Gwynn Creek Loop (Cape Perpetua, Oregon) 17-Jun-2020

We had planned for this to be our first hike on the coast this year but rain squalls forced us to switch to a hike in the Oregon Dunes. That was yesterday. Today dawned bright and sunny 😎 – which proved to be the ideal weather for hiking through a deep, dark, exuberantly lush forest of staggeringly tall trees. We had planned to hike up the Cooks Ridge Trail #1372 but the trailhead (at the visitor center) for that one was still closed, so we diverted to the open Cummins Creek Trailhead. From there, we ascended the Cummins Creek Trail #1382 all the way to the viewpoint near its upper junction with the Cooks Ridge Trail. That viewpoint isn’t shown on every map but there’s a sign for it along the trail and it’s the only real view of anything except trees along any of these trails. We were fortunate that this sunny, clear day let us catch a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean from there.

At the Cummins Creek Trailhead
On the Cummins Creek Trail (many of the trails here are repurposed very old logging roads)
The lushness has reduced the old roads to single-track in many places
Water Resting on Leaves
Foxglove
The lush continues
Up through the forest
A hefty pollinator works over an Oxeye Daisy
Fringecups
The Pacific Ocean from the viewpoint

From the viewpoint, we continued on the Cummins Creek Trail to its junction with the Cooks Ridge Trail and then turned down that one to start the return part of our loop. This trail starts out as a very old logging road but becomes a single-track in less than a mile. The lushness continued…

Down the Cooks Ridge Trail
Douglas Iris
Common Monkeyflower
Tall trees along the Cooks Ridge Trail
A sweaty, spectral tree fungus

After just a little over a mile on the Cooks Ridge Trail, we came to the upper end of the Gwynn Creek Trail and turned down it. Contrary to its name, while you can hear the creek from the trail, the trail never takes you anywhere near the water. We passed some golden raspberries along the trail and, as I turned to photograph a particularly large and juicy specimen, The LovedOne reached out, plucked it, and ate it! Thus art was denied what was undoubtedly destined to be one of the greatest berry photographs of all time. 🙄

Old-growth needs all the love we have to offer
A small side stream, with a green cast imparted by the surrounding foliage
Golden Raspberry (the uneaten one)

The Gwynn Creek Trail makes a pretty much straight shot down to the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT). Once there, we followed the OCT across a bridge over Gwynn Creek, to the road that took us back to the Cummins Creek Trailhead.

Gwynn Creek from the bridge
On the Oregon Coast Trail

Although the views are limited, this loop (8.8 miles; 1,500 feet of gain) let us spend most of a day exploring the dense lushness of an Oregon coastal forest without having to hack our way through Devils Club. There were a half dozen cars at the trailhead but we only saw two people (sitting well off the trail just below the viewpoint) the whole day. A very, very nice hike! 😀

Our loop around Gwynn Creek (camera symbol is the viewpoint)
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3 comments

  1. Great area to hike and from the looks of it, beautiful green! Wish we could be there now…..have done this hike and enjoyed it very much

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  2. So what is a the silver colored thing on the back of the Loved One’s pack? A folding hiking pole?

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