According to McArthur, this peak was named for the wild onions growing near the summit. If you’ve ever drove Hwy 101 around Nehalem Bay and looked North into the surrounding hills, you’ve seen Onion Peak. It’s one of the highest points in Clatsop County, and its rugged summit makes it an outstanding landmark. This peak is east-northeast of Arch Cape and about two miles north of the south line of the county. To the west, about 1.25 miles (as the crow flies), is the unofficially named West Onion Peak, a peak with 2000’ + of prominence. Onion peak is part of a rugged ridge that encircles the Ecola Creek basin. The views from the summit are 360 deg.
There are only a couple of ways to the summit from the base of this peak. A tough bushwhacking scramble up the west side, several deep gully climbs that may not even lead to the summit, or some technical rock climbing over large boulders and scrambling through thick brush or a technical rock climb up the shear south face.
I've just started exploring this large rugged area. There appears to be a lot of rock for bouldering and for Trad climbing.
This is the coastal range…most of this land is owned by the big timber companies. The east side of Onion Peak is part of the Clatsop State Forest and, unfortunately, is completely surrounded by timber company land. The only way in to this area is by logging road. This time of year all these roads are closed (gated). After a lot of research, I’ve found the shortest distance to the base of Onion Peak is about 6.75 miles. The gate you will park at is off Hwy 101 approximately 1.6 miles north of the Arch Cape tunnel and about .5 mile south of Hug Point state park. For you GPS carriers, the gate is located at 45.82444N x 123.96103W.
This road is called Hug Point road. From the gate walk this road for 2.6 miles. You’ll pass several smaller roads, just stay on this main road. At 2.6 miles you’ll come to an intersection leading straight or dogleg left. Go left…you’re now on Onion Peak road. Walk this road for about 4.25 miles to the base of Onion Peak. Rest a bit, and then start your expedition to the summit.
I just found out this gate, and about a mile inside the gate, is now owned by Stimson Lumber. They had advised me there is absolutely NO ENTRY past the gate. Not even during hunting season.
Enter at your own risk or find another way in…
For more info call Stimson Lumber @ 503-357-2131
Overnight camping is not allowed on timber company land…
Nearest campground is in Oswald D. West State Park
at Short Sand Beach.
Also Nehalem Bay State Park
When To Climb
Area Weather Conditions
For Current Conditions click here
Cell phone reception is strong at the summit.