Name: Carkeek Box
Placed by: Eliza B.
date placed: 05/23/02
nearest town: Metro Seattle, WA, USA
county: King
To get to Cannon Beach, drive west from Portland on the 26 until you get to Hwy 1. Follow the signs South for approximately 4 miles, then follow the signs into town. Park anywhere (there is lots of parking available), and head West to the beach. On the beach, locate Haystack Rock. You'll know Haystack rock because it's the HEEEYOOOGE rock rising out of the middle of the water with all the tourists flocked around it like the world's first wonder. Go there. Once there, continue south, down the beach. You're going to want to time this so that it's either receding or low tide, as certain parts of the beach become nearly inaccessible at other times. Walk as far as you can. (Approximately three miles, though it doesn't seem that long because you can see for a LONG way.) You'll know the end when you get to a giant rectangular rock on the beach. You can climb this rock and sit there contemplating the meaning of life while the sun goes down, in fact, provided you've got the right tides. Once you've got it all figured out, climb down off the rock and head back toward town on the beach. This time, though, watch the east side of the beach -- where the stairs are. Most of the sets are for private homes, but roughly a quarter mile back, you'll find a set of very narrow piled rocks that are meant to be public access -- they have metal railings to the left (which is actually duct tape and PVC pipe). There is one set of railings, and then a lone pole as you continue up (about ten steps or so). On the opposite side (your right) are a bunch of scrub grasses and scraggly bushes. DIRECTLY across from the Lone Pole is the letterbox, hidden in the brush. You may want to have gloves with you -- the bushes are kind of scratchy. Carkeek park is a fabulous gem on the Sound that I'd never been to until today. It's a salmon spawning ground with miles and miles of trails and a model airplane strip....great fun.

To get there from I-5 heading North from downtown: Exit at #173. At the bottom of the ramp, take a left onto 1st Ave. NE, then another left on Northgate Way. Go west on Northgate, cross Aurora, and take a right on Greenwood Ave. Turn left on 110th Street (it's at a stoplight and the way left is kind of hidden. If you miss it, you can just go around the block to get back to it.) After 110th crosses 3rd Ave, it becomes Carkeek Park Rd, and winds down into a lush green canopy until it hits the bottom. Turn left to get into the park and stay straight unless you want to go visit the Environmental Learning Center.

Just past the Carkeek Trail sign, park in the lot on the left, near the kiosk. On the end closest to the Emerald outhouse and facing the exit, take the small trail to your left (north). You'll know you're on the right one if there is a small sign to your left saying "Bicycle Use Prohibited on this Trail" next to the trailhead.

Plunge into the gurgling wilderness with the stream and waterfalls to your right. Continue up, past the gnarled dragon-head stump, and around the first switchback. The trail goes for a bit after the switchback with few identifying features and only a slight incline. Pretend you're a dinosaur traversing the ancient wilderness, and continue onward.

The next switchback is small but steep. Go over the log to your right(-ish). You're on the right path if you go over another log in about five steps, just past a tree on your right.

All of a sudden, it's a -very- steep trail. About half way up the steep is a green post on the right and a clearing. Keep going past it. Go around the corner that looks like a small landslide, (to your left is a 2-in-1 tree).

Near the end, the path goes through a cut log. (if you hit the road, you've gone too far...) On the left is half the log that is perpendicular to the path; on the right is the other half, parallel to the road. Under the end of that log, closest to the road, is a second log piece. The letterbox is there, under the second log, covered with leaves.

please also see the letterboxing USA site for all the regular disclaimers and waivers that you assume when you decide to go out looking for boxes. (blah blah blah, legalese saying that you know it's your own fault if you get bit by stuff, fall off a cliff, or if things aren't where they're supposed to be. That kind of thing.)


box list |