Trail of the Month
Activity: Hiking (and treasure hunting!) | Distance: 3 miles | Rating: Moderate to Difficult
WHY IT’S GREAT Legends shroud this Coast Range peak. To the Tillamook Indians, the mountain was the “the place of the great deity.” To pioneers, its slopes promised treasure allegedly cached by shipwrecked Spanish sailors during the 1700s. In the nonmythic realm, Neahkanie commands killer views. Rising some 1,600 feet above Oswald West State Park, Neahkanie watches over vast stretches of Nehalem Bay, including Cape Lookout, Cape Meares, Three Arch Rocks, and a long stretch of sandy beach.
DON’T FORGET Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s spring whale-watching week takes place March 19–26. Look for OPRD whale-spotting experts at the Neahkahnie Mountain historic marker on Highway 101. whalespoken.org
POST-HIKE WATERING HOLE Marzano’s The Oregon Coast’s most crave-worthy pizza is dished up by this shake-shingled Manzanita parlor. Head to the takeout window and place your order for the roasted vegetable pie, drizzled with spicy olive oil, and a bottle of Willamette Valley pinot. Then retreat to the beach, just a half-block away, and try not to get too much sand on your slices. 60 Laneda Ave, Manzanita; 503-368-3663; marzanospizza.com
TRAILHEAD DIRECTIONS From Tillamook, drive 23 miles north (or from Cannon Beach, drive 13 miles south) on Highway 101. In between mileposts 41 and 42, turn east (inland) on a gravel road, and drive approximately a quarter-mile to the trailhead. Check the weather for frequent thick fog—appropriate for a place wrapped in lore. No fees or permits required.
Find trails, news, tips, and gear on Brian Barker’s outrdoor blog, The Muddy Boot