Cascade Head Trail
Operated by The Nature Conservancy
September 15, 2007
My friends from church Sam and Elyssia and I hiked a couple of trails on this particular day, one perhaps made by deer and the other made by The Nature Conservancy. Both were adventures, but I think we enjoyed the view of the latter the best. This was a really easy hike that provides amazing views of the Oregon Coast near Lincoln City. Click here for the blog entry I wrote about the day if you’re interested.
Sam had intended to take us on a hike he had done about six years ago but it seemed the trail had been abandoned and a tree was down across the road. So, in an effort to find our intended trail, we parked here, walked around the tree and attempted to scout some sort of trail. Sam kept saying "Ready?" but Elyssia didn't believe he was ready until he got his backpack on, so she caught a little more rest before we set out.
So, we found a trail of sorts, one we think may have been made by deer, and followed it for a while. We kinda knew we were heading in the wrong direction but the trail was kinda neat and rugged so we kept going for a while. After maybe 20 minutes or so we heard the sound of a car passing. It turns out our deer trail had recently started paralleling the road we drove in on only about twenty feet to our left. :( So, this was our triumphant first destination, the beautiful Forest Service Road 1861.
Elyssia and I on the road, our glorious destination.
Elyssia showing her guns, and me just standing there like the last photo, only grinning slightly at the amusing display of my friend to my right.
So, after having a good chuckle at our trail going nowhere, we decided to walk back to where we parked via the road. At least there was one decent viewpoint on the way.
So, after getting back to the car, we eventually ended up going back to where we had seen an established trailhead on the left fork of the forest service road. This trail was the one that was run by The Nature Conservancy. This photo was actually of a sign about half way to the viewpoint where they had a registration book and a donation box. We thought it was weird to have the donation box in the middle of the trail instead of at the head where you'd more likely have your money with you.
Just after that sign a side trail headed up the hill to the first spot where you could get a really nice view of the coast and the river. Sam and Elyssia headed up before me as I was taking the photo of the sign, so I also caught this one of them on the trail.
Here was the view that awaited us at the top of the hill.
The river with its many turns and little islands made for a pretty cool sight, surrounded by the hills fading off in the distance.
It's unfortunate that this guy got in the photo, 'cause the scenery in the background was pretty amazing. ;)
From the first viewpoint we decided to walk across these hills to meet up with the trail instead of going back down to the spot we came from by that sign. I kinda like the colors of the grasses on these hills.
I think Sam or Elyssia pointed out the beauty of this sight to me and when I saw it I made sure to try to capture it. I really love the colors and even the curvature of the hillside against the sky.
When we were sort of at the high point before the trail started a slight decent to the high viewpoint we stopped to take photos and a group of hikers came by. One of them was willing to snap this photo of us. We learned a bit more about the trail from them as well, as they had come from the other end and knew the area well.
Once we got to the high viewpoint we decided to stop and eat our lunch. Although the sign and the angle make it look like we're at the edge of the cliff, we're really not. It was at least twenty feet farther until it dropped off.
This is the view looking north west from our lunch spot.
These rock groupings were cool looking.
This was the scene just to the left of the last photos, looking almost straight west. The little white water of the waves made a nice contrast in the deep blues of the ocean.
This in my opinion was the spectacular view, looking south and west from the high viewpoint. Sam and Elyssia were enjoying the ocean itself as it blended almost seamlessly with the lightly clouded sky, but I kept my eyes on this sight where the rocky Oregon coastline met the Pacific.
I really liked this photo showing the view with the trail and the hillsides in their nice browns. This was where the trail headed south and vertically down from the high viewpoint. You can follow this trail maybe two more miles to the trailhead on the other side. We decided to just head back the way we came since it was already about four in the afternoon after we ate our lunches.
Although I really like the dark exposure of that last photo, this one is more properly exposed and shows the lighting and colors more accurately to what they truly were. I liked them both.
Since I didn't bring anything for lunch, Elyssia and Sam graciously offered me some of their snacks. Here Elyssia, like Eve in the Garden, offers me the apple she just tasted. (Except this time the apple wasn't forbidden, and it was rather tasty).
I should have brought a tripod, but in lieu of that, my backpack worked okay.
The Cliffs didn't look that hazardous to us?
Here Elyssia is enjoying being taller than me.
Elyssia tried her hardest to push Sam off the hazardous cliff, but he was immovable.
So, after narrowly escaping death, we enjoyed the nice short hike back to the trailhead, feeling pleasantly not tired. This is the sign at the little parking lot describing the trail and the role of the organization that established it.
Loading up Sam's car...
This sign at the start of the trail confused us at first, but after we read the bigger signs we understood. It was a really nice hike with some awesome views, and it was just really nice to hang out with friends and enjoy God's creation on a beautiful day.