|Where:||Siuslaw National Forest, OR|
|Difficulty:||Easy to Moderate|
|Elevation gain:||1000 feet|
|Recommended:||weather appropriate clothing|
To get to the trailhead: Take 101 South from Newport for about 30 miles. After passing Carl G. Washburne State Park beach parking and campsite start looking to the left for an open area where you can park. China Creek Trail begins here and on the West side of the road is the Heceta Head Lighthouse Trail.
Rain was on the way, but it did not disturb the short hike my ex-roommate and I were going to enjoy. Surrounded by lodgepole pines that grow fifty to a hundred feet tall, we headed down to Haceta Head Lighthouse. But before getting down we had much in store for us. Coming from California this was something entirely knew for me, a luscious green environment that I would dream of returning to.
Following Heceta Head Lighthouse Trail through the mist and trees we took little side trails to check out what the view had to offer. The pictures do not do any justice. Moss growing on trees, birds chirping all around, we found it difficult not to stop to take another photograph. After about 45 minutes we were in sight of the ocean and Heceta Head Lighthouse.
Haceta Head Lighthouse is named after Bruno de Heceta, a Spanish who explored the Pacific Northwest during the late 18th century. The lighthouse was built in 1894, rises 56 feet and its beam is visible for 24 miles, making it the strongest light on the Oregon Coast. From here the view looking towards Florence showed off the beautiful Oregon Coast and Cape Creek creeping out into the ocean through the valley and under a bridge.
After some lingering around and reading the history we ended up returning back up the same way we came. Yes, this meant we were going uphill on the way back until it levels off retreating back to our car.
Before we headed back “home”, we jumped over to the other side of the road and hit Valley Trail until the ponds hoping to catch a glimpse of beaver or moose at one of the bigger ponds. After 15 minutes with no citing we headed back to the car.
Note to self: Come back to Oregon to do some more hiking!