Find Your Calling at the Tillamook Coast
When your sense of adventure craves salty air, where do you go? For many, the Tillamook Coast is the natural choice.
Here you might find more seabirds than people on the beach. But it what lacks in crowds, the Tillamook Coast makes up for in experiences.
Cast a fly in the river or charter a fishing boat into the wide-open ocean. Hike through untouched forests to exclusive 360-vantage points. Float a paddleboard or surf world-class waves. Whatever your interests, find your calling at the Tillamook Coast.
The unique geography of the Tillamook Coast lends itself some spectacular scenery. Smack-dab in the middle of the Three Capes Scenic Drive, located on a sand spit between Netarts Bay and the ocean, is Cape Lookout State Park, known for its premium cliffside views. Choose your own adventure with hikes to the cape’s tip, down to a secluded beach, on a marked nature trail or along the bluffs. Just 15 miles north is Kilchis Point Reserve, hugging Tillamook Bay with 200 acres of unspoiled wilderness. Take an interpretive trail highlighting the floral and fauna, Native American heritage or early pioneer settlements. Those up for a challenge will take on the 1,600-foot Neahkahnie Mountain, a stunning peak in the Coast Range that towers above Manzanita and is easy to access via the Oregon Coast Trail. And once your boots are broken in, explore the Tillamook Coast’s many more hiking trails.
Ask any local: waterplay is year-round at the Oregon Coast. The Tillamook County Water Trail System has approximately 200 miles of navigable water, making it a real paddler’s paradise. A crowd favorite is Nehalem Bay, where guides like Kayak Tillamook and SUP Manzanita give private tours and lessons on the glassy flatwater. Paddle for miles up the Nehalem River and float by a myriad of wildlife in their natural habitat. Get a similar delight kayaking along the Miami Cove and River near Garibaldi. This kind of exercise can be oh-so calming. For the adrenaline junkies, try surfing in Pacific City, home of the Cape Kiwanda Longboard Classic in September. There are smaller beach breaks for beginners or more challenging swells to the south. Rentals and lessons are offered at Moment Surf Company, located behind the city’s famous beachfront brewpub, Pelican Brewing.
You don’t have to be a pro to fish at the Tillamook Coast, because you can always hire a guide. Angling opportunities are abundant here, with fish teeming in rivers, bays and, of course, the ocean. Five rivers flow into Tillamook Bay, which leads into the Pacific, and usher in tens of thousands of large fish during spawning and return seasons. The Wilson River is known for its bountiful steelhead and trout runs. Pull on some high waders for excellent fly fishing and swing lines with the some of the best. Switch gears later and charter a deep-sea fishing boat in hopes of reeling in tuna or halibut. After all, dinner tastes better when you’ve caught it yourself.
For more recreation inspiration, visit TillamookCoast.com.
about author Sachie Yorck
Sachie Yorck is Travel Oregon’s Content & Publishing Coordinator. Depending on the day, she could be record-hunting in downtown Portland, hiking on a muddy forest path or soaking in one of Oregon's many natural hot springs.
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