Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ecola Point to Tillamook Head

Great views and a perfect day for a run

I spent the long, Fourth of July holiday weekend in Manzanita with family. Usually I run Cape Falcon, but this time I decided to switch things up a bit and run up Tillamook Head in Ecola State Park. My husband, his brother and his father came along to hike, and my brother-in-law's wife, Shetha, joined me for a run.

Tillamook Lighthouse in the distance

Sea stacks and an arch

The problem is that the tons of other people at the coast for the same reason had the same idea. The park was packed. So full, in fact, that we had to park at Ecola Point instead of Indian Beach, where I normally start. Because of that, we ran a mile and a half of the Coast Trail I had never been on before-- up and down bluffs, through forest and past amazing sea stack views.

Gorgeous coastal views

Oregon Coast Trail

Once at the Indian Beach picnic area, we (accidentally) took the old road up. It's not exactly scenic, but it's shady and cool(er), and it's graded so it's runnable. At the top of Tillamook Head, we took in the view of Terrible Tilly before continuing north on the Coast Trail.

Indian Beach and Terrible Tilly

South Jetty in the distance

Once we had run for an hour, we turned around and headed back. This time we made sure to take the Clatsop Loop between Tillamook Head and Indian Beach-- it zig-zags along the edge for gorgeous views and makes for some fun downhill running. We stopped for photos, and were happy to find the guys just getting settled into the car. I think our run ended up just over nine miles, and now I know that parking at Ecola Point is the way to go.

Shetha and another beautiful beach

William Sullivan's map of Ecola State Park

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