#32 in the Coast Book, March 27, 2010; Moderate – 4.2 miles round trip, 1200 feet elevation gain.
Another cool and lovely day for a coast hike just north of Lincoln City. Along this time are Becky, Ben, and Margaret. (The dogs had to stay in the car. Due to the increasing threats to the meadow’s ecology, flower picking, hunting, camping, fires, bicycles and dogs are all banned from the area.)
Parking for this trail is at the Knight Park Boat Ramp. The trail then crosses over the road a few times before straightening out (and up) in a stunning forest of large, gnarled spruce for just over a mile.
Hikers burst out into a vast meadow to a breathtaking view across the Salmon River Estuary. (Not shown: a huge rotting carcass of an elk. Signs posted let us know that Rangers were leaving it there to naturally decompose and return to the ecosystem. Please forgive the smell.)
Also visible is Cape Foulweather and Devil’s Lake. Watch your steps, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the view…
The path heads to the edge of the bluff for sweeping ocean views, then switchbacks steeply up for about 1/2 mile to a viewpoint that will make your heart skip (after it calms down from the climb.) We saw lots of picnickers here, but the fragile meadow begs you to stay on the path, even a blanket causes tiny amounts of damage that really add up when you factor in the 10,000 nature-loving visitors each year.
Notes: Open year-round. Good for kids. No dogs.