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Bayocean Spit Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Tillamook Bay (cfm)
Shipwreck on Bayocean Spit (cfm)
Sanderlings foraging on Bayocean Spit (bobcat)
Sketch of the loop route around the spit (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: National Geographic Topo
  • Start point: Bayocean Spit TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Kincheloe Point
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 7.6 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 50 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: All
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable:Yes
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

This sand spit was once the site of the City of Bay Ocean Park, conceived by a developer in 1906, and then lost gradually to the ocean as the north end became an island. The last home was destroyed in 1960 although the breakwater at the mouth of the bay allowed the island to become a peninsula once more. The hike description takes you first along the beach to the tip of the peninsula at Kincheloe Point. You return on an old road track on the bay side. If you want a shorter hike, go along the bay side first and pick up one of the trails heading through the dune forest to the beach for your return.

Begin your hike at the Bayocean Parking Area and take the sandy trail leading through the dunes toward the ocean. Scots broom, evergreen huckleberry, and stunted spruce and shore pines dot the grassy expanse. Head up the beachfront dune for a view south to Cape Meares and Haystack Rock and north to Barview. Once on the beach, walk north. Little clouds of sanderlings may be foraging at the water line. Surf scoters duck in the breakers. Knolls in the middle of the peninsula support taller spruces and pines. These were once islands. Salal and evergreen huckleberry are the dominant shrubs. Coming to the end of the spit, climb up on the jetty and watch the swells rolling into the bay at Kincheloe Point.

To return, head east through the accumulated driftwood towards a beacon powered by a solar panel and pick up a gravel track from here. There a view across to the Barview stacks. Enter shore pine woods and then negotiate a washed out section of the track at an inlet. Skirt around the little cove and reconnect with the track down an alley of shore pine. The road passes around the edge of Crab Harbor in a forest of spruce and pine. Pass a trail leading west scross the peninsula to the beach. Spruce, salal, evergreen huckleberry and wax-myrtle dominate here. Alders line a mudflat exposed a low tide. Second and third trans-peninsula trails lead off to the right. The road swings inland for a deour around a swamp. Here much taller spruces flourish among salal, salmonberry and sword fern. Round a gate and pass another connection to the beach. This open area supports stunted pines, spruce, willow, salal and Scots broom. Finally, reach the parking lot.

This is also a great spot for a family bike ride. The flat terrain make it easy going on both the interior gravel road, and the packed beach sand at the tidal interface. The only hard part is dragging your bike back over the dunes to the parking area.

Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

  • There may be fire restrictions for campers in the summer.

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 25 Hikes on Oregon's Tillamook Coast by Adam Sawyer
  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • Exploring the Oregon Coast Trail by Connie Soper
  • PDX Hiking 365 by Matt Reeder
  • 120 Hikes on the Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Oregon Beaches: A Traveler's Companion by John Shewey
  • Oregon's Best Coastal Beaches by Dick Trout
  • Oregon Coast Hikes by Paul M. Williams
  • Oregon Coast Camping & Hiking by Tom Stienstra & Sean Patrick Hill
  • The Oregon Coast Trail Guide by Jon Kenneke (eBook)

More Links

  • More information about Bayoceanfrom the PDXHistory.com
  • A wonderful book chronicling the demise of the doomed town is Bayocean, the Oregon Town that Fell into the Sea by Bert & Margie Webber. These authors have a family history from the town of Bayocean, and have beachcombed the area for decades. The book is hard to find, but can be ordered from the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum


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.