Nehalem River to the Summit of the Coastal Mountains

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Gales Creek Trail

I enjoy the 14-mile out-and-back hike on the Gales Creek Trail to Bells Camp Road on the crest of the Coastal Mountains. For most of its way the trail follows Gales Creek on the east side of the mountains.

A shorter, steeper hike is the seven-mile out-and-back hike on the Gales Creek Trail to Bells Camp Road from the west side of the Coastal Mountains.

On the second weekend of the new year I drove to the Reehers Camp Trailhead west of Timber, a great name for a small logging town in Western Oregon.

The trail followed the Nehalem River for a ways before crossing the river and beginning the 1,500-foot climb to Bells Camp Road.

The trail is poorly marked, but makes for a nice outing. On the summit I explored some logging roads for awhile before starting the return trip.

At one point the trail crossed the long-abandoned Tillamook Railroad track before reaching the Nehalem River which ultimately flows into the Pacific Ocean at Nehalem Bay.

Where’s the leprechaun?

Nehalem River

Witch’s-hair Lichen

Easy to get lost within the maze of logging roads

Abandoned stretch of the Tillamook Railroad track

Summit of Coastal Mountains

Trail heading up the mountain

Not much fun in bushwhacking

Springboard slot

Witch’s-hair Lichen



Categories: Oregon Coastal Mountain HikingTags: , , ,


  1. Really enjoyed joining you on this hike, John, as always. This time of year the lichen is spectacular, I can imagine it really does feel like a leprechaun could pop out at any moment. A poorly marked trail is always fun, thanks for this adventure today.

  2. My lord it looks beautiful!
    Confession, I spent a minute or so looking for the leprechaun. There isn’t one there is there?

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