hike: Tillamook Head via Indian Beach loop

Take this short hike up Tillamook Head from Indian Beach for spectacular views of the ocean, then take a short side trail that passes by an old WWII bunker to a viewpoint of unique Tillamook Lighthouse.

distance: 2.8 miles (loop hike)
elevation gain: 800 ft.
difficulty: easy
drive time from Portland: 1.5 hours
parking pass: Oregon State Parks Pass
hike description: OregonHikers.org – Tillamook Head Traverse

The Hike

Tillamook Head is significant for several reasons: it was part of the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1806 when they crossed the headland to purchase whale blubber at Cannon Beach. It was also the site of radar equipment in World War II, with the remains of a 6-room concrete bunker still visible in the forest. And the trail across the headland is part of the Oregon Coast Trail, which travels the length of the coast line in Oregon.

Of the two trailheads that provide access to Tillamook Head, the route from Indian Beach is the shortest. The trail continues to Seaside, Oregon, and can be done as a shuttle hike instead of the out and back route highlighted here. Winter storms frequently close the road access to this area, so check to see if it’s open before heading out.

Tillamook Head hike via Indian Beach trailhead Tillamook Head hike via Indian Beach trailhead Tillamook Head hike via Indian Beach trailhead

Views of the ocean and the town of Cannon Beach from the trail are incredible!

Tillamook Head hike via Indian Beach trailhead Tillamook Head hike via Indian Beach trailhead Tillamook Head hike via Indian Beach trailhead

About 1.5 miles in is a hikers’ camp with three open-sided shelters for Oregon Coast Trail thru-hikers.

Tillamook Head hike via Indian Beach trailhead

Near the camp, a fork in the trail leads to a viewpoint towards Tillamook Lighthouse, and passes by the WWII bunker built to protect the west coast.

Tillamook Head hike via Indian Beach trailhead Tillamook Head hike via Indian Beach trailhead

For a loop, take the wider “Clatsop Loop” road back to Indian Beach.

Tillamook Head hike via Indian Beach trailhead