Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mile 142.8 to Mile 151.5: Beverly Beach State Park (north of Newport) to Yaquina Bay South Jetty (south of Newport)

Notations such as “(Hike 45)” refer to hikes in my book “Day Hiking: Oregon Coast.”
Cumulative mileage figures in parentheses refer to mileage in this section only.
This is a short stretch; hike it as a short day or tack it on to the start or end of a longer day. Newport is a fine place for a layover day; it’s an interesting, vibrant coastal town with lots of good places to eat (particularly meaningful when you're walking many miles a day).  

From Beverly Beach State Park, return to the beach and head south for 2 miles. As you approach Yaquina Head, look for a trail leading off the beach near Moolack Shores Motel. Walk along the highway for 1.5 miles to the traffic light at Lighthouse Drive (heading toward Yaquina Lighthouse); Lucky Gap Trail to the beach begins at the bottom of the parking area south of Lighthouse Road and just off the highway (where you should also find a portable toilet).

From Lucky Gap, follow the beach about 3.5 miles to the mouth of Yaquina Bay (passing beach access and water/toilets at Nye Beach). There are cafes and hotels/motels close to the beach at Nye Beach; the charming Sylvia Beach Hotel has (in additional to private hotel rooms that often must be reserved months in advance) dorm rooms where you can get an inexpensive bunk for the night. (I did, but I didn’t find it particularly restful. Might have just been the mix of women who were there that night.)

Approaching the north jetty at Yaquina Bay, look for concrete stairs leading up to the old lighthouse (toilets/water); walk up and out to the highway and over the Yaquina Bay Bridge (7.7 miles). Alternatively, apparently there is now a short trail now (I haven’t walked it yet) that leads under the north end of the bridge from the beach to the bayfront, if you want to get a bite to eat or whatever.) At the south end of the bay bridge, head down the stairs and walk a short distance north to 2nd Avenue; follow it west about 1 mile along the south jetty to return to the beach. Or, about 0.25 before reaching the beach, head south on Old Jetty Trail at South Beach State Park (Hike 45) to walk through the dunes 0.5 mile or so before taking one of three intersecting trails west, to return to the beach, or east to reach the park campground (the hiker-biker camp is at the south end of the campground, near the registration booth).

I’ll end this section description here (at about 9.2 miles); until the campground at Brian Booth State Park is completed and opens in 2016 or later (see next blog post), you won’t reach another state park campground for 17.1 miles.

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