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Amanda's Trail Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The original Amanda Statue, Amanda's Trail (bobcat)
Low tide at the churn, Yachats Ocean Road State Natural Site (bobcat)
Cleft of the Rock Lighthouse from Amanda's Trail (bobcat)
North Cape Creek, Amanda's Trail (bobcat)
View to Captain Cook Point, St. Perpetua Trail, Cape Perpetua (bobcat)
The Amanda's Trail section of the Oregon Coast Trail (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo

Contents

Hike Description

Amanda’s Trail connects the coastal community of Yachats with the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area and also represents a section of the Oregon Coast Trail. The trail is a memorial to the forced relocation of Native Americans to the vast Siletz Reservation, and then their subsequent relocation from that reservation when white settlers began to claim coastal lands. Amanda De Cuys was a blind Coos woman who was captured along with others of her tribe and force-marched 80 miles up the coast to the Alsea Sub-agency of the vast Coast Indian Reservation at Yachats. Amanda had been living with a white man and had a daughter by him: the daughter was left with her father, but the latter refused to marry her mother. You can begin the hike on the rocky coast at the south end of Yachats; for a stretch, the path runs right alongside Highway 101. You will cross the highway and then enter private forest on an easement. After paying your respects at the Amanda Statue, hike up the steep slope to admire the expansive views from the historic Cape Perpetua Stone Shelter at the top of Cape Perpetua's old shield volcano.

From the parking area on Yachats Ocean Road above Agate Point, head south, looking first for a spouting horn, which is only active when the tide is high. After making a turn on the road, you’ll see a churn below with ledges of volcanic rock. Waves thunder into this cul-de-sac and send up fountains of spray when the tide is coming in. As you approach Highway 101, veer off to the right and pick up a path, marked by Oregon Coast Trail signs, which reaches the highway and then proceeds along its west shoulder.

(You can also begin the hike about half a mile north from the designated trailhead at the Yachats Ocean Road Picnic Area. Park in the pullout on the right shortly after turning off onto Yachats Ocean Road. Walk down to the beach and then make your way south along the rocky shoreline. At the churn, you’ll have to turn up to the road.)

The path crosses Surfside Drive, Gender Drive, and a footbridge. At Windy Way Street, cross Highway 101 to Carpenter Drive and take the Oregon Coast Trail into the Sitka spruce forest. The trail descends to the highway via a flight of steps at a welcome sign for the community of Yachats. Walk along the highway, crossing a few driveways. Pick up the trail where it reenters the forest and proceeds higher above the traffic in more mature Sitka spruce/western hemlock forest with a dense understory of salal. Where the trail makes a turn inland, you’ll get a view through a gap in the trees of Cleft of the Rock Lighthouse, Oregon’s only private lighthouse. Descend to a gravel road which leads to a tree farm. Walk 40 yards up the road and resume the trail at a sign indicating a plantation established in 1990. Walk down a stepped trail to a footbridge over Amanda Creek. Pass a statue of a bear and, near the trail, see the concrete Amanda Statue, often draped with necklaces and offerings, on a tear-shaped slab. Signs in the vicinity describe the atrocity of the forced removal of southern Oregon Natives. Another sign warns that the statue is equipped with a tracking device (This is the second Amanda statue; the first, situated below the trail, was engulfed in the debris of a December 2015 storm.).

From the Amanda Statue, you will now head relentlessly uphill in secondary forest, beginning in a thicket of salmonberry shaded by alder. Make four switchbacks on a trail inset by steps and then veer left onto an old logging road bed. Higher up, the trail leaves the road bed for a stretch before rejoining it. Hike up the road under spruce, hemlock, and alder in an understory of sword fern, salal, and evergreen huckleberry. Pass a huge Douglas-fir stump with springboard notches and then go right onto another road track. This tread descends gently into the drainage of North Cape Creek, crossing the creek in an expansive skunk-cabbage bog.

From the bog, the trail traverses up in a carpet of oxalis, candy flower, and false lily-of-the-valley, still on an old logging track. Eventually, the trail drops off the logging track to the right. Rise and then drop to make an undulating traverse with numerous steep, rooty sections on a slope of secondary Sitka spruce. The trail heads up again to a junction with a short tie trail that leads to a roadside parking area. Continue on the trail and reach the junction with the Whispering Spruce Trail. Go right here to swing around the face of Cape Perpetua and reach the Cape Perpetua Stone Shelter.

The picturesque and historic shelter was built by the CCC in the 1930s, and offers magnificent vistas over rugged coastal headlands and a 70-miles section of the coastline from north to south. On a crystal clear day, you can see 40 miles out to sea; a good pair of binoculars is an asset here during whale watching season. Cape Perpetua was named on March 7th, 1778, by Captain james Cook during his quest for the Northwest Passage. March 7th is St. Perpetua's Day: Perpetua was a young Christian Carthaginian who was martyred around 203 AD for her beliefs.

Continue along the Whispering Spruce Trail above spring-flowering meadows to get more spectacular views of the volcanic coastline. Keep left at the junction with the St. Perpetua Trail, and walk in to the Whispering Spruce Trailhead. Head back along the road to the roadside parking area marked for Amanda's Trail and return to Yachats the way you came up.

You can do this as a car shuttle, parking a second vehicle at the Cape Perpetua Trailhead, and include all the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area hikes (See the Cape Perpetua Hike). A hike and bike is also possible.


Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Cape Perpetua Scenic Area Map (USFS)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, Cummins Creek Wilderness, Drift Creek Wilderness, Rock Creek Wilderness
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Siuslaw National Forest
  • Pacific Northwest Recreation Map Series: Oregon Central Coast

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Northwest Forest Pass required at Whispering Spruce Trailhead; no fee at Yachats Ocean Road Trailhead
  • Dogs on leash at Yachats Ocean Road, Highway 101 and on the Whispering Spruce Trail

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Exploring the Oregon Coast Trail by Connie Soper
  • Day Hiking: Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • Oregon’s Best Coastal Beaches by Dick Trout
  • The Oregon Coast Trail Guide by Jon Kenneke (eBook)
  • Oregon Coast Trail: Hiking Inn to Inn by Jack D. Remington
  • Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide by Jan Bannan

More Links


Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.