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Yachats 804 Trail Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Surf on the rocks, Yachats 804 Trail (bobcat)
Black turnstones (Arenaria melanocephala), Yachats 804 Trail (bobcat)
Pocket beach, Yachats 804 Trail (bobcat)
Great blue heron (Ardea herodias), Yachats 804 Trail (bobcat)
Pond, Yachats Community Park Wetland (bobcat)
The 804 Trail in red; other options in orange (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Smelt Sands TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Starr Creek
  • Trail log:
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 1.7 miles (additions to this hike also described below)
  • Elevation gain: 20 feet
  • High Point: 25 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Year round
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes

Contents

Hike Description

The Yachats 804 Trail takes advantage of some easements on the rocky shoreline at the northern end of Yachats. In the 1970s, local landowner had laid claim to this rocky shoreline (It didn't fit the description of a public 'beach'), preventing fishing access, but activists dug up the plans for a 19th century public road that was never built. The battle in the state courts took ten years, but the rocks ended up as part of a state park and now offer a picturesque promenade. The path is part of the Oregon Coast Trail and you can connect from here with the Yachats Community Park Wetland, Yachats State Recreation Area, Yachats Ocean Road State Natural Site and the Amanda's Trail Hike, which leads up to the Cape Perpetua Stone Shelter. You can also connect directly with a relatively new trail that enters the Siuslaw National Forest and passes through a private botanical preserve (See the Ya'Xaik Trail-Gerdemann Preserve Loop Hike). The tread is an ancient roadway, established by Native Americans and then used by horse and buggy traffic until the construction of Highway 101. Bird and sea life are abundant here, so keep your eyes open and take your time.

Walk out to a pocket beach at a memorial to two young men who were swept off a nearby rock and drowned by a sneaker wave in 2011. At various places, there will be descents, some easy some more difficult, down to the rocks themselves. Benches are positioned for sustained stops on nice days. To your right are hotels and condos, but to the left the expanse of the Pacific Ocean spreads beyond the thundering surf. Keep a sharp eye out for a natural arch over a cleft through which the waves explode during the incoming tide. Little black turnstones work the crannies here as well. Past a sign for the Village Gift Gallery, see a small trail post at the Yachats 804-Ya’Xaik Trail Junction (For a description of the Ya'Xaik Trail, see the Ya'Xaik Trail-Gerdemann Preserve Loop Hike). Reach a grassy headland with small thickets of salal. The Overleaf Hotel is to your right. Continue into a windswept woodland of Sitka spruce, passing a small wetland where you can watch for herons. Reach another headland with picnic tables and a memorial plaque. Then walk through a tunnel of shore pine, salal, wax-myrtle, and Sitka spruce. Cross a private driveway and descend to Tillicum Beach where Starr Creek reaches the Pacific. You can walk for six and a half miles up the beach to Waldport and Alsea Bay if the fancy grabs you.

Add-on hike:

From the state park trailhead, you can also head south on the trail a short way as it crosses a footbridge and extends across the lawns of the Adobe Resort. The trail turns in between split-rail fencing and reaches the Aqua Vista Loop.

For an additional loop, which adds 2.8 miles to your walk, go right on Aqua Vista Loop and round the bend. In 20 yards, bear right on a right-of-way path between homes to reach Marine Drive. Go left on Marine and then right on Driftwood Lane. Walk down Driftwood Lane until you reach 7th Street. Take a right on 7th and walk towards the ocean with a wastewater treatment plant on your left. Towards the end of the block, you'll see the public library on the south side of the street. Out of the library's parking area, a public footpath leads into the Yachats Community Park Wetland. A boardwalk takes you in between ponds and among cattails, twinberry, and willow. Pass through a small copse of spruce, then go left at a junction and reach a central area of benches under a shady multi-limbed Sitka spruce. Go right and reach 4th Street at its junction with Pontiac Street.

Keep straight on Pontiac to reach 3rd Street and go left. In half a block you'll reach the Little Log Church at 3rd and Pontiac. This 1930 structure is now a museum and, if it's not open, you can peer through the windows at the tiny space inside (Another part of the building exhibits items on settler history and showcases local artists). Now head out to Highway 101 and go right, keeping to the west side of the highway. You'll pass the Visitors Center, which has local trail maps on hand and then the post office, to reach Ocean View Drive.

To do more, go right on Highway 101 and cross the Yachats River Bridge. Go left on Yachats Ocean Road, passing by Yachats Ocean Road State Natural Site, which gives access to the beach at the river mouth. To where the Ocean Road reaches Highway 101, it’s another mile one-way, passing the Yachats Ocean Road Trailhead. Yachats Ocean Road also connects with Amanda’s Trail, part of the Oregon Coast Trail, which leads up to the lookout on Cape Perpetual.

Otherwise, from the junction of Ocean View Drive and Highway 101, walk along Ocean View above the Yachats River to Yachats State Recreation Area for views over the river mouth and south to Cape Perpetua. Continue north along Ocean View, where there are several public access points to the shoreline rocks and reach Marine Drive. Go right on Marine and then left at the public right-of-way that takes you back to Aqua Vista Loop and retrace your steps to the Smelt Sands Trailhead.


Maps

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Dogs on leash at all times
  • Respect signs for private property
  • Restrooms, picnic tables at Smelt Sands
  • Open sunrise to sunset

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Exploring the Oregon Coast Trail by Connie Soper
  • Best Easy Day Hikes: Oregon's North Coast by Lizann Dunegan
  • Hiking the Oregon Coast by Lizann Dunegan
  • Best Short Hikes in Northwest Oregon by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • Best Hikes With Kids: Oregon by Bonnie Henderson & Zach Urness
  • 120 Hikes on the Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Day Hiking: Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • Oregon Coast Camping & Hiking by Tom Stienstra & Sean Patrick Hill
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill
  • Pacific Northwest HIking by Scott Leonard & Sean Patrick Hill
  • Oregon Coast Hikes by Paul M. Williams
  • The Oregon Coast Trail Guide by Jon Kenneke (eBook)
  • Oregon Coast Trail : Hiking Inn to Inn' by Jack D. Remington
  • Oregon's Best Coastal Beaches by Dick Trout
  • Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide by Jan Bannan
  • Canine Oregon by Lizann Dunegan

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.