEARES: The trail to the top of Cape Meares winds up through Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge, adjacent to Cape Meares State Park. The refuge’s old growth forests include the largest Sitka spruce in Oregon. Five species of seabirds nest on the cape’s steep sea cliffs. The lighthouse at the top of Cape Meares went into service in 1890; it no longer serves as an aid to navigation, but it has been restored and still has its original first-order Fresnel lens.

DAY 2
CAPE LOOKOUT to SAND LAKE ESTUARY

MEET AT OLD MILL RV RESORT EVENT CENTER, GARIBALDI

  • Breakfast available starting at 7:30 a.m.
  • Buses leave at 8 a.m.

We will assemble at the Old Mill RV Resort before boarding buses to Cape Lookout State Park (a 40-minute ride). We will hike up the forested north flank of Cape Lookout to the summit trailhead. Then after an opportunity to visit scenic Wells Cove overlook, we’ll hike down the cape’s south side to the remote beach at its base. We will end the day with a beach walk to the mouth of Sand Lake estuary.

Route details and distances (typically 8 to 10 miles) are still in flux and will be posted here as they firm up. The route will be well-marked, and you will receive a paper map of the day’s route. If you have a GPS device or a GPS program (such as GaiaGPS) on your phone, return here closer to the event to download a GPX file of the Day 2 map. The file will be stored in a Google Drive. Open the file and import it into your GPS device or GPS program.

ABOUT CAPE LOOKOUT: Like Cape Meares, Cape Lookout formed as a result of lava flowing down the Columbia River from volcanoes in the interior some 15.5 million years ago. That lava spread out and followed stream valleys over what was then a very low Coast Range, one blanketed not by the conifer forests of today but by grassy savannah with ginkgos, maples, and oaks and a few pines and spruces. Where the lava hardened into basalt, it formed massive casts that remained in place as the softer stone around them eroded away. The 19th century US Lighthouse Board had considered Cape Lookout as an alternative lighthouse site. It extends much farther west than Cape Meares and was exactly halfway between lighthouses on Tillamook Rock (west of Seaside to the north) and Cape Foulweather (north of Newport, to the south). However, it was determined to be too high and too difficult to reach with building materials.

DAY 3
GARIBALDI to NEHALEM BAY

 MEET AT OLD MILL RV RESORT EVENT CENTER, GARIBALDI

  • Breakfast available starting at 7:30 a.m.
  • Walk begins at 8 a.m.

After assembling at Old Mill RV Resort, we’ll head north on foot (or possibly by train!) to the community of Barview at the mouth of Tillamook Bay. We’ll walk along the bay to the north jetty and head north, up the beach past the town of Rockaway Beach to the mouth of Nehalem Bay. Here we’ll pick up a trail through the dunes to the bay’s south jetty, which we’ll follow to the marina at Jetty Fishery. Here shuttle buses will be waiting to return us to Garibaldi.

Route details and distances (typically 8 to 10 miles) are still in flux and will be posted here as they firm up. The route will be well-marked, and you will receive a paper map of the day’s route. If you have a GPS device or a GPS program (such as GaiaGPS) on your phone, return here closer to the event to download a GPX file of the Day 3 map. The file will be stored in a Google Drive. Open the file and import it into your GPS device or GPS program.

 

ABOUT ROCKAWAY BEACH: This seaside resort town was established in 1909 and named after the beach of the same name on New York’s Long Island. Fast-food fans: The corndog, a staple of American carnivals and fairs, was invented in Rockaway Beach in the 1930s by George and Vera Boyington, who called it the Pronto Pup. Their original Pronto Pup location still serves hotdogs just south of downtown Rockaway Beach.