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Hug Point to Arch Cape Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Arch Cape from Arch Cape Beach (bobcat)
Wandering tattlers (Heteroscelus incanus), Hug Point (bobcat)
The old road at Hug Point (bobcat)
Western gull (Larus occidentalis) fights crab, Point Meriwether (bobcat)
The beach walk from Hug Point to Arch Cape (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Hug Point TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Arch Cape Creek
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 4.5 miles
  • Elevation gain: 40 feet
  • High Point: 40 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes, around Hug Point


Hike Description

A varied shoreline landscape is accessed by this short hike: volcanic stacks and cliffs, mudstone headlands of the Astoria Formation, the daunting basalt headland at Arch Cape, shallow caves, and also the old low tide vehicle route carved around Hug Point itself. Note that there are several headlands to walk around. Some can only be safely negotiated at low tide. Wear beach sandals as you will almost certainly get your feet wet.

From the Hug Point parking area, walk down the paved trail to the enclosed beach. Go right (north) first. The sandstone headland of Austin Point, cloaked with Sitka spruce, shore pine, and salal, looms above. Walk around Austin Point to the next enclosed beach. Here there are caves carved in the sandstone and Falls Creek splashes over a rim onto the sand. There’s another headland to be negotiated before reaching an even smaller cove and Hug Point itself with its sea cave. Here you can see the old road route that was carved around the point. Walk up here if the tide is low to get a view north to the headlands and stacks of Silver Point, Lion Rock, Jockey Cap, and Haystack Rock.

Return to the beach below the parking area and hike south. Round Point Meriwether and find another secluded beach. Highway 101 runs close by above the vegetated slope. Head around barnacled rocks at the next point, which may necessitate some wading, and see the expanse of Arch Cape Beach before you. The upper section of the northern half of this beach is cobbled, which makes for slower walking when the tide is in. The homes and cottages of the community of Arch Cape line the low bluff. Cross Austin and Shark Creeks and reach the end of the beach at the steep, dark cliffs of Arch Cape and its attendant stack. Arch Cape Creek flows into the Pacific Ocean here. Offshore, Castle Rock is always in sight. In summer, watch for flights of pelicans. Views inland along the way will take in various outer Coast Range summits, including Onion Peak.

At the very lowest point of the tide, you may be able to continue finding your way between the point and the large stack just offshore to a pocket beach (which is a beach only at low tide). Here, you'll discover the arch that gives Arch Cape its name. Take care, and make sure you give yourself time to return safely.

Note: If you want to access Arch Cape from the community of Arch Cape, understand that there are no state parks here. Public access to the beach is through a couple of easements at the south end of the community.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • No fees
  • Dogs on leash
  • Check tide tables before beginning the hike.

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Exploring the Oregon Coast Trail by Connie Soper
  • Oregon Beaches: A Traveler's Companion by John Shewey
  • 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
  • A Hiker's Guide to the Oregon Coast Trail by David E.M. Bucy & Mary C. McCauley
  • Oregon's Best Coastal Beaches by Dick Trout
  • Fire, Faults, and Floods: A Road & Trail Guide Exploring the Origins of the Columbia River Basin by Marge & Ted Mueller
  • The Dog Lover's Companion to Oregon by Val Mallinson
  • Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide by Jan Bannan

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.