Peregrine falcons are the fastest bird in the world. According to the Audubon Society of Portland, they can dive bomb their prey at speeds up to 200 miles per hour.
Spotting a peregrine falcon is pretty easy. They are often seen in the area from the viewpoints along the Cape Horn Trail.
Important Note: A portion of the trail is blocked off from February 1st through July 15th while they nest.
Hiking Cape Horn Trail
When the full trail is open, it’s a 7-mile loop. When the nesting portion is closed, you can hike out 4-miles before you have to turn around (so, 8-miles out-and-back). Elevation gain is modest, about 1,200 feet, and most of it is in the first couple of miles.
A small stream runs through the area, with a miniature foot bridge to cross it. The forest here felt much more open than I was used to. A lot of sunlight filtered in and you could see the trail snaking up the hill.
The condition of the trail itself is excellent. The Cape Horn Conservancy, a small non-profit organization in charge of the area, does a fine job maintaining the trail. My video below will give you a good idea of what I mean.
There is a restroom available in the parking lot by the trailhead.
Cape Horn Trail Map
View CapeHornTrail_9-6-2010 in a larger map
Note: The Cape Horn Trail is closed to mountain bikes. A portion of the trail is open to horses and that eventually branches off away from the main hiking trail.