Best Summer Hikes

Summer is almost over, so it’s time to go take a hike and enjoy every last bit of the season. We’ve put a hit list together of the best spots in Lincoln City to scuff those boots.


Drift Creek Falls
This easy hike wanders through Sitka spruce trees to a gorgeous 75-foot waterfall. The trail leading to the falls is wide and well-maintained, making it ideal for couples and families looking for a leisurely stroll. From the parking area, the trail contours downward for a mile and a half. As you make your way down, the sound of water slowly starts to build, eventually turning to a shower. Cross a footbridge, wind a corner and you’ll abruptly come to the falls. Overlooking the falls is a 240-foot suspension bridge, a sight in and of itself. Walking across the bridge, take a selfie with the falls in the background. The views are certainly spectacular from the bridge. However, the best view is just beyond the bridge. Walking to the other side of the suspension bridge, a switch-back trail leads you to the base of the falls. If you’re feeling daring, walk along the giant rocks to the falls for a truly drenching experience.

Cascade Head
The iconic Cascade Head Preserve is an Oregon Coast staple. Two trails lead to the top, a grassy hill where rare species of butterflies and flowers grow. The upper trail, which is open July 16th through December 31st, is the easiest way to access the headland and is also located right off Highway 101. But, for the sturdier hikers, the lower trail offers a true challenge. Starting at Knight Park, which is located off North Three Rocks Road, you will be treated to an easy stroll along a paved road to the trailhead. From there, the real challenge begins. A steep, upward climb through old-growth forest and streams. Before long, the forest opens to a meadow, where the trail levels off. From there, continue upward to the top. On a clear day, you can see 30 miles out to sea. Bring binoculars…you never know when a gray whale might pop up offshore. Leave Fido at home, as dogs are not allowed on the trail.

The Knoll
Considered by many locals as a mini version of Cascade Head, this hike is located in town, in the Roads End district. To get to the top, park at Roads End State Recreation Site and walk along Sal La Sea Drive, a gravel road that winds up a hill. Turn right on NE Port Avenue and you’ll come to a gate. Walk beyond the gate where the trail bears right. At the top, you are treated to a gorgeous view of the town, Devils Lake, and the ocean.

God’s Thumb
This striking headland is also located in the Roads End district of Lincoln City. From Roads End State Recreation Site, follow the same route towards the Knoll. Walk along Sal La Sea Drive, turn right on NE Port, and walk past the gate. The trail bears right and winds up to the Knoll. Continue north past the Knoll, where the trail takes you through impressive old-growth Sitka spruce. At a fork in the trail, take a left turn, where you’ll wind through a grassy meadow and more forest land. You’ll come to a hill overlooking God’s Thumb, where a connecting trail takes you to the base of the hill. Watch your step. The trail is steep at certain spots and should be tread lightly. The lower trail connects back to Logan Road, where you can walk along the road or beach back to your vehicle.

For more information about hiking in Lincoln City, be sure to visit our Hiking page.

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