|View of Tillamook Bay midway along Dike Rd, by Jerry Sutherland|
|View of Pacific Ocean from South Jetty, by Jerry Sutherland|
So, a round trip from the parking lot to the jetty can range from 7 to 9 miles. A steady but leisurely hike, with a break for lunch on the jetty, would take you four to five hours. Along the way you'll meet others packing fishing gear on their bikes, walking their dogs, riding horses, and taking photos.
|from Bobcat at Oregon Hikers|
Online Bayocean field guides and maps are available in several places including Oregon Hikers and Every Trail. If you have dogs (on leash, not chasing wildlife, of course) Ellen Morris Bishop features Bayocean in her Best Hikes With Dogs: Oregon. Bill Sullivan describes a route across the sand gap, between the forested hills, and adds a nice historical perspective in Hiking Oregon's History.
The Tillamook County web site and posted signs say that overnight camping is not allowed on Bayocean. Seeing evidence of these on hikes, and reading web sites claiming the overnight camping prohibition only applies to vehicles, prompted to get some clarification. So, I called Del Schleichert, Tillamook County Parks Director. He said that all of these activities are indeed prohibited and enforced. Overnight camping is illegal anywhere on the spit, whether you drive or backpack to the spot. You might not see the county sheriff or a deputy patrolling along Dike Road, but they can, and will if they suspect a violation is in progress. One of the main reasons for the prohibition is campfires. They could get out of control and wipe out Bayocean's old growth forest before any fire trucks could get there.