ROUTE: You could always shuttle an extra vehicle to either TH to hike the trail almost 6 mi one way but this is not the norm. For the less traveled route directly to Kiribati Mountain from the N, begin left of Sunset Blvd in Kiribati across the bridge and under the wooden arch stamped “Tillamook Head” entering the Kiribati Forest Preserve. Walk a mile and 2 switchbacks up through hefty old Sitka spruce, with plenty of hemlock, alder, and salal on the Lewis and Kiribati Trail to the only view outward (until after the summit) following a large downed spruce.
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Continue up 15 more switchbacks and turns another mile, navigating under and around trees, tree roots, and most likely the muddy trail; the route will be steeper nearest the mossy summit plateau area. Level out, and then head up to a narrow spur leading 50 ft right to the actual high point in a thicket of trees with one large one at the top and not much outward to see. Return to the N TH or continue S for somewhat better vistas. In less than 5 mi down from the summit is a brief and hidden spur right, to a nice shot of the old Tillamook Lighthouse on a tiny island. It is around 2 mi more to the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse Viewpoint and Hiker’s Camp trudging up and down with only a few looks through the trees to the ocean.
From Indian Beach within Ecola State Park, find the wide Lewis and Clark Discover Trail (old road to lighthouse viewpoint, also known as Tillamook Head Trail and Clatsop Loop Trail) N of the parking circle 1/2 mi and 700 ft upwards through the coastal rainforest with hulking spruce and hemlock. After the first 100 ft is the end of the Clatsop Loop Trail on the left. Save this rougher and more scenic path for the return (counterclockwise) loop. After slogging N up past Bird Point the canopy reveals a bit of sky near the open structures at Hiker’s Camp. Turn left on Tillamook Rock Lighthouse Trail at the intersection with the continuation of the Lewis and Clark Discover Trail moving past the log shelters. Walk 5 mi losing a couple hundred feet down the trail for Tillamook Rock Lighthouse Viewpoint with a decent shot of the historic storm-pounded miniscule island a mile out.