Backpacking, hiking, Travel

Hike — Cascade Head

Last week Marnie, Linda, and I hiked to Cascade Head on the Oregon Coast, near Lincoln City, as a training hike with our big backpacks. It was Linda’s first time there, and Marnie and I hadn’t been there for a couple of years since it was closed during COVID. It was nothing like I remembered. For instance, I didn’t remember all the steps:

Many, many steps like these.

Or the roots:

Also, many, many roots.

While it is only supposed to be 4.2 miles round trip with a 1200 foot elevation gain (which in 2 miles is sort of a lot), it is so steep in places that it feels like you are gaining 42 hundred thousand feet. Mr. Sullivan in his book rates the hike as “moderate”, but as I’ve learned to my dismay his ratings are often not accurate for us.

Marnie, Linda, and me in background.

The views from Cascade Head are rather spectacular, though, so it is worth the stairs and elevation gain to get to the top and see Cape Foulweather, God’s Thumb, the Salmon River estuary, and Devil’s Lake. There are also some lovely wildflowers, pink foxglove and a purple flower I couldn’t identify. Some rare wildflowers also bloom here, rare pink checkermallows and violets that serve as food for the rare silverspot butterfly caterpillars. We didn’t see these flowers so it must not be their season. We stayed on the trail until we got to the top where there was no danger of trampling any rare flowers.

Foxglove
Not sure what this one is. Anybody know?

On this trail you walk through the woods for awhile, and then come out into the lovely meadows where you get the first glimpse of the views.

Salmon River Estuary and the Pacific Ocean, with a lovely beach we don’t know how to get to.
Marnie getting the shot.
Marnie on left getting more photos, Linda on right.
Linda and me on the trail.
Ocean view from the tippy-top.
The survey marker at the tippy-top. We enjoy looking for survey markers, especially if we have done a hard climb to find them. This one is very worn for some reason.

You can see in the photos that the grass is very high. A few years ago the Hubs and I hiked here with a group and one of the girls decided to stay at the middle meadow and not go to the tippy-top. The Hubs and I stayed with her, and he was so tired he just laid his head down on his Gatorade bottle and took a little nap while the others went to the tippy-top and got their photos. This time the grass was so overgrown that I couldn’t even find the middle meadow, and we just went to the tippy-top and had our snack break. There was one young man ahead of us and a couple who came up after we got there, but until then we had the hike to ourselves which is why we always go early! Since we aren’t fast hikers, it’s nice not to have to pull over every two minutes to let a bunch of people go by. On the way down once we got into the forest there were many people who had just started their hike. We ran into a lady I had hiked with to Pamelia Lake the week before, and had a nice chat with some older hikers in a little clearing on the trail.

We finished off by going to the ’60s Cafe and Diner in Lincoln City where we often eat after our coast hikes. No photos of food were taken, but we each had a very yummy lunch. All in all a great day!

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