At the beginning of June, Victoria and I decided to do something different for my 28th birthday. We were both so used to doing things like going out to dinner, grabbing a drink, having a party, catching a movie, etc. Maybe a trip somewhere new to feel that sense of adventure in our veins. We’ve both never been to the Pacific Northwest before and the thought of exploring that area sounded so appealing. After weeks of research and planning, we opted to not only make the trip a reality but go the extra mile in renting a camper van… so we can really go the extra mile.
And so several coastlines, trails, snowcapped mountains, lush rain forest, water for days and 1100 miles later, we’re back from an unbelievable trip around the state of Oregon. In this post, we have 3 water-soaked areas for you to explore on your next visit to this Pacific Wonderland!
A huge thank you to Aleader for collaborating on this trip with our shared passion for outdoor culture and challenge ourselves in the mountains, water, and deserts of the planet we love so much.
Seaside Beach Oregon
Seaside’s 1.5-mile oceanfront Promenade and its famous automobile Turnaround at the beach are among Oregon’s most famous landmarks. Dating from the 1920s, the Prom is the perfect place for a morning jog, a casual walk, a bicycle ride or just enjoying Seaside’s best people-watching. Take in the spectacular panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, beachgrass-covered dunes and the rainforest-covered Tillamook Head as you stroll past oceanfront homes and resorts.
Rocking the Xdrain Classic 2.0 Water Shoes was huge for me because this time of year in Oregon has a huge range of temperatures depending on where you’re located. The beaches in Oregon were too cold (even in June) for sandals and tennis shoes and socks on a beach sounded counter-intuitive. These Water Shoes were perfect to bridge the gap between the protection from the cold and not having sand collect in our hiking boots.
Location - Ecola State Park
Parking - Yes, after paying the entrance fee to enter the State Park,
Description - The park’s backbone is an eight-mile segment of the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT), also designated as part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. From the Ecola Point parking lot, visitors can either follow the OCT south on a 1.25-mile steep descent to Crescent Beach, or head north 1.5 miles to Indian Beach. From here, the trail continues north over Tillamook Head for an additional six miles. Indian Beach also connects to the 2.5-mile Clatsop Loop Trail. The Clatsop Loop Trail begins at the information kiosk in the Indian Beach parking area, ascends to Hikers’ Camp, and loops back to the parking lot via the OCT, passing breathtaking views of the coastline. Don’t miss the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse viewpoint via a short spur trail from OCT Hikers’ Camp.
We visited a few rainforests throughout the trip and as you can imagine, there was a recurring element present in abundance - water. The Xdrain Classic 1.0 Water Shoes were perfect for helping to keep our feet safe on the trails and also helped us to keep cool in the dense, humid forest. Being able to walk through a stream or creek without worrying about getting our boots wet and muddy and knowing our Aleader's would be dry by the time we got back to the campervan was such stress reliever. That meant the exploration options were almost endless!
Little Creek Cove Scenic Point
Location - Seal Rock, Oregon
Parking - Yes, roadside pull off
Description - Crashing waves pound basalt cliffs, while harbor seals and sea lions hide out in a sheltered cove. The short coastline here rewards you with wildlife, crashing waves, and a chance to pick around the tide-pools. Make sure you hike down to the south end of the beach to check out the pools - and be sure to watch for seals and sea lions in the surf or on the offshore rocks.
Bagby Hot Springs
Location - Mount Hood National Forest
Distance - 3.0 miles
Elevation Gain - 305 ft
Route Type - Out and Back
Parking - Yes, Parking lot available with a $5 parking fee
Description - This hike goes through one of the last stands of Old Growth Forest in Oregon, along windy ridges, through burned-out slopes, across talus rubble fields, and past serene blue lakes. Connects Bagby Trail (544) to Twin Lakes Trail (573) to Mother Lode Trail (558) and Pansy Lake (551).
To get to the hot springs hiking was involved. The hot springs was a stopping point on a 12-mile trail in the Mt.Hood National Forest. Most water shoes are pretty much unbearable to wear anywhere but in the water and even still are not the most comfortable shoes. Our Aleader's were durable enough for the hike as well as perfect for a "shower shoe" type of use while at the hot springs themselves.
In the end, Victoria and I found our first visit to Oregon to be one for the books, we learned a lot as first-time camper van renters and can’t wait for our next epic adventure!