Bayocean Spit Loop Hike
From Portland Hikers Field Guide
- Start point: Bayocean Spit Trailhead
- End point: Kincheloe Point
- Trail Log: Trail Log
- Hike Type: Loop
- Distance: 7.6 miles round trip
- Elevation gain: 50 feet
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Seasons: All
- Family Friendly: Yes
- Crowded: No
This sand spit was once the site of the City of Bay Ocean Park, conceived by a developer in 1906, and then lost gradually to the ocean as the north end became an island. The last home was destroyed in 1960 although the breakwater at the mouth of the bay allowed the island to become a peninsula once more. The hike description takes you first along the beach to the tip of the peninsula at Kincheloe Point. You return on an old road track on the bay side. If you want a shorter hike, go along the bay side first and pick up one of the trails heading through the dune forest to the beach for your return.
Begin your hike at the Bayocean Parking Area and take the sandy trail leading through the dunes toward the ocean. Scots broom, evergreen huckleberry, and stunted spruce and shore pines dot the grassy expanse. Head up the beachfront dune for a view south to Cape Meares and Haystack Rock and north to Barview. Once on the beach, walk north. Little clouds of sanderlings may be foraging at the water line. Surf scoters duck in the breakers. Knolls in the middle of the peninsula support taller spruces and pines. These were once islands. Salal and evergreen huckleberry are the dominant shrubs. Coming to the end of the spit, climb up on the jetty and watch the swells rolling into the bay at Kincheloe Point.
To return, head east through the accumulated driftwood towards a beacon powered by a solar panel and pick up a gravel track from here. There a view across to the Barview stacks. Enter shore pine woods and then negotiate a washed out section of the track at an inlet. Skirt around the little cove and reconnect with the track down an alley of shore pine. The road passes around the edge of Crab Harbor in a forest of spruce and pine. Pass a trail leading west scross the peninsula to the beach. Spruce, salal, evergreen huckleberry and wax-myrtle dominate here. Alders line a mudflat exposed a low tide. Second and third trans-peninsula trails lead off to the right. The road swings inland for a deour around a swamp. Here much taller spruces flourish among salal, salmonberry and sword fern. Round a gate and pass another connection to the beach. This open area supports stunted pines, spruce, willow, salal and Scots broom. Finally, reach the parking lot.
This is also a great spot for a family bike ride. The flat terrain make it easy going on both the interior gravel road, and the packed beach sand at the tidal interface. The only hard part is dragging your bike back over the dunes to the parking area.
Regulations or Restrictions, etc.
- There may be fire restrictions for campers in the summer.
- Search Trip Reports for Bayocean Spit
Related Discussions / Q&A
- Search Trail Q&A for Bayocean Spit
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
- Oregon Coast Hikes by Paul M. Williams
- More information about Bayoceanfrom the PDXHistory.com
- A wonderful book chronicling the demise of the doomed town is Bayocean, the Oregon Town that Fell into the Sea by Bert & Margie Webber. These authors have a family history from the town of Bayocean, and have beachcombed the area for decades. The book is hard to find, but can be ordered from the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum