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Spruce Run Lake Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Spruce Run Lake (pdxgene)
Coast toothwort (Cardamine californica), Spruce Run Creek Trail (bobcat)
Spruce Run Creek below the trail (pdxgene)
Fringe-cup (Telllima grandiflora) overhanging the Spruce Run Creek Trail (pdxgene)
The trail to Spruce Run Lake (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo
  • Start point: Spruce Run Creek TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Spruce Run Lake
  • Trail log:
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 6.8 miles
  • Elevation gain: 1,580 feet
  • High Point: 1,275 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

This very undulating trail begins at the Henry Rierson Spruce Run Campground on the Nehalem River and follows a creek valley up to a secluded lake. You are never far from clear cuts, but these are mostly obscured from view when the foliage leafs out in the spring. The trail offers a good little jaunt if you are staying at the campground, or if you take a detour to or from the coast when you are traveling Highway 26. Spruce Run Creek itself is only visible at the beginning of the hike, and Spruce Run Lake is more of a large pond, but the lushness of the woods and the forest wildflowers make this a good spring hike. Note that in summer, the lake almost disappears entirely.

Tall Douglas-firs shade the Spruce Run Campground and the trailhead. However, alders and maples make up most of the tree cover along the trail. Large stumps attest to the huge old growth trees that once loomed over this landscape. Hike up along a sword fern/salmonberry cloaked hillside above Spruce Run Creek. Spring wildflowers include toothwort, oxalis, bleeding heart, and woods violet. The trail drops down to creek level and then rises steeply. The clearcuts across the creek are visible. Rise high above the creek in a Douglas-fir zone. The trail drops down above an alder flat and then rises to undulate along the slope in mossy woods. Ascend steeply in hemlock/Douglas-fir woods with some alders and maples. The trail makes a traverse and then rises up past a mossy seep. Switchback twice and then head up a forested ridge with thickets of salmonberry. The trail keeps rising as you switchback once to encounter your first Sitka spruce and a junction with a spur leading left to Lost Lake Road (Keep right here). Then pass a large maple and drop from this crest under vine maple bowers. Head up once more, switchback twice, and make a short traverse. There’s another short rise and the trail drops to a saddle before you make a traverse in Douglas-fir, hemlock and spruce woods. The trails drops under a vine maple bower, passing a bench carved from a log, and then you can traverse upward. Hike along on the level, drop, then rise, and finally head down to Spruce Run Lake, where the trail fades. Cattails form a swamp at the eastern end of the lake and skunk-cabbage festoons the shore.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • none

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 50 Hikes in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests by the Sierra Club, Oregon Chapter
  • Oregon Campgrounds Hiking Guide by Rhonda & George Ostertag

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.