Oregon Beach – Pacific City / Cape Kiwanda


Cape Kiwanda

April 22, 2012

Info: Taken from the Oregon State Parks and Recreation site (http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_180.php)

Cape Kiwanda is part of the Three Capes Scenic Route (along with Cape Meares and Cape Lookout). Kiwanda is the smallest of the three, but it’s one of the best places to experience spectacular wave action. Pacific City is the home of the Pacific Dory Fleet. South of Cape Kiwanda is the dory boat launching area. North of Cape Kiwanda to Tierra Del Mar is a stretch of beach popular with picnickers. Kiwanda provides great hang gliding and kite flying opportunities.

Vital stats
There is no fee to use this park. For information, call 1-800-551-6949.

Jenn’s View: Well, all I got to say is this is one my FAVORITE beaches to visit. We have a great way to exercise up the sand hill and/or Cape Kiwanda State Natural area and that’s a work out in itself. Places to sit and enjoy the views as you can tell from the above picture. Look at my hike in the Suislaw National Forest and this is minutes from these hikes. Go do those hikes and end in Pacific City for food and watch the sunset.



Shadowlynn enjoying the beach! Muffy enjoying the beach Jennifer Piol enjoying the beach

This is the day I did the two hikes above and decided to end the day at Pacific City. It is a popular beach so do expect a lot of people ON the beach. Cape Kiwanda wasn’t too bad. I still love it. This time I didn’t go with Scott :(. I really wanted to go to his house in Terrebonne but something came up so I decided to go by myself and find these hikes. I’m so happy I did. I did take Scott to Pacific City a few weekends later and he absolutely loves it. I absolutely loved it because I was with him….awwwwwwww….sappy, I know!

So, I changed shoes and decided to change into sand shoes… he he… No hiking shoes this time! I don’t know why these are sandshoes – I guess they dry quickly if they get wet but dang I ended with the whole darn beach IN my shoes.

Pacific City / Cape Kiwanda

Cape Kiwanda is hike up. Oh gosh…I was pretty tired after hiking a couple hikes and then trying to control the dogs to stay with me and not chase the people running down the hill. Shadowlynn is pretty scary when she goes after someone. She will get shot one of these days. Muffy is the instigator though!

Oregon Beach Oregon Beach Oregon Beach

Got some great shots while I was on the beach. My favorite shot is me sitting on the edge watching the ocean.

Oregon Beach

Oregon Beach

Oregon Beach

Maybe or maybe not, you can see the algae that is on the rocks. Well, when I was taking a picture of the cave, I slipped on the darn algae and almost fell in. That would be NOT good. Muffy and Shadowlynn may follow after me. Someone did see me slip and freaked out. He was being smart and said he may have had to jump in after me to save me….yea right!

Oregon Beach

See the sea of algae on the rocks. Be careful since it’s real slippery.

Sea of Algae

These are the shots that I got that almost made me fall in to the dark abyss of the water! And if you know me, I’m actually scared of the ocean. You know the sharks, giant squids, the UNKNOWN!

Oregon Beach

Oregon Beach Cave

Of course, I highly recommend this beach. Hopefully it’s not crowded for you all.  I’ve added more pictures below. Some were taken by my camera phone which isn’t all that great but oh well. I’m not claiming to be a professional photographer or even an amateur photographer!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.






Oregon Coast – Tillamook County – Clarence Creek Falls


APRIL 22. 2012

Info: From the Waterfall Northwest Society (http://www.waterfallsnorthwest.com/nws/falls.php?num=4087) The Forest Service has advertised Clarence Creek Falls by sign along the Nestucca River Road. What neither the Forest Service has done, nor does the book “A Waterfall Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest”, is identify which of the two waterfalls along Clarence Creek is intended this designation. Topographic maps delimitate the different falls, but the lower of the two falls is near impossible to see, especially if not watching carefully. The lower falls consists of three sliding steps, totaling about 60 feet. A significant amount of foreshortening doesn’t allow the falls’ size to truly be illustrated, and a twist in the gorge at the falls obstructs the upper tiers from being seen from all but a few perspectives. Because the upper and lower falls of Clarence Creek are located within about 500 feet of one another, I’m designating them as lower and upper. Unfortunately neither fall is easy to see because there are no developed trails or viewpoints, this being the vastly more difficult to see.
  1. On Hwy 101 south of Tillamook enter the town of Beaver.
  2. Near milepost 80 turn onto the road signed as “Upper Nestucca River Recreation Area” and “Blaine”.
    Note the mileposts on this road as you travel.
  3. After 6.7 miles you’ll reach the town of Blaine. Where the road branches
    note the sign stating “Carlton”. Head straight towards Carlton on Road 858.
  4. At milepost 11.7 look for a left turn on a road with a “Road Closed” sign.
    You will note the following sign for Road 8300

Jenn’s View: This fall would be so amazing to photograph if only I was brave enough to climb down. It would be better if I had rope and someone with me to climb down. I know EXACTLY where I would set up my tripod and take 1000+ pictures to get that ONE great picture. LOL. Now, the directions in the  book SUCKS! I was lost and missed my turn by 10+ miles! I ended up in some National Forest (probably Suislaw National Forest) and man did I need to go Pee. Awww Geez. Who reads this anyways?   So, not really sure where I was. I think I saw Forest Road 8838 (?) so I know I was waaaayyy off. I didn’t see anyone on the road so I couldn’t ask. I ended up driving on some gravel road and there was a fork in the road so I turned around and headed back. When I was coming back on the road and back tracking, I saw a sign that said Clarence Creek Falls. I remembered that was very close to the falls I really wanted to go to – Niagara Falls. I turned on to that road.  Its Forest Road 8300 – you are on the right road!

The next sign is on the road and it’s pretty much a warning. Just remember there are traps and your dogs can get seriously hurt.

Tillamook - Clarence Creek Falls

I couldn’t get a picture of the falls. I drove up and down trying to figure out how to get down there but nope, nada. ANYONE ACTUALLY GOT DOWN HERE???? Well, let me know! There has been people who got a shot of this. Here is one by Bryan Swan.

Tillamook Oregon, Suislaw national Forest

If anyone can get a shot like this….Please Please Please comment and let me know where I can find your pictures!

Oregon Coast – Tillamook County – Niagara Falls and Pheasant Creek Falls


Tillamook County, Niagara Falls Tillamook County - Pheasant Creek Falls

April 22, 2012

Info: taken from Trails NW website (http://www.trailsnw.com/index.php?fuseaction=Trails.DisplayTrail&hike_num=174)

This is a short hike great for all seasons. If you are taking a trip to the coast and want to get a short hike in this is a great one. The two waterfalls at the end of the short trial rival those found in the Gorge or Silver Creek state park. From the Car Park the trail descends down the side of a creek bed to the confluence of Pheasant and Niagara creeks. The end of the trail is at the head of Niagara creek bed where both Niagra creek and pheasant creek plunge off of the cliff edge. The impressive thing about this trial is that both waterfalls are in the same spot, where the creeks come together.

Directions: From Highway 101 in Beaver:
Travel east on Blaine Road for 6 miles. At Blaine Junction go east on Upper Nestucca River Road for 5.8 miles to Forest Road 8533. Go south 4.3 miles to Forest Road 8533-131. Turn right at the junction and travel 0.7 miles to trailhead parking.

Jenn’s View: Great hike! Very easy and short and you are rewarded with two falls within yards of each other! Great hike for both the dogs! Shadowlynn and Muffy had an awesome time. The directions in my hiking book were WAAAAYYYY off. I did miss it by over 10 miles.  There are NO signs pointing to the falls and the road looks like it belongs on someone’s property. This is the only landmark I can find that MAY help you find this trail. The road after the blue building is the trail that leads to Clarence Creek Falls!

Tillamook County - Niagara Falls and Pheasant Creek Falls

I wish I wrote the coordinates down for ya’ll but hopefully this marker helps.  There is another sign that will indicate that you are on the right road.

Tillamook County - Suislaw National Forest

So, the road is all gravel. My poor car. It goes through so much abuse. I try to avoid all the pot holes or go real slow but you know how it is.

