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Triple C Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The Nehalem River from the Triple C Trail (bobcat)
Blue elderberries, Triple C Trail (bobcat)
Sword ferns and vine maples, Triple C Trail (bobcat)
Pool on the Nehalem, Nehalem River Access Trail (bobcat)
TheTriple C Loop route (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo


Hike Description

From 1934 to 1941, Reehers Camp was the base for one of three CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) camps involved in forest recovery efforts after the Tillamook Burn. Up to 200 men were stationed here at any one time. They were boarded and fed and paid $30 a month, with $25 of that being sent back to their families. After the decommissioning of the camp just a few days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the site was for many decades an unofficial campground but was formally rehabilitated by the Tillamook State Forest in 2005. Now there are restrooms and a horse camp in addition to regular campsites. The Triple C Loop honors the Civilian Conservation Corps. It is a good evening or early morning walk for hikers camped at Reehers Campground; alternatively, it could be an hour-long adjunct to doing the Step Creek Loop Hike and/or the North Gales Creek Trail Hike. You'll follow the Nehalem River on the first leg of the loop. The trail then rises through dense young woods, but descends in more mature Douglas-fir forest with some impressive specimens. It's recommended that you head to Reehers Camp to read about the CCC history there, and then take the short Nehalem River Access Trail back to the Reehers Camp Trailhead.

From Reehers Camp Trailhead, hike down an old road bed from the trailhead and then along the course of the Nehalem River shaded by Douglas-fir, red alder, and western red-cedar with an understory of sword fern, Oregon grape, and salmonberry. Soon enough, the trail rises to the Nehalem River bridge on Cochran Road. This spot is also the Gales Creek-Triple C Trail Junction.

Cross the road, but not the bridge, and pick up the Triple C Trail at the sign. The path heads up the Nehalem River bottom, giving good access to the river, which is shaded by its gallery of red alders and big-leaf maples. To the right is a slope of Douglas-fir with a carpet of sword fern and Oregon grape. Behind this shield of woodland is a replanted clearcut. Rotting snags are all that remains of the big-tree woodland that dominated this landscape before the age of logging and the Tillamook Burns. Across the Nehalem, behind a thing screen of trees, is a large recent clearcut, an indication the the state forest is always being actively logged. The trail swings up and away from the river, making a traverse into a Douglas-fir plantation. Cross Wheeler Road at the Triple C Trail-Wheeler Road Junction, and then cross an abandoned road bed now colonized by Scots broom and blue elderberry.

The trail makes a rising traverse and there are views of the forested hills to the north. Then begin to descend near a road bed, and pass through a small alder clearing to reach the corner of a replanted clearcut. Head down through an older Douglas-fir/western hemlock woodland and switchback at a large cedar stump. Make a traverse with views of Carlson Creek Road below. Walk up and over a ridgeline and wind down the eastern edge of Reehers Meadow. Note some bigger Douglas-firs in this area. At one such tree, come to the Triple C-Reehers Campground Trail Junction.

Go left here to access the campground, passing through a curious copse of drooping young alders. You'll see more impressive Douglas-firs on this stretch of trail. Cross Cochran Road and enter the campground. Pass the trail connector for the Reehers Camp Trailhead, and head for the covered picnic area near a water pump. Here, there's an interpretive sign telling about the CCC origins of the camp. Before the road curves into the camping area, you'll see the Nehalem River Access Trail dropping down to the right of a dumpster.

Switchback down three times in a lush understory shaded by tall Douglas-firs. At a junction with a shortcut leading back to the trailhead, keep left. At the next junction, go left on a spur that takes you to a shallow swimming hole in the river. The river's flow diminishes considerably as the summer wears on, so by late August, this pool may be only two feet deep. Return to the main trail, and go left to parallel the river. Two old benches overlook a bend in the Nehalem. Soon, you'll begin heading up the slope again, making six switchbacks before arriving at the campground-trailhead connector trail. Go left to pass the trailhead restroom and reach the parking area.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Share trail with mountain bikers and horses

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • PDX Hiking 365 by Matt Reeder
  • 25 Hikes on Oregon's Tillamook Coast by Adam Sawyer
  • 50 Hikes in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests by the Sierra Club, Oregon Chapter
  • Hiking from Portland to the Coast by James D. Thayer
  • Riding Northwest Oregon Horse Trails by Kim McCarrel

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.