Neahkahnie Mountain South

Date: August 22, 2009
Distance: 3 miles
Elevation Gain: 850 ft
Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Weather: warm and sunny, windy at the top, cooling as the evening progressed
Maps: Oswald West State Park Map
My Route:

  1. Starting at the south trail head, follow the trail on the north side of the road. This is the Oregon Coast Trail.
  2. After a mile, cross an old road
  3. Eventually, the trail comes out of the trees to an awesome view of Neahkahnie Beach. This is the top, and the tricky part is finding the scramble to the rocky viewpoint. There are 2 ways up, the second being more noticeable. To find it, follow the trail around the cape and begin heading down hill. Within 1/4 mile there is a questionable looking trail scrambling up into the grass. It's a tricky climb up eventually traversing a rocky ridge. This is the summit.
  4. After taking in the view continue along the ridge as the scrambling trail reconnects to the main trail.
  5. Turn left and return to the trail head.
Neahkahnie Mountain was a great way to punctuate a day at the coast. The 1.5 miles to the top was a surprisingly quick walk. We made it up in 45 minutes, leaving plenty of time to lounge at the top and admire the beauty of the ocean and the beach and the beginnings of sunset.
Neahkahnie Beach and Manzanita from the summit of Neahkahnie Mountain, a view well worth seeing

Despite some wind approaching the summit, the rocky ledge was surprising sheltered from the wind (don't as me how, I think it was a miracle of nature conspiring to make our rest at the summit as romantic and idyllic as possible). We'd started the hike around 6 pm and dusk approached as we were hiking. It did get cool and windy and I needed a jacket for the decent.
The beginnings of sunset

I think the view from the summit was even more amazing due to the lack of views along the trail. The trees provide a shady forest scene with moss and occasional flowers. We met a family on the way up with buckets and bowls full of bright red huckleberries. I think they must have picked every last berry along the way because we couldn't find any!

The trail is well maintained and easy to follow until the scramble to the summit. The hike is short, but climbs steadily, adding difficulty to the route. The scramble is harder and probably not appropriate for smaller children or folks who are uncomfortable with heights. The view from the main trail is nearly the same as from the top, so you wouldn't miss anything (besides a wide place to sit down) by not going to the summit.
Watch your step. Exposed roots force you to pay attention to the trail

The trail continues down to a northern trail head on highway 101 and then further up the coast, connecting to Short Sand Beach and Cape Falcon, which we'd hiked earlier in the day.

Trail Head:

View PDX Day Hiker in a larger map
What I said about these trails before: Hikes at the coast, Hikes in Oswald West State Park, Neahkahnie Mountain Hikes
Other resources for this and other nearby hikes:
Oswald West State Park
Oregon Coast Trail
Portland Hikers
Summit Post
Suite 101
60 Hikes within 60 Miles
Best Short Hikes in Northwest Oregon
Portland Hikes: The Best Day-Hikes Within 100 Miles of Portland
100 Classic Hikes in Oregon
Best Hikes with Kids: Oregon
Day Hiking Oregon Coast (Done in a Day)
100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range (Oregon 100 Hikes)
Hiking the Oregon Coast: Day Hikes Along the Oregon Coast and Coastal Mountains
Hiking Oregon (rev)

This hike was part of Hike-A-Thon 2009, a fundraiser for Washington Trails Association. All my hike-a-thon posts are here. My fundraising page is here.
The trail head sign had been damaged, so this is only minor proof of the hike
As further evidence, the geological marker at the summit

Have you been on this or a nearby trail? Please share your experience.

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