Sunny Morning on Neahkahnie Mountain

Climbing the Neahkahnie Mountain meadow

Climbing the Neahkahnie Mountain meadow

Who knew winter could be so fantastic on the Oregon coast?  After a great night with my wife in Seaside, I wanted a solid hike.  I had visited Neahkahnie Mountain from the south with my sisters in the 90s, and I knew the views from the top were great.  There is another trailhead at a pullout just over 15 miles south of the Highway 26 and Highway 101 junction.  The Oregon Coast Trail goes both ways here.  There were only two other vehicles in the lot when I arrived about 9 a.m.  The trail was serene but for the highway noise below in the first mile.

Looking back the way I came

Looking back the way I came

The route climbs steadily uphill, and there are great views immediately as the path takes a few switchbacks across a steep meadow of salal and sword fern.  Eventually I entered the trees. Athough the day was perfectly sunny, it was hard to tell inside the dark forest.

The woods got dark and dense

The woods got dark and dense, but Jackie is no scaredy cat

Sometime when I hike a mountain, I get frustrated in the middle of the ascent, after the early motivation wears off and before the effort starts paying off in stellar view. At times,  I’m a bit impatient and unrealistic, rather like Roald Dahl’s Veruca Salt. As in:  I want my summit and I want it now!  This time, however, the hike felt very balanced.  The views at the bottom were followed by nice forest flora variety, a stream crossing, a saddle, and of course the climb into the open at the top.

A little size juxtaposition. Jackie is a modest sized dog;  whereas the tree is rather large.

A little size juxtaposition. Jackie is a modest sized dog; whereas the tree is rather large.

Loved this Dr.Seuss tree.  A huge limb fell but remains suspended by other limbs below

Loved this Dr.Seuss tree. A huge limb fell but remains suspended by other limbs below

Coming into the open after a couple miles reminds me of Bald Mountain to the west of Mount Hood. In this instance, the amazing view that is suddenly in your face is the Pacific Ocean.  Not too shabby.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I met a fellow hiker on top.  We chatted for a while and then he left. Per usual when faced with a million dollar view, I didn’t want to leave the summit.  Such glorious weather!  Had the wind not been whipping on top, I could have been in shirtsleeves.  Eventually, of course, I had to descend.  The walk was pleasant, and fast.  Halfway down, I started encountering lots of people.  They were lucky too.

Rusty creek, or at least one with some iron in the water

Rusty creek, or at least one with some iron in the water

Even near the bottom, the views are great.  What a nice hike.

Even near the bottom, the views are great. What a nice hike.

This is a great hike for impatient folk  I was up and back before noon, so I had time to spend the afternoon with my wife back in Seaside.   It helped make our trip to the coast a great one.

About Josh Baker

"The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” ― John Muir

Posted on February 16, 2015, in Coastal hikes, Flora and Fauna, General Hiking, Hiking with dogs, Mountains and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Have not done it in YEARS, but I love that hike!

  2. The thought of being safely outside without multiple layers (preferably windproof) is very appealing. Spring is too far away this year 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: