Our entire journey across the northern United States was centered on getting to the coast before the snows came, so finally arriving at the Pacific Ocean was a huge milestone for us! Below is an itinerary you may find useful if you have six days to travel along coastal and southern Oregon.
Many may justifiably choose to stick to the gorgeous coast entirely, but we also wanted to head inland to see other parts of the state and meet up with old friends.
On our first day, we made a beeline for the coast out of Portland, where we had spent a couple of days. Our first destination was the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse on Indian Beach at Ecola State Park. Here, one can hike along a trail to view the infamous “Terrible Tilly” or just walk out onto the beach and enjoy the views from afar (like we did).
We had next planned to visit Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach, but the basalt haystacks at Indian Beach were so gorgeous, we opted to save the time and gas and go straight on to a hike to the top of Neahkahnie Mountain for a spectacular view of the coastline!
That evening, we drove on to Tillimook to stay the night at the Harvest Host Blue Heron French Cheese Company. We enjoyed a smorgasbord of delicious cheeses, meats, and wine!
On our second day, we continued our coastal adventures with a nearby hike on the Bayocean Peninsula Trail. This trail is really nice in that it is half on the ocean and half on the bay. We also only saw about two other people, so it’s also very isolated!
Next, we continued south to hike the Hart’s Cape Trail. This trail is truly spectacular because of the sea lions! You don’t actually see them, but you hike over a cove where you can hear their barks echoing through the trees. Then, the trail ends with views of the beautiful coastline.
That night we stayed at our first casino parking lot at the Three Rivers. Many casinos allow folks to park their campers and RVs for free if they gamble a certain amount. We made $5.00!
On our third day, we drove further south to the short and sweet Devil’s Punchbowl Trail. We arrived at low tide, so the punchbowl wasn’t quite full, but we did see some delightful whales!
Next, we stopped in at the Tillicum Beach Campground to drop off the camper before exploring the nearby Yachats region. The campground is really nice and right on the beach!
Our first stop in Yachats was a visit to Cook’s Chasm to see the Spouting Horn and Thor’s Well.
Next we visited the Devil’s Churn, another gorgeous cove with dramatic water views.
We turned the short walk to the churn into a longer loop by connecting the Trail of the Restless Waters with the St. Perpetua Trail across the highway and up to the top of Cape Perpetua for more spectacular coastal views.
That evening we returned to our campground and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset on the beach!
On our fourth day, we arose early and went for a beach run then headed inland to spend some time with old friends in Eugene. There are a great many things to do in this region, so we recommend checking it out. However, we mainly just spent time with our friends and their children at their house.
Our our fifth day, we continued our way south through the Applegate Valley wine region. There are 19 wineries in this beautiful valley and we recommend a visit!
Our first stop was a visit to the Cathedral Hills Park, a quaint set of trails with views of the valley filled with spooky Manzanita trees!
Next, we drove to the Harvest Host Devitt Winery to set up our camper, get a tasting, and buy some wine.
In the afternoon, we finished our day with a slightly drizzly trail run on the Enchanted Forest Trail Run. This trail is similar to those in Cathedral Hills park, but the forest is much more dense and the elevation gain greater. It’s a delightful little jaunt.
On our sixth and final day in Oregon, we chose to hike the challenging Wagner Butte Trail, a highly recommended hike in the Rogue River National Forest. Though it threatened to rain, it never did and we really enjoyed the trail and the views!
This is a suggested itinerary for those planning to visit coastal and southern Oregon. We hope you find it helpful. For more insights, you may also wish to view our YouTube episode on the region!