The view south from Neahkahnie Mountain
- Moderate (to summit viewpoint)
- 3 miles round trip
- 900 elevation gain
- Difficult (shuttle to beach parking lot)
- 5.1 miles one way
- 1000 feet elevation gain
Neahkahnie Mountain juts 1600 feet above the beach. Indians thought it a viewpoint fit for gods, and named it with the words Ne (“place of”) and Ekahni (“supreme deity”). White men shroud the peak with legend as well. Treasure seekers sift the beach at the mountain’s base, spurred by tales of gold buried by sailors from a shipwrecked Spanish galleon. The discovery here of a strangely inscribed block of beeswax, possibly of Spanish origin, adds to the speculation.
Drive Highway 101 south of Seaside 20 miles (or north of Tillamook 28 miles) to a brown hiker-symbol sign opposite Sunset Drive, between mileposts 41 and 42. Turn east on a gravel road for 0.4 mile and park at a wide spot.
At the far end of this small pullout, look for a tiny trail sign on the left where the trail begins. Steep switchbacks lead up through meadows 0.9 mile to a ridgetop junction. Continue straight on a path that contours 0.6 mile around the wooded back of the mountain before emerging at the summit meadow viewpoint.
Most hikers return as they came. But if you can arrange a car shuttle, it’s worth continuing down the far side of the mountain. This portion of the Oregon Coast Trail, muddy in spots, descends 2 miles through forest to a crossing of Highway 101. If you want to park a shuttle car here, look for a gray post at a viewpoint pullout 0.2 mile south of milepost 40. But as long as you’re shuttling a car, you should take it another mile to the first big Oswald West parking lot. Then you can hike the very scenic 1.3-mile stretch of the Oregon Coast Trail to Short Sand Beach. From there, keep right at junctions for 0.3 mile to the parking lot.
This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range.