Cascade Head is amazing. I learned about this hike in a great travel book, Photographing Oregon. Apparently there’s a super easy hike that you can do in the summertime, but I went over Memorial Day weekend where you have to climb about 2.5 miles to get to the top lookout point.
We went early in the morning so parking was no issue at Knight County park. It’s incredible that such an amazing location is free- not even a parking pass required. Later in the day when we were leaving we did see cars parked on the street along 3 rock road so I imagine on busy holidays the parking situation might get worse.
Thank you to the Nature Conservancy for maintaining such a breathtaking trail. It cuts through parts of National Forest land.
When I think of the Pacific Northwest, I think of trees like these- large, shady, moss covered with so many branches that look like spindles that radiate outward.
It’s an amazing, humbling experience to be in their presence. One of my favorite Georgia O’Keefe paintings is the experience of looking upwards at this giant Lawrence tree:
The awe and the beauty that she captures in that painting, it’s like being in these forests.
You hike through the trees and over creeks and small waterfalls until you finally get to the lower viewpoint and a hint of the amazing view above. Here there are rolling fields of native wildflowers.
We did see elk traveling along some of the lower meadows. I kept thinking there should be little lambs – or hobbits- frolicking through the fields. It reminded me of pictures I have seen of Norway in the summer.
The last stretch is a climb, and next time I will bring hiking poles. There are no guard rails so for someone scared of heights like me I did feel nervous at points. But it was so worth it. From the top you can clearly see the best of that area of the Central Coast, from Siletz Bay, to Devil’s Lake, D River State Park, Road’s End State Park and the 3 Rivers Rock. You can see further inland where the coast becomes an estuary and the salmon river snakes through. It’s so beautiful.