Humbug Mountain rises an abrupt 1,756 above the crashing surf of the Pacific Ocean, making it the highest mountain on the directly on the Oregon Coast. There are a few points slightly higher, but they all sit back a few miles. The massive pyramid shape of the mountain can be seen for miles to the north and south and is the center piece of Humbug Mountain State Park, one of the finest in Oregon. Hiking to the top of the mountain is the most common activity, but the park also offers an array of recreational opportunities in the surrounding forest and the adjacent coast and ocean. The structure is formed of a conglomerate of clasts of chert, schist, diorite, greenstones and sandstones that are characteristic of the Humbug Mountain Conglomerate; a geological feature named after the mountain.
The moderate maritime climate of the Oregon Coast receives abundant rainfall, mostly between October and April. July and August bring the best chance for clear days. Summer temperatures are normally moderate and almost never hot. Winter temperatures are normally cool at the lower elevations and cold at the higher elevations. Although snow is possible in the lowest elevations, it is infrequent and does not stay on the ground for long. The campground enjoys some of the warmest weather anywhere on the Oregon Coast due to its position being nestled among the surrounding mountains, which offers protection from the direct cold ocean winds. These winds are often fierce and have resulted in severely stunted trees and shrubs on the ocean side slopes of Humbug Mountain. Look for these flattened and matted trees on the lower slopes of the north side where the highway turns away from the coast.
Humbug Mountain is part of the Central Pacific Coastal Forests ecoregion that comes in direct contact with the Pacific Ocean and its array of marine environments. The region is characterized by a diverse blend of lush old growth conifer forests, some broadleaf forests, scattered grass balds and headlands, estuaries, coastal cliffs, mud flats and sandy beaches. Nearly all of these features can be found in close proximity either on or adjacent Humbug Mountain. Due to the high precipitation rates and relatively warm winter temperatures, these areas produce some of the most productive forests in the world. Annual rainfall can exceed 150 inches per year. This ecoregion is the link between the land and the sea and is driven ecologically by frequent and severe winter storms that produce flooding, windthrow, and landslides. Natural stand replacement fires also occur at irregular intervals and are evidenced by a mosaic of age and size class structure of the forest stands and fire scars on the surviving larger old growth trees. Today the mountain contains spectacular old growth forest of coastal Douglas fir with fir, hemlock and big-leaf maple. Interesting Myrtlewood trees also are found on the lower slopes. Refer to the trip report for more information on the interesting flora of this mountain.
The trail on the north side of the mountain ascends through the Brush Creek drainage. Though it is possible to hike cross country in other areas, it generally is not advisable as the slopes can be very steep and slippery and are sometimes covered by impenetrable brush. The slopes on the ocean side fall into precipitous cliffs that are very dangerous.
The park and mountain can be found 4.5 miles south of Port Orford on Highway 101; you can't miss it. Entering the park, the highway abruptly turns east, away from the coast and the wide, well marked trailhead will on be on the right after a couple hundred yards. This is at mile mark 306.7. The large trail is well marked and obvious at the parking area.
Red TapeThere are no fees or permits needed to hike the mountain, but there are fees to use the campground.
Camping is allowed at Humbug Mountain State Park Campground, which is along the highway at the north foot of the mountain. Campsites are first-come, first-serve and include 33 electrical, 63 tent and a hiker/biker camp is included. Fees range from $4 to $12 dollars in the off-season (October to April) and $4 to $16. The campground offers a wide variety of services and programs including, wildlife watching, windsurfing, hiking, showers, nature programs, waterways, marine, fishing, beach, scuba and much more. Fees and activities are subject to change, so call ahead.
For more information visit the web site or call (541)332-6774 or (800) 551-6949.
When To Climb
The park and the trail to the summit are open all year. The mountain rarely if ever sees any snow. Just be prepared for extremely wet and windy weather at any time, especially in the winter months.
Mountain Conditions and Information
For more information visit the Humbug Mountain State Park website or call (541)332-6774 or (800) 551-6949.