DISTANCE: 87.8 miles*
ELEVATION GAIN: 5980 feet
HEADLAND SUMMITS: Otter Crest (480 feet), Yaquina Head (160 feet), Cape Perpetua (960 feet), Heceta Head (530 feet), Sea Lion Point (550 feet)
The route is close to US 101 most of the way, though the ocean’s roar tends to mask any traffic noise. On beach sections you’ll frequently be walking past oceanfront homes, and you’ll be ducking in and out of towns. Long stretches of rocky coastline move the OCT onto side roads and the US 101 shoulder in places. This section begins and ends at big bays, with two more along the way, but none require (or provide options for) a boat shuttle; instead you’ll be crossing the bays on bridges.
This is a good stretch for inn-to-inn hiking, with a lot of lodging options, though there are a couple of longer stretches (unless you can score vacation rentals to break them up). There are also a fair number of developed campgrounds, which is good: with all those towns, opportunities for legal beach camping are somewhat limited. But their spacing still requires some relatively long days, unless you opt for a night at a motel.
*Everyone counts mileage on the OCT a little differently. This is the number I came up with for my guidebook Hiking the Oregon Coast Trail. It differs a little from the figure in my earlier guidebook Day Hiking: Oregon Coast.
As of September 2021
I know of no trail closures in this section. Some trails at Cape Perpetua got hit by the September 2021 windstorm, but all sections of the OCT through this area are open.