An Early Spring Hike to the Summit of the Coastal Mountains

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Gales Creek Trail

I enjoy hiking in the Coastal Mountains. It’s always an interesting change of environment compared to the Cascade Mountains to the east which are currently closed to access.

In early April I took a pleasant eight-mile out-and-back hike on the Gales Creek Trail to Bells Camp Road from the west side of the Coastal Mountains.

Upper trailhead

I started the day by driving 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 awhile 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.

Other than seeing a couple of logging trucks, I pretty much had the trail to myself.

Wood Sorrel with its telltale shamrock leaves


Salmonberry, Bleeding Heart and Indian Plum

Loaded logging truck on Bell Camp Road

Trillium Lilies

Trail passes over long-abandoned railroad track

A courtesy of old-time elk hunters – – – leave some dry wood for the next person camping at the site

Easy to get lost within the maze of logging roads



Categories: Oregon Coastal Mountain HikingTags: , ,


  1. You are an inspiration John!

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