9 Best Hiking and Running Trails at Cape Perpetua, OR

DISCLOSURE: Some of the links on itiswild.com are affiliate links. If you click on one of those links and make a purchase, we'll earn a small commission, at no cost to you.

Cape Perpetua is a popular coastal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. There are coastal sections with rugged features, overlooks with stunning ocean vistas, and Oregonian moss-covered forests waiting to de explored.

At Cape Perpetua, the trail system is fantastic. There is a choice of forest hikes, overlook climbs or coastal strolls. All of the routes are well-maintained and easy to follow. And despite the area’s popularity, many of the hiking options here are serene and tranquil, free from crowds.

Trails near Cape Perpetua:

  1. Saint Perpetua Trail
  2. Captain Cook Trail and Thor’s Well
  3. Cook’s Ridge and Gwynn Creek Loop
  4. Amanda’s Trail
  5. Giant Spruce Trail
  6. Cummins Creek Trail
  7. Discovery Loop Trail
  8. Devil’s Churn to Thor’s Well
  9. Cummins Ridge Trail to Cummins Peak

1. Saint Perpetua Trail

Saint Perpetua Trail
  • Type: Out and Back
  • Trail Length: 2.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 838 feet
  • Time to Complete: 1h 30min
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Visitors Center: Google Maps
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Description: Saint Perpetua Trail is a short but steep climb to Cape Perpetua Overlook. It is one of the highest-rated trails in the area, with killer ocean views and PNW forest with alien-looking mushrooms. If you’re looking for a short, all-in-one experience at Cape Perpetua, this is it.

2. Captain Cook Trail and Thor’s Well

Captain Cook Trail and Thor's Well
  • Type: Loop
  • Trail Length: 0.6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 100 feet
  • Time to Complete: 30min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Trailhead Lot: Google Maps
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Description: Thor’s Well is a must-see destination on Highway 101. It’s a paved and short route to the rugged beach with unique features. You will be captivated by the power of the ocean as it crushes and spews. It’s the perfect stop to stretch your legs.

3. Cook’s Ridge and Gwynn Creek Loop

  • Type: Loop
  • Trail Length: 6.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,374 feet
  • Time to Complete: 3h
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Visitors Center: Google Maps
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Description: Cook’s Ridge and Gwynn Creek Loop is a fantastic route with a ridge climb, hiking along the creek, and a coastline section. It offers stunning views, a terrific fern-covered forest, and a decent workout, all in one hike. It is also an excellent choice for runners as there is only one steep section.

4. Amanda’s Trail

  • Type: Out and Back
  • Trail Length: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,460 feet
  • Time to Complete: 3h
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Trailhead Lot: Google Maps
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Description: Amanda’s Trail is all about the forest experience. It has all the best parts of classic PNW woods like moss-covered trees, fern, fungi, and humidity. If you want to add some ocean views, too, take Whispering Spruce Trail from the trailhead. It is only 0.4 miles long, but it leads to the most popular overlook in the area with terrific coastline views.

5. Giant Spruce Trail

  • Type: Out and Back
  • Trail Length: 2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 248 feet
  • Time to Complete: 1h
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Visitors Center: Google Maps
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Description: Giant Spruce Trail is a short but fun route along the creek. It leads to the enormous spruce tree that dwarfs everything around. It’s an easy, relatively flat option, perfect for a run.

6. Cummins Creek Trail

  • Type: Lollipop
  • Trail Length: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,321 feet
  • Time to Complete: 3h
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Trailhead Lot: Google Maps
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Description: Cummins Creek Trail is another typical Oregon forest route. There aren’t any ocean views, but this lollipop trail is quiet and tranquil, without any crowds. If you are seeking solitude and want to immerse yourself in nature, this is the perfect option. It is also great for trail running.

7. Discovery Loop Trail

  • Type: Lollipop
  • Trail Length: 1.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 450 feet
  • Time to Complete: 45min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Visitors Center: Google Maps
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Description: Discovery Loop is a fun route with creek crossings, spruce trees, and wildlife. It is well-maintained, well-marked, and leads to other trails on this list. It is the perfect loop in the woods if you don’t have time for longer hikes.

8. Devil’s Churn to Thor’s Well

  • Type: Out and Back
  • Trail Length: 1.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 251 feet
  • Time to Complete: 1h
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Trailhead Lot: Google Maps
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Description: This trail combines all the Cape Perpetua coastal features in one hike. You will see Devil’s Churn, Cape Cove Beach, Thor’s Well, and Sprouting Horn. It is a must-do trail and the perfect stop for a leg stretch when driving Highway 101.

9. Cummins Ridge Trail to Cummins Peak

  • Type: Out and Back
  • Trail Length: 13.4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2,418 feet
  • Time to Complete: 7h
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Parking: Trailhead Lot: Google Maps
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Description: Cummins Ridge Trail is the longest and the most challenging route near Cape Perpetua. It won’t win prizes for the most scenic hike, but it runs through Oregon’s only old-growth Sitka Spruce area; these evergreens can be over 300ft tall. If you can’t get enough of the Oregonian wilderness, this trail is your best bet.

Final Thoughts

Cape Perpetua is one of Oregon’s top coastal destinations. It is also a popular stopover on the Highway 101 road trips. Yet, it doesn’t feel crowded. There is plenty of space for everyone, and on some of these trails, you won’t meet more than a handful of other hikers.

More Trails in Oregon:

Lakes in Oregon: