4896
Oregon

A Hiking Adventure Along Oregon's Central Coast

Hike old-growth forests along the Oregon Coast as you learn about local ecosystems, explore coastal dunes. Choose from two hiking options of varying distances and elevations.
Rating (4.8)
Program No. 4896RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,249
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Florence, OR
D
Driftwood Shores

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration & Orientation: 5:00 p.m. in the hotel meeting room. After you have your room assignment, join us in the hotel meeting room to register with the Road Scholar program staff. You’ll receive a welcome packet with the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, and other important information. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in. Remember to bring your name-tag (sent previously). The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This program is staffed with both a Study Leader and a knowledgeable Group Leader who will provide educational content. Hiking field trips will be led by local experts and Group Leaders. Participants will need to stay with their hike leaders throughout field trips. Listening devices will be used at some points during the hikes with occasional stops to observe and learn about local flora and fauna. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the hotel meeting room at 6:00 p.m., we’ll have a buffet dinner with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Heceta Head Lighthouse, Coastal Rainforests & Ocean Views
Florence, OR
B,L,D
Driftwood Shores

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; driving about 28 miles, approximately 1 hour throughout the day. Morning hike: 1.2 miles; paved or gravel surface; total elevation gain 75 feet. Two afternoon hike choices: A) 4 miles, approximately 2 hours; variable terrain including hard-packed forest trail with occasional tree roots and firm-packed sand; slight elevation gains. B) 4.6 miles, approximately 3 hours; variable terrain including hard-packed forest trail with occasional tree roots; elevation gain 285 feet.

Breakfast: In the hotel meeting room, have what you like from the breakfast buffet with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water included. We will also pick up our lunches before setting out.

Morning: We will gather for a brief presentation on outdoor safety with our Group Leader and Study Leader. Next, we will set out on our first hike together to historic Heceta Head Lighthouse, situated on a cliff 205 feet above the ocean. We’ll learn about area history including this working lighthouse dating from 1894. We’ll also observe shore birds and be on the lookout for possible sightings of sea lions and grey whales. We’ll then head to Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park for lunch.

Lunch: At the Washburne State Park picnic area, we’ll have our boxed lunches with a sandwich, side, and water.

Afternoon: We will divide into smaller groups and have a choice of two hikes with different distances, durations, and locations. Hike A will cover 4 miles (approximately 2 hours) on the Valley Trail, Hobbit Trail, and ocean beach. Hike B will cover 4.6 miles (approximately 3 hours) on the China Creek Loop. Our experts will provide overviews of the local forest and beach flora and fauna. Returning to the hotel, we will have some time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: Hotel meeting room buffet.

Evening: We will gather in our meeting room for a presentation by our Study Leader on Central Oregon Coast geology.

DAY
3
Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, Giant Spruce & Old Growth Forests
Florence, OR
B,L,D
Driftwood Shores

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; driving about 45 miles, approximately 1 hour throughout the day. Morning hike: 0.5 miles, approximately 1 hour; hard-packed gravel surface, slight elevation changes. Two afternoon hike choices: A) 4 miles, approximately 4 hours; paved asphalt and variable terrain forest trail over roots, rocks, stairs; 100-200 feet elevation gain. B) 6.5 miles, approximately 4 hours; variable terrain forest trails with roots; elevation gain 1,100 feet.

Breakfast: Hotel meeting room buffet. We will also pick up our lunches before setting out.

Morning: We will travel by bus and ride 25 miles north along the scenic Oregon Coast Highway 101 to the 803-foot summit of Cape Perpetua. We’ll walk together for about half a mile (approximately 1 hour) along the Whispering Spruce Trail. We’ll have incredible views of the coastline and a stop at an historic stone observation shelter built in the early 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

Lunch: At a scenic spot, we’ll have our boxed lunches.

