Hike Cape Falcon in Oswald West State Park

5 Miles Round Trip - Out-and-Back Trail

Cape Falcon Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Seth Whelden

The trail is easy enough that you can bring your dog. Get amazing coastal forrest and beach views. Duration: A few hours

Cape Falcon is one of two major hikes within Oswald West State Park, fifteen minutes south of Canon Beach on the Oregon Coast. Park in the lot at the trailhead off Highway 101 and head in. After a half a mile or so you’ll come to a junction with options for “The Beach” or “Cape Falcon”. Go right toward Cape Falcon and follow the trail which weaves through a beautiful coastal forest with some amazing old growth spruce trees. Don’t forget to look up

The trail occasionally opens up to the left towards Smuggler Cove providing views of Neahkahnie Mountain and Short Sands Beach. You will also pass Blumenthal Falls below as it trickles down toward the Pacific. After a bit the trail opens up and comes to a fork. Go left and follow along to the end of Cape Falcon.

Between Short Sands beach, the massive spruce trees along the trail, and the end of the cape itself, this spot has a lot of punch. Head out early and stake a spot on Short Sands: bring your surfboard along, climb around on rocks around the tide pools, and soak in the sun (assuming you get lucky). When it’s all said and done, get on the trail and get a unique perspective on the area you’ve been calling home all day. Let the wind wake you up as you watch waves crash into the rocks below. If you start the hike in the late afternoon, you not only maximize beach time, but the trail will quiet down a lot and you might get lucky and have the place to yourself (we did!). Not only that, but when timed just right, you can watch the sunset from the end.

Once you’ve had your share, head back down the trail until the last fork you encountered, and head off the other way. This isn’t officially part of the Cape Falcon trail, but instead just part of the Oregon Coast Trail. This trail will take you a ways, and there is a great 15 mile plus hike all the way to Arch Cape that is very worthwhile and can even be a backpacking trip. However even if you aren’t looking to go that far, venture a half mile or so along the trail until you reach some stunning views of another cove below. Hang out here for a bit, venture on, or snap some shots and head back. Either way, it is a worthwhile excursion.

Keep in mind, the parking lot has signs for closing at 10PM so if you go watch the sunset in the summer, be wary of that. The woods get fairly dense even though you’re fairly close to the water for most of it, so bring a headlamp if you plan to come back after sunset.

Also important to note, that like many beaches along the Oregon Coast, high tide eliminates most of the beach along Short Sands, so time your beach visit around the tides.

It’s a great hike for dogs and kids, but there are some pretty steep cliffs at the end of the cape to be wary of.

When I'm finished, I always like to grab a brew from Bill's Tavern in Canon Beach after a long day of adventuring in this area, but there are tons of great seafood places in the town too. If you stay until 10PM on a Sunday night like we did, I think Dairy Queen in Seaside is probably your only option.


Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Food Nearby


5 Miles
Out-and-Back Trail

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Cloverdale, Oregon


Beaver, Oregon

Hebo Lake Campground

Buxton, Oregon

Camping At An Oasis In Nature

From $25/night


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Overall rating: 

Perfect coastal hike

This hike beings in dense forest and moves out to some viewpoints with an excellent panorama view of the ocean and coastline. It's relatively flat, and a pretty gentle hike overall. Great for a lazy hike on a sunny day.