It’s pretty accurate about it being approximately 4 miles to the trail head. The road goes on forever and there is a fork in the road. The sign is small and skinny so be watching for it. It doesn’t indicate that it is Niagara Falls so I turned and sure enough, it was.

Niagara Falls - Suislaw National Forest

The trail is pretty and short. My puppies really enjoyed it, especially Muffy. I normally don’t bring Muffy with me cuz she is so small. I’m always afraid something will swoop down and grab her. The beginning of the trail

Shadowlynn on the trail

This is a great trail for families and all levels of fitness. It is not a difficult trail because they have alot of places to rest and the trail is not long. It is also NOT a busy trail so it’s quite a fun trail. Bring a lunch! There’s a picnic table at the end of the trail so it’s nice.

niagara Falls bench

There are a few bridges on this trail.

Huge plants at the creek. They were HUGE! If I had a pond, I would have at least one.

Niagara Falls plants

Wouldn’t be my blog without pictures of me. Started sweating and my hair on my head gets hot! LOL. EWWW. Told Scott that I need to put a bandana on my head. Scott says he will still date me, even if I look like an Asian Aunt Jemima!

Niagara Falls - Suislaw National Forest Niagara Falls Trail

The falls are awesome. It’s hard to take a picture of the falls because there really isn’t a place to set up to get the whole falls in the picture.  The first fall that you come to is the actual Niagara Falls

Tillamook County, Niagara Falls

Just down the path, you come to another fall…PHEASANT CREEK FALLS. It’s smaller but I bet during the summer, it is a bit bigger when the snow melts

There is a small picnic bench near Pheasant Creek Falls to have a picnic. You just need to hike to get there so no large coolers. he he

This was a great hike for family and kids. I would highly recommend this hike. I can’t wait to grab a map of the Suislaw National Forest so I can discover more trails. It’s not very far from Salem so I’m pretty stoked about it. hahahaha…stoked?

Please let me know if you have done this hike and what you think. Maybe I saw you on the trail that day? Let me know! If you are a blogger, send me your link!

I ended the day at Pacific City. It’s only about 20-30 minutes away so it was nice to end the day.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Oregon Coast – Drift Creek Falls (#)


APRIL 15, 2012

Info: There is not much information on the Siuslaw National Forest site where this fall is at. You can check it out here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/siuslaw/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=42681&actid=50. Here is a better description found on Portland Hikers Field Guide (http://www.portlandhikersfieldguide.org/wiki/Drift_Creek_Falls_Hike)

This hike offers something for everyone, a waterfall, a huge suspension bridge and a nice view of Coast Range forest. The trail is wide and well maintained. The only flaw may be that it’s elevation backwards; you have a nice stroll down, then you need to climb back out.

The trail starts by slabbing down a ridge toward the east. The trail is timbered in 50 year old regrowth, but there’s a nearby clear cut, visible through the trees. Together, they create an interesting study of the forest healing itself. After a bit, the trail reaches the end of the ridge, rounds it and heads back westward into a small side canyon. You may hear voices from across the way and soon you’ll see that the trail goes back down the other side of the valley, creating a charming little U turn with a couple of small bridges over trickling, seasonal creeks. Just past the U, there’s a trail junction. The uphill trail is an alternate route to the same place. It’s not as well maintained as the main trail and it provides (or curses you) with more elevation gain.

Continuing down the main trail, you’ll again round a ridge and start heading down to a larger stream. You’ll hear the water as you descend. Towards the bottom the trail gets into a marshy area that can be overgrown in the spring and summer. Watch out for stinging nettles here. That alternate route rejoins the main trail here, just before the trail reaches the stream. There’s a pretty safe area for kids to wade in the creek here, as well. The trail continues down the creek a bit, before crossing it on a decent sized bridge.

Beyond this upper bridge, the trail passes a few large trees and there’s another near miss with a fresher clear cut. Soon, you’ll come to “The” bridge. This suspension bridge kind of sneaks up on you. You crest a small knoll and suddenly you’ve arrived at one of the most interesting locations in the coast range. The creek we’ve been following suddenly plunges 75 feet into the Drift Creek Canyon and the trail stays level, spanning the 100 foot deep canyon by hanging from cables. It really has to be seen to be appreciated. At the far end of the bridge is a picnic table. The trail continues down to the bottom of the falls, but beyond the end of the bridge, it’s pretty treacherous, particularly in wet weather.

