Beachcombers NW

Ecola State Park: Cannon Beach, Oregon

May 17, 2023

Categories: Cannon Beach | North Oregon Coast

A gorgeous sunset over Ecola State Park with pink clouds and dark blue skies.

Ecola State Park is a beautiful state park located along the Oregon Coast near Cannon Beach. The park covers an area of nine miles. It features several hiking trails winding through beautiful, lush forests. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, rugged cliffs, and pristine beaches. 

Visit Ecola State Park year-round and enjoy scenic outdoor recreation, including picnicking, tide pooling, surfing, and of course hiking! There is also a variety of wildlife to view. Examples include deer, elk, eagles, and gray whales during their winter and spring migrations. 

The 8-mile Oregon Coast Trail is also part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The park has several connected trails for exploring. Enjoy incredible views of the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse at several view points.

The park also offers picnic areas, restroom facilities, and a scenic viewpoint for visitors to enjoy. Discover several trails with varying difficulty levels. Here's an overview of a few of the trails to explore:

Viewpoint area overlooking Ecola State Park. Fenced, flat surface with seating.

Ecola Point to Indian Beach

Ecola Point parking area has a popular trail. It is 4.7 miles long and is moderately challenging. It is family friendly and can be muddy in a few spots.

The trail was replaced in 2020. It is a bit longer, but still offers the same beautiful, forested areas. Additionally, it has breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

At the end of the trail, you can relax on the secluded sandy beach at Indian Beach before heading back. Enjoy this popular spot, well known for surfing, tide pools, and beach goers.

View of Indian Beach at Ecola State Park. Flat sandy beach, blue sky, and surfers.

Clatsop Loop Trail

The Indian Beach parking lot is the starting point of this 3-mile loop hike. The trail begins as a gravel road for over a mile before entering old-growth forest. It offers stunning coastal views including the old, abandoned lighthouse on Tillamook Rock.

The Clatsop Loop Trail is part of the historic route along Tillamook Head used by explorers Lewis and Clark. It’s considered family friendly with easy to moderate difficulty.


Crescent Beach Trail

This trail is considered easy in difficulty, family friendly, and spans approximately 3.6 miles to Chapman Point. It leads to a secluded little beach, providing beautiful ocean vistas along the way.


Tillamook Head Trail

The Tillamook Head Trail is renowned as the most challenging trail in Ecola State Park. It is a 6.5-mile one-way trek and is recommended for experienced hikers. 

The journey takes you through dense forests and rugged terrain. This trail provides access to Indian Beach, a picturesque cove where visitors can enjoy picnicking, beachcombing, and even surfing.

Father with baby on shoulders overlooking Ecola State Park in Oregon.

Where to Enter the Ecola State Park

Enter the park from 5th Street on the north end of Cannon Beach. Drive about 1.5 miles on Ecola Park Road to the pay station where you can choose to go north or south from these 2 parking lots: 

  • Ecola Point Parking: This parking lot is located on the north end of the park. It can accommodate a decent number of vehicles but can fill up quickly during peak times. From this location you can hike approximately 1.5 miles to Indian Beach or Cresent Beach.
  • Indian Beach Parking: This parking lot is located at the southern end of the park. It provides access to the Indian Beach Trail and is closest to the Crescent Beach Trailhead. It tends to have more limited parking spaces.


Parking Permits Required

You can purchase a 1 day-use parking permit onsite for a $5 fee. Annual permits can be purchased online. 

It is important to remember that parking availability can change. Factors such as the time of year, day of the week, and the number of visitors can affect availability. It's recommended to arrive early, especially during weekends and popular hiking seasons, to secure a parking spot.

Another important thing to note; due to the dynamic nature of coastal environments, conditions at Ecola State Park can change rapidly. Be sure to check the Oregon State Parks website for current park advisories or closures before visiting.

For more information call: 800-551-6949 or call park: 503-812-0650. 

Park Map: View the Ecola State Park Map in a printable PDF.


Plan Your Trip 

Ecola State Park is a must-visit destination. It is perfect for nature enthusiasts, hikers, and people looking for stunning views of the Oregon Coast. You'll want to add this fun day trip to your next vacation plans! Overnight camping and parking is not allowed in the park, so be sure to book your next stay early in a nearby Cannon Beach rental

In Conclusion:
Ecola State Park is a truly incredible place to explore. The cliffs, the beaches, and the forests all provide a unique experience that can be enjoyed in many ways. From the breathtaking views to the vast array of wildlife, Ecola State Park has something to offer everyone.

Whether you are an experienced hiker or a beginner, Ecola State Park is sure to delight. So, pack your lunch, grab your camera, and head out to Ecola State Park for an unforgettable adventure!

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