Hootsuite closed their offices over the holidays this year which gave me an unexpected, but very welcome 10 days off, thank you Ryan! We decided to take a road trip down the West Coast, through Washington & Oregon. The bikes were staying at home, so we were going to be on foot!
I’d been given some recommendations beforehand from friends; I’d also spent time researching runs and hikes. I thought afterward that I’d put together this mini run/hike guide, hopefully this will prove useful to someone else one day.
This wasn’t about training, intervals or speed, none of that mattered. This was about getting outside, sightseeing, exploring and stopping to take photos. My husband is new to running, so while he didn’t join me for quite all of these, he was there for the most part, so we kept things easy and mixed up run-walks with hikes to prevent any injuries.
The few times i've visited Seattle I've enjoyed running along the Elliot Bay Trail. It winds around the coast, is easy to reach from downtown and has some great views and sculptures! Garmin file here
Without a doubt the main attraction on Cannon Beach is the iconic Haystack rock; however, the beach itself is also great to run along. An out and back along the length of it nets you a little over 10km.
The winters can bring some spectacular storms, we got some strong 40km/hr+ headwinds the morning we were out. Garmin file here
We spent 2 nights in Yachats, it’s a really pretty little town. If you visit then don’t miss the fish & chips at the Luna Sea Fish House!
There’s a nice little coastal loop you can run around the town, on the Oregon Coast Trail. It winds around the neighbourhoods and also down onto the beach, where I then lost the trail, or maybe it ended! Garmin file here
Close to Yachats is Cape Perpetua, with a whole mix of great hiking trails and a very helpful visitor centre, with trail maps. We connected several trails together to make a 14km hike loop. This would however, also make a great trail run. Garmin file here
If you make it to Cape Perpetua be sure to also stop in at Devils Churn, especially at high tide. In the winter this can only be described as spectacular, but very violent!
This run happened by accident! We had driven inland intending to do the Kentucky Falls Hike - which looks great, I plan to do this one day.
However, I hadn’t checked the elevation of the trailhead. With 12 miles still to go, seemingly all up we were now driving on a windy single track, on thick snow, with a sharp vertical drop off. We had snow tires on the Mini, but it was too bad to continue; we had to admit defeat and turn around. We parked lower down and ran along the Siuslaw River, which was very pretty! Garmin file here
Dunes City - Oregon Dunes Overlook
The sand dunes stretch for over 40 miles! We stopped at the Oregon Dunes Overlook which is just south of Dunes City. If you’re short on time there’s a great viewing platform just a few steps from the car, or there are a number of hikes down into the dunes. We did a shorter hike through the dunes, out onto an amazing, but freezing beach Garmin file here
We spent just 16 hours in Coos Bay; I don’t want to offend anyone from there, but for us that was more than enough! If you do however, find yourself there in winter the holiday lights at the Shore Acres State Park are pretty; we didn’t find much else to do though.
I ran around the town in the morning before we left, it was an experience, I don’t think they’ve left the 1980’s yet! Garmin file here
Portland - Downtown
We were staying right downtown in Portland which meant we were on the doorstep for the Waterfront Park Trail. This is a great running spot, you can take in a short tour of some of the Portland bridges!
Next, cross over one of the bridges and join the Eastbank Esplanade which becomes the Springwater on the Willamette. This is a great out and back paved trail along the river, it goes on for miles! Garmin file here
Portland - Forest Park
A short 10 min drive from downtown Portland is Forest Park. It has some of the best trails I’ve ever run on. Having just finished the Wildwood trilogy I may have been a touch more excited than otherwise, however, the Wildwood Trail is amazing! Unfortunately I did not meet any talking animals that day... These trails extend for miles though, more than enough for a really long run day. Garmin file here
Eagle Creek - Near Portland
45 minutes from Portland is the Eagle Creek Trailhead. We had planned to do the longer Eagle Creek to Tunnel Falls Hike. However, crazy winds, freezing temps and a lot of water eventually turned these trails into a solid ice skating rink. After I had done a few good Bambi impressions on the ice we were forced to turn around!
The day was not lost though, we did brave the winds and snow and managed the Eagle Creek Hike which had some spectacular views from the top! Garmin file here
This is obviously just the tip of the iceberg of what the West Coast has to offer. It was an amazing 10 days away; I look forward to future adventures exploring here!