Submitted By: scrubjay
From the junction of US 101 and Hwy 18 (3 miles north of Lincoln City) drive north on US 101 about four miles. Just before cresting the pass, turn left on NFD 1861. Follow the Harts Cove signs to the trailhead.
WARNING - NFD 1861 is CLOSED from January 1 to July 15 to protect flora and fauna. From the trailhead the trail winds through mixed new and old growth forest, crossing a creek (the bridge has been out for quite some time). It skirts the headland for awhile before crossing a short pass to a meadow above the cove. The cove almost always has hundreds of sea lions, and it is a good point for whale watching December 26 - December 31, weather permitting.
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Despite the description, not too many signs to the trailhead. When you come to the "Y" in the road, stay to the left & drive to the end. Recommend that you bring good binocs & camera. Great views at the end, lots of sea lions to the south & haystack to the north. Trail is nicely groomed & maintained. Pretty steep for the 1st 1/2 mile but fairly casual after that.