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Hart's Cove Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Chitwood Falls at Hart's Cove (cfm)
On the trail above Cliff Creek (bobcat)
Map of the trail route (bobcat)
  • Start point: Hart's Cove TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Hart's Cove Overlook
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 5.4 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 1000 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Year round
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

The Hart's Cove Trail starts out by switchbacking downhill through a young coastal forest, where very little light reaches the forest floor and undergrowth is sparse. Evidence of logging is plentiful with very large stumps common. The trail loses 500 feet of elevation in 0.9 mile to a crossing of Cliff Creek Bridge. Beyond this, the trail levels and the forest becomes older, with some of these trees more than 250 years old. After another mile, you'll round a bend where a bench offers your first view of Hart's Cove. It's also in this area you may begin to hear sea lions barking on the beaches below.

The trail turns eastward and enters the drainage of Chitwood Creek. You'll pass through some particularly impressive sawed logs, some nearly five feet thick, But the real goal and highlight is the meadow at the end of the hike. This entire area is closed in the spring, but flowers bloom here well into August. Look for lupine and violets mixed in with other plant life. Especially in July when the area has just opened, this can get very thick with grass and flowers, making footing tricky. But aim for a cluster of trees below and to the left for a nice seating area with a view of Hart's Cove and a waterfall where Chitwood Creek cascades onto the beach.

Most of us will probably be content with the meadow and the views, but there is a steep, rugged trail to a spot near the water. Fish come close to the shore here in late fall, so at that time you will probably see a few fishing boats supported by flocks of gulls and rafts of sea lions. Harbor seals can often be seen in the Cove.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • No fees
  • Trail closed Jan 1 - Jul 15 (these dates sometimes change, be sure to check)

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon by Adam Sawyer
  • 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Portland by Paul Gerald
  • 120 Hikes on the Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Hiking Oregon by Donna Lynn Ikenberry
  • Trips & Trails: Oregon by William L. Sullivan
  • Siuslaw Forest Hikes by Irene Lilja & Dick Lilja

More Links


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.