Klickitat Trail

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Today I explored two sections of the Klickitat Trail, an old rail line converted into a hiking trail. In the morning I parked at the Wahkiukus Trailhead and headed east:

Klickitat Trail

This section is forested and protected from the wind:

Klickitat Trail

Klickitat Trail

Klickitat Trail

Klickitat Trail

Klickitat Trail

I passed what I think is a hunting cabin. There was a car that had clearly been sitting there for a long time:

Klickitat Trail

Most of the time Swale Creek was out of sight, but occasionally it came into view:

Klickitat Trail

Another cabin:

Klickitat Trail

After hiking for just over an hour I reached this old trestle at the three mile mark:

Klickitat Trail

Klickitat Trail

Klickitat Trail

Hills above the trestle:

Klickitat Trail

Just beyond the trestle is another piece of private property. This one had a whole lot of junk laying around:

Klickitat Trail

Klickitat Trail

I turned and headed back to the car:

Klickitat Trail

Klickitat Trail

Klickitat Trail

After that I drove over to the trailhead on Harms Road. If I had kept hiking another eight miles past that trestle earlier I would have ended up here:

Klickitat Trail

Klickitat Trail

This part of the trail was very different from where I had just been. It was much more open with hardly any trees, and therefore less protected from the wind. Swale Creek was much more visible than it had been on the other section:

Klickitat Trail

Klickitat Trail

Klickitat Trail

Klickitat Trail

Klickitat Trail

Klickitat Trail

There weren’t many wildflowers, but I did some grass widows:

Klickitat Trail

Klickitat Trail

I believe this is a northern harrier:

Northern Harrier

I took a break sitting on a rock by the creek for a little bit and spotted this killdeer:

Killdeer

Killdeer

I only hiked 1.5 miles before turning around and going back to the car.

God’s Thumb and The Knoll

Friday, November 27, 2020

NOTE: Most people who hike to God’s Thumb park at the end of NE Sal la Sea Drive (there’s even a “The Knoll / God’s Thumb Trailhead” marker on Google Maps; it’s also described in the Oregon Hikers Field Guide). As of this writing it’s legal to do so as long as you obey the signs at the very end of the road where parking is not allowed. You can park alongside the road before those signs. It is approximately 1.8 miles one-way to hike from the end of the road to God’s Thumb.┬áThe other place to park is at the end of NE Devils Lake Blvd (there are directions in the Oregon Hikers Field Guide). A description of the hike can be found here. Hiking in from the end of Logan Road is no longer recommended, which we didn’t know until after we did this hike.

While staying at the coast this weekend we decided to take advantage of a gorgeous day to hike up to God’s Thumb in Lincoln City. We parked at Road’s End State Recreation Site and hiked one mile up Logan Road to its end. We took this route because it’s the way I went last time and I didn’t think parking at the end of NE Sal la Sea Drive is allowed (it is).

At the end of Logan Road we walked around the gate where this nothing except a “no parking” sign.

God's Thumb Hike

God's Thumb Hike

But about 0.1 mile further we reached a “no trespassing” sign. The Siuslaw National Forest boundary was just behind that sign, so we kept going:

God's Thumb Hike

The trail was, as expected, quite muddy:

God's Thumb Hike

God's Thumb Hike

Lots of mushrooms:

God's Thumb Hike

God's Thumb Hike

God's Thumb Hike

Almost there:

God's Thumb Hike

The sun shining on the spray from the waves was pretty:

God's Thumb Hike

God’s Thumb came into view:

God's Thumb Hike

God's Thumb Hike

God's Thumb Hike

1.7 miles from the car we reached the top. The view from up there was great! Cascade Head to the north:

God's Thumb Hike

Looking south over Lincoln City:

God's Thumb Hike

Looking west:

God's Thumb Hike

We sat and enjoyed the view for a short while, but it was quite windy:

God's Thumb Hike

We were making a loop out of this hike so rather than returning the way we came we hiked east. This is the way we would have come if we had parked at the end of Sal la Sea Drive:

God's Thumb Hike

There was a very muddy hill to climb going this way. Descending it would be really challenging because it’s so slippery:

God's Thumb Hike

At the top of that muddy hill is this grassy knoll, which makes a great turnaround spot if you don’t want to navigate that hill:

God's Thumb Hike

More mud:

God's Thumb Hike

We saw signs of recent maintenance:

God's Thumb Hike

We reached a big grassy viewpoint known as The Knoll:

God's Thumb Hike

God's Thumb Hike

God's Thumb Hike

God's Thumb Hike

God's Thumb Hike

Descending from The Knoll:

God's Thumb Hike

God's Thumb Hike

We reached the gate at the end of Sal la Sea Drive:

God's Thumb Hike

Then we road-hiked back down to Road’s End where the car was parked. From there we had a nice view looking up at The Knoll:

God's Thumb Hike

And a view of God’s Thumb and Cascade Head:

God's Thumb

Road's End State Recreation Site

Gaia stats: 4.2 miles, 650′ elevation gain