Photo courtesy of Lance Beck

The Heceta Head Trail is centrally located in the Siuslaw National Forest just north of Heceta Head and 10 miles south of Cape Perpetua. The route to the Heceta Head Lighthouse is actually a combination of two hiking trails. This hiking journey begins on the Valley Trail at Carl G. Washburne State Park and follows China Creek to a meadow. Stay right at a trail junction with China Creek Trail Loop and continue on the Valley Trail. The trail slowly begins to gain elevation as you climb through the forest of Sitka spruce, western hemlock, Douglas fir and shore pine. After 2.5 miles the trail emerges at an upper parking lot located alongside Highway 101.

Cross over Highway 101 to the west side of the road and start down the Hobbit Trail, which leads to the beach. Watch for the junction with the Heceta Head Trail. Stay left at the junction and climb 1.2 miles. This steep, winding path leads up and over Heceta Head. Great views to the north and west are the reward for the climb. Continue descending briefly before reaching the lighthouse.

The Heceta Head Lighthouse is perhaps the most photographed lighthouse on the Oregon coast. The lighthouse sits 205 feet above the Pacific. The dramatic cliffside setting is also accessible via a short hike from Devil’s Elbow State Park, a day-use area with picnic sites and an inviting beach and tide pools. Bring a snack and explore the lighthouse site before returning using the same route.