Last Updated on November 8, 2020
Ecola State Park, stretching along 9 miles of coastline, is one to not miss while traveling through Oregon. On a clear day, it is the perfect vantage point to see the Pacific Coast, Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock. The hiking, picnicking, tide-pooling, surfing and wildlife observation make Ecola State park a great year-round destination.
The Drive Through Ecola State Park
Getting there though, can be a little nerve wrecking. After entering Ecola State Park, and paying your $5 fee, you’ll take a narrow road through a lush Sitka spruce forest. The road leads up to the parking lot for Indian Beach, where you’ll find breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. There is a 10-15 mph speed limit with good reason for it. You’ll find that making some of the sharp turns can be intimidating with the lack of barricades when you have a car trying to drive outbound past you.
Take away message: Share the road, be cautious, and drive very slowly and you’ll be fine.
If you have some extra time, there are also some hiking trails that will take you to some great viewpoints. Many of the best hikes can be found in Ecola State Park, accessed via Ecola Park Road at the north end of Cannon Beach. The Park offers options for easy, paved accessible trails from the Ecola Point viewpoint to options for longer multiple mile hikes. Hikers can combine trails for even longer treks. An Oregon State Parks pass, Oregon Pacific Coast Passport or $5 day-use fee is required for parking.
For a $5 entrance fee that is good in all State Parks that same day, it was well worth the fee with how much there was to see and do.
Did You Know?
Indian Beach is also “Goonies Beach”. We didn’t see One Eyed Willy’s ship set sail, but the rocks were still there. One scene was filmed at Ecola Point, shown below, and another a bit farther down around Haystack Rock on “Cannon Beach”. On a clear day, you’d also be able to spot Haystack Rock from this view. Have you seen the movie?
Indian Beach At Ecola State Park
Indian Beach was so breathtaking, even when shrouded in cloud, that I would love to return there on a sunny day. I can only imagine how incredible it would be then, too. Looking around, we were completely in awe. There were a few dozen people there, hanging with their family or surfing the waves.
Even if it wasn’t sunny, we had a wonderful time wandering the beach, looking in the tide pools and running along and playing in the sand.
Even on a stormy day, the beach was breathtaking. These photos do not do the beauty justice. And, funny enough, an hour down the road, there was the typical summer sunshine and blue skies, with temperatures in the mid thirties (*C) or mid eighties (*F). We left the sunshine behind to venture along the Oregon Coast. Somehow that always happens to us, as soon as we get close to the Oregon Coast, the stormy skies set in. We would love to catch it on a sunny day; we just never have luck on our side — even during the summer!
What is one of the best beaches you found on your travels that you did not expect?