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Salishan Spit Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Harbor seals at the end of Salishan Spit (bobcat)
Cigar face, Gleneden Beach (bobcat)
Walking north, Salishan Spit (bobcat)
Siletz Bay beach, Salishan Spit (bobcat)
The beach walk to the mouth of Siletz Bay (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Gleneden Beach TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Siletz Bay Mouth
  • Trail log:
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 8.0 miles
  • Elevation gain: 20 feet
  • High Point: 20 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Year round
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: On weekends

Contents

Hike Description

Most of Salishan Spit is privately owned and the property of the Salishan Spa & Golf Resort. Visitors can walk the area after parking at the Salishan Shops, but for a pure beach hike, begin at the Gleneden Beach State Recreation Site. You'll get views north to Cascade Head and the chance of seeing seals, sea lions, and various sea birds in the surf. You cannot leave the beach until you pass the last houses and there is only a short walk on the bay side of the spit. The tip of the spit is the property of another mammal: harbor seals haul themselves out here for a rest. Do not get too close and keep your dog under control.

From the north side of the parking area, walk down a paved trail through a shore pine shaded gully to the beach. Head north on the beach: at low tide try to keep close to the water as the sand is very soft higher on the beach. Large houses dominate a mudstone bluff: these are on Salishan Spa property and all would be wiped off the sand dunes in the event of a big tsunami. Cascade Head juts out on the northern horizon. In places, the beach slopes more steeply. Pass a few spruce-topped knolls and then reach the area of the spit where a dune-grass bolstered low bluff hosts more homes and cottages. Driftwood is piled against the bluff. You may find kelp knots, broken mussels, small jellyfish, clam shells and shards of crab shell littered at the high tide mark. As you near the north end of the spit, there’s a much bigger accumulation of driftwood. Beyond the last house, dunegrass gives way to a narrow, dense thicket of shore pine, spruce, wax-myrtle and salal.

Find your way into the center of the spit and encounter a jeep track that leads north to the beach at the Siletz Bay Mouth. Cross to the bay side where the thicket of spruce and pine comes right to the shore line. Then hike up towards the tip of the spit. Look for the basking harbor seals, which laze on the bay side of the spit point. Keep your distance and do not scare them into entering the water. Stroll back around the driftwood littered nose of the peninsula. Across the bay mouth is the Taft Harbor and the bluff at Spanish Head. On the ocean side, look for sea lions and surf scoters in the waves as you head back down the beach.


Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Pacific Northwest Recreation Map Series: Oregon Central Coast

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • No fees
  • Dogs on leash at Gleneden Beach State Recreation Site and at the harbor seal haul out area
  • Restrooms and picnic tables at Gleneden Beach State Recreation Site

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • 120 Hikes on the Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Day Hiking: Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Oregon Coast Hikes by Paul M. Williams
  • Oregon Favorites: Trails and Tales 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 Trail: Hiking Inn to Inn by Jack D. Remington
  • The Oregon Coast Trail Guide by Jon Kenneke (eBook)
  • Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide by Jan Bannan
  • Oregon's Best Coastal Beaches by Dick Trout

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.