Afternoon: We will divide into smaller groups and have a choice of two hikes with different distances, durations, and locations. Hike A will cover about 4 miles (approximately 4.5 hours including lunch) in two segments of 2 miles each. In the first segment, we will hike on the Captain Cook, Cape Cove, and Restless Waters trails along the rocky basalt coastline with an elevation gain of about 100 feet with some stairs. In the second segment, we’ll hike on the Giant Spruce trail to an impressively large, 500-year old Sitka spruce. It stands more than 185 feet tall and has a circumference of 40 feet. Hike B will cover about 6.5 miles (approximately 4.5 hours including lunch). We will hike on the Cook’s Ridge, Gwynn Creek, Oregon Trail/Pioneer Road loop trail through lush old growth forests with an elevation gain of 1,100 feet. Returning to the hotel, we will have some time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: Hotel meeting room buffet.

Evening: A local expert will give us a presentation on Native American history and cultures at Cape Perpetua.

DAY
4
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Tahkenitch Dune Trail
Florence, OR
B,L,D
Driftwood Shores

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; driving about 40 miles, approximately 1 hour throughout the day. Hike A: 4-5 miles (approximately 4 hours); packed forest trail with loose sand, firm sand trail on beach; elevation gain 200 feet. Hike B: 6.2 miles (approximately 4.5 hours); hard-packed forest trail followed by soft/firm sand trails, elevation gain 430 feet. Both groups will have to cross a 0.5 mile steep, uphill section of soft sand on return trip.

Breakfast: Hotel meeting room buffet. We will also pick up our lunches before setting out.

Morning: Following a 20-mile drive south of Florence, we will have two separate hiking choices. Hike A will cover about 4 miles (approximately 4.5 hours including lunch) on the Tahkenitch Dune Trail with an elevation gain of 200 feet that will take us into the Oregon dunes and out to a wilderness ocean beach. Hike B will cover about 6.2 miles (approximately 5 hours including lunch) on the Three Mile Lake Tahkenitch Dune loop trail with an elevation gain of 430 feet that will take us to a wilderness ocean beach.

Lunch: At a scenic spot, we’ll have our boxed lunches.

Afternoon: Our hikes will continue before returning to the hotel.

Dinner: Hotel meeting room buffet.

Evening: We will have a slideshow lecture presented by our Study Leader on Oregon marine mammals and the role of the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network. This volunteer organization promotes the scientific investigation of marine mammal stranding events; provides for the welfare of live stranded animals; disentangles marine mammals from fishery gear and debris; and promotes public education.

DAY
5
Oregon Dunes Ride, Sweet Creek Falls Hike, Wrap-up
Florence, OR
B,L,D
Driftwood Shores

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; driving about 70 miles, approximately 2 hours throughout the day. Getting on/off a dune vehicle. Dress in layers for dune field trip. Hiking about 3 miles, approximately 2 hours; mostly hard-packed forest trail with elevated catwalks, steps, tree roots, wet spots, some broken rock surfaces; elevation gain 280 feet.

Breakfast: Hotel meeting room buffet. We will also pick up our lunches before setting out.

Morning: We will travel south of Florence to Sand Dune Frontier for a field trip aboard a large, slow-moving dune transport vehicle to explore the stunning dune geology. A local expert will discuss the past, present, and uncertain future of the Oregon Dunes. We will see grand vistas with great opportunities for photography. After returning from the dunes, we will drive 25 miles east into the coastal foothills to the Sweet Creek Falls trail, considered one of the best hikes on the Oregon Coast.

Lunch: On the Sweet Creek Falls trail, we’ll have our boxed lunches amid lush ferns and the relaxing sounds of the falls.

Afternoon: Next, we will walk up a 1.5 mile trail past thirteen cascading waterfalls to Sweet Creek Falls, then return via the same trail back to the trailhead. The trail surface is mostly hard-packed forest trail with elevated cat-walks, steps, tree roots, wet spots, and some broken rock surfaces with a 280-foot elevation gain.

Dinner: We will ride to a restaurant in Florence for a plated meal with entrée, side dish, and dessert plus beverage choices of coffee, tea, water included; other beverage available for purchase. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: Back at the hotel, we will gather for a wrap-up presentation with our Group Leader. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Florence, OR
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel meeting room buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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