Just west of Astoria, this hike includes a variety of ecosystems. The trail was well-used by Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery, so it's especially neat to ponder the history while tromping down the trail.
The trail begins at Fort Clatsop, where the Corps of Discovery wintered in 1805-1806. Find a replica of the actual fort, as well as a visitor center with fascinating artifacts and stories. From the fort, the hike takes a gentle 2-mile road up to a lookout, where you can see the Pacific on a clear day. The trail narrows from this point and winds down through woods and skunk-cabbage marsh before flattening into green pasture. About 4 miles from the fort, you'll pass beneath Highway 101 and the scenery turns from pasture to dunes. Continue another 2.5 miles to Sunset Beach.
Most hikers start at the fort and arrange a pickup at Sunset Beach for a one-way trek.
For a slightly longer two-way hike, park your car at Pioneer Church where the trail meets Highway 101. Hike 4.5 miles up to the fort, stopping at the overlook along the way. Spend some leisurely time exploring the fort replica and the visitor center, have a snack, refill your water bottle, and head back down the trail to your car.
Learn more about the trail
Lewis and Clark didn't have modern mosquito repellent, but that doesn't mean you have to rough it. The trail can get pretty buggy.