Guide To God’s Thumb Hike: A Gorgeous Secret On The Oregon Coast

gods thumb

A local favorite and long time secret, the God’s Thumb hike in Lincoln City was once surrounded by private land with no trespassing signs. With recent purchases by the small coastal town, this wonderful spot is now accessible to the public.

There’s no shortage of beautiful places to explore and hike on the Oregon Coast, and this is one that offers incredible views from the top. Access to the trailhead has changed over the years, so it’s important to make sure you’re on the right path and parking in the right area. There have been cases of tourists attempting to get to God’s Thumb and wandering onto private property.  We’ve got you covered with the correct information and hiking route for the God’s Thumb trail to get to the top of this gorgeous coastal cliff.

God’s Thumb Hike Guide


 

God's Thumb Hike Oregon
Photo by Leena Ellis
ELEVATION GAIN: 1,131 Feet
PETS: Allowed
DISTANCE: 4.80 miles
DIFFICULTY: Moderate, and slippery after rainfall
God's Thumb Hike Oregon
Photo by Leena Ellis

This hike is mostly uphill, though some parts of the trail are good for all skill levels.  If you go after it rains, the tall grasses and brush will be wet, and if you walk through it your pants will get soaked, so come prepared.  The God’s Thumb trail gets muddy after it rains, so make sure to come prepared with proper apparel.

Parking For God’s Thumb Via The Knoll

Check out our map below for the only place you are allowed to park for this hike:

You’ll be parking on an empty cul-de-sac at the end of NE Devil’s Lake Blvd.  This is the official parking area for the trailhead, and you will be towed if you park anywhere else.  The map above has the parking area and the trailhead marked for you, so you can zoom in and take a look.


RELATED: Lincoln City, Oregon: Things To Do, Where To Stay, Where To Eat


 

We recommend coming early in the day on a weekday so you can find a spot to park.  If the parking area in the cul-de-sac is full, you’re out of luck and will have to come back later.  The God’s Thumb trail is popular and it can get busy on weekends, especially during summer months.

Directions To The Parking Area And Trailhead

God's Thumb Hike Oregon
Photo by Leena Ellis

When in Lincoln City head north on Logan Rd off of 101 near the Safeway on the north end of town. Follow it past Safeway for half a mile and then when it begins veering to the left, head right on Port Lane. Port Lane with take you to Voyage Ave, which you will make a left on and follow for another half mile. It will terminate at Devil’s Lake Blvd, which you will make one last left on. The Cul-de-sac parking area is just ahead.

Hiking To God’s Thumb Via The Knoll

You’ll be starting your hike at The Knoll Trailhead.  None of the signs for this trail say God’s Thumb.  To see a preview of this hike as well as the views from The Knoll and God’s Thumb, check out the video below:

This hike takes you through gorgeous forests full of ferns and towering trees, as well as grassy meadows with multiple viewpoints overlooking the ocean, Lincoln City, the Salmon River, and Cascade Head to the north (another of our favorite hiking spots).

The God’s Thumb trail splits off to the left to take you to the first viewpoint, a grassy field known as The Knoll that overlooks Lincoln City.  You can check out the Knoll on your way up to God’s Thumb, or on your hike back down towards the parking area.

God's Thumb Hike Oregon
Photo by Leena Ellis

As you near God’s Thumb you’ll pop out of the forest in High Meadow.  From here you’ll have the opportunity to look at God’s Thumb, or to continue down a narrow, steep trail along the cliff’s edge to the tip of God’s Thumb.

The cliff trail to the top of God’s Thumb can be dangerous and many people have fallen from the cliffs and broken bones, requiring rescue via helicopter.  You should be sure to stay away from the cliff edge as it can be unstable and can give way.

NOTE: We recommend viewing God’s Thumb from High Meadow, but not traversing the dangerous cliff trail up the thumb as it is not maintained, is subject to high winds, can be very slippery, and is steeper than it looks.

God's Thumb Hike
Photo by Travis Hughes

As you can see by the photo above, the name God’s Thumb is oddly fitting as the cliff looks like a huge thumb covered in lush green grass. This large basalt formation overlooks the majestic Pacific Ocean as well as Lincoln City and Cascade Head.

God’s Thumb Trail Weather

Planning on hiking to God’s Thumb via The Knoll this week?  Check out the weather below so you can go prepared.

LINCOLN CITY WEATHER

God’s Thumb Oregon Coast Important Information

Hiking is an at-your-own-risk activity.  Make sure to thoroughly research the trail you want to hike before you go, including weather conditions.  Here are some tips to help you be prepared for your hike to God’s Thumb Hike via The Knoll:

  • Follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace so we can keep this area gorgeous and open to the public in the future.  Please stay on the trail at all times to avoid damaging sensitive foliage in this area.
  • Be careful to stay on the trail and off of private property.  There have been issues in the past with people going on private property here, and this type of behavior can get the trail shut down to the public at any time.
  • Park only at the designated location mentioned in the article above.
  • Stay away from cliff edges.
  • Be aware of ticks in this area, which can get on you when you pass through brush, tall grasses, or any type of foliage.

Don’t forget to check out these 13 coastal hikes in Oregon with stunning views.  After a day of exploring on the God’s Thumb hike, think about stopping in at our favorite spa near Lincoln City to soak and relax.

Where to Stay Nearby

Salishan Coastal Lodge

Spa On Oregon Coast
Salishan Coastal Lodge has the best spa on the Oregon coast, not to mention outdoor firepits, a cozy fireplace in every room, jaw dropping views and an aerial adventure park!

Soothe Your Soul At The Spa

Nourish body and spirit at The Spa at Salishan, where you can enjoy the cooling rains from a cozy seat beside the warmth of a crackling fire in the Hearth Room, or watch the rainfall on the surface of Siletz Bay from the steaming outdoor infinity pool. Treat yourself to restorative treatment in peaceful spaces inspired by the natural elements and beauty of Oregon’s landscape.

Oregon Coast Spa Getaways - The night view of the spa at Salishan.
The view of the bay from the spa at Salishan will make you want to return again and again.

Indulge In Dinner & Drinks

Enjoy fresh local fare and craft cocktails at The Attic, where you can cozy up in the rustic lodge interior and enjoy sweeping views of the golf course from above. Sharing a meal is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with loved ones and share your dreams and aspirations for 2022.

Ready to plan your getaway to the Oregon Coast? Explore our current offers at Salishan Coastal Lodge to plan your perfect Oregon retreat.

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Have you ever hiked to God’s Thumb before?  Share your photos with us of the God’s Thumb trail and tag the friends and family you want to go hiking with!