Directions: (http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/siuslaw/recreation/recarea/?recid=42683) Highway 101 entry – Off Highway 101 south of Lincoln City, north of Salishan. Travel east on Drift Creek Road, right on South Drift Creek Road 1/4 mile. Turn left onto Forest Service Road 17. Stay on Forest Service Road 17 to trailhead, approximately, 10 miles. Highway 101/Highway 18 entry – At Highway 101/18 junction travel east 4.5 miles on Hwy 18. Travel south on Bear Creek County Road 3.5 miles. Continue straight 7 miles on Forest Service Road 17 to trailhead.

Jenn’s View: Great little trail. Round trip was about 3 miles. Great for the family. Don’t forget that there is a $5 Recreation Fee that you can fill out the envelope and drop off the moola at the beginning of the trail.  I wish I saw this fall before the landslide. It actually looked pretty cool. To the right was a picture of it prior to the landslide. I guess the landslide happened in Aug 2010? You can read more about it at http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/siuslaw/news-events/?cid=STELPRDB5193594. Where the picture was taken from. There was also bathrooms located near the beginning of the trail which is always super duper nice!

Drift Creek Falls

Drift Creek Falls before the slide.

The path to the creek was actually quite pleasant. My 15 year old daughter, Alesia was wearing her UGG boots on the trail which really, I don’t know what she was thinking. She brought her boyfriend along, Logan and their baby – Jerome. Now Jerome is a child development project for school. He isn’t a real baby but he cries, needs to be fed on a schedule, and change his diaper. C’mon folks – let my 15 year old get pregnant? Yeah, right. LOL. I kick her butt.  Here the happy family poses at the first bridge that we came to. More pictures at the bridge. I think Logan and Scott took better pictures.  The first sign you come to, you can either take the high road or the low road….we chose the low road. The North loop is just that — a loop. You end up back at the trail near the second little bridge. We would get complaints from the kiddos if we had to go “extra” mileage if we really didn’t have to. I didn’t bring a subway sammich to take with us and the kids were getting hungry.  I guess we could have had Jerome’s baby bottle – oh wait – it’s fake.

  Drift Creek Falls sign  We got to the second “little” bridge and had a great opportunity to take pictures. Second little bridge on Drift Creek  Unfortunately, I forgot my tripod in the car (actually I didn’t – Alesia did! but that is such a whole lotta different story there). So the pictures were limited to just an “auto” shot.

Drift Creek Like I said, great place to take pictures.

Scott Wenger on little Bridge  Jennifer Piol and Alesia Hunter on Drift Creek  Alesia Hunter and Jerome at Drift Creek  After this bridge, you hike through more forest before hitting the BIG Suspension bridge. Drift Creek Wilderness We finally make it to the bridge. Scott made me nervous because he’s not much for heights but such a trooper —  he crossed it, despite Logan wiggling the bridge.

Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge  Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge  Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge  Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge Alesia and Logan were the first to brave the bridge…. They have no fear until they found out what’s really holding the bridge together – these little tiny pins. 🙂

Suspension Bridge with Logan and Alesia  Now, it’s really hard to take pictures of the ANYTHING when someone is bouncing on the bridge or trying to make it wiggle. Not sure what Logan was thinking – boys will be boys.

Drift Creek Falls

So proud of Scott for making it over the bridge.  Scott Wenger crossing the Suspension Bridge  Alesia being silly, as always. Alesia Hunter on Suspension Bridge Scott and I on the bridge!

Alesia and I started climbing down to get to the bottom of the rocks. Little did we know that there is an actual trail that leads to the bottom. Instead we took the muddy way.

Alesia Hunter at bottom of Drift Creek Falls

The suspension bridge looking up. Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge After hanging out for a little bit, we headed back. Clam chowder in Lincoln City actually sounded good but I think we were still talking about Subway Sandwiches. We didn’t want to eat anything heavy because we had steaks marinating in the refrigerator.

Siuslaw National Forest

All pictures for your viewing pleasure:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.