ECOLA STATE PARK
One of Ecola State Park's first attractions was a beached whale. In 1806, Capt. William Clark and twelve members of the Corps of Discovery climbed over rocky headlands and fought their way through thick shrubs and trees to get to the whale in what is now Ecola State Park. Today, a paved road from Cannon Beach makes your trek to the park much easier. Winding your way through towering Sitka spruce, you suddenly emerge upon a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean. Be sure to have your camera ready.
Ecola State Park offers year-round recreation for all types of modern day explorers. Stop for a picnic to feed your hungry adventurers before taking to the many miles of trails. At Indian Beach you can begin your own expedition on The Clatsop Loop Trail 1.4 MB Acrobat file, a new interpretive trail you that gives you the chance to walk in the footsteps of Capt. Clark and his men.
There's more to the park than this rich history. Surfers ride the waves at Indian Beach and tide pools await your discovery. Keep a watchful eye open for the many species of wildlife and birds that call Ecola home. Spot migrating gray whales during winter and spring. And after a long day of exploration, stop for an overnight rest on Tillamook Head in the park's new primitive cabins, cabins are small and very primitive a 1.5 mile hike from the Indian Beach trailhead.
Ecola State Park is located near Astoria, Seaside
1. Clatsop Loop Trail: This 2.5-mile moderate trail offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, with a historical connection to Lewis & Clark's expedition.
2. Indian Beach Trail: A short but steep hike that leads down to beautiful Indian beach which is popular for surfing and picnicking.
3. Crescent Beach Trail: An approximately two miles round trip moderately difficult trail leading from Ecola Point parking lot through lush Sitka spruce forest ending at secluded crescent-shaped sandy beach.
4. Hikers' Camp Overlook Pathway: Short pathway offering panoramic ocean vistas along with three rustic shelters available on first-come-first-serve basis for overnight camping experience in wilderness setting.
5. Tillamook Head Traverse Hike: It's an adventurous six mile one-way trek starting from Seaside going all way up till park boundary providing hikers breathtaking coastal scenery including sea stacks, cliffsides covered by mossy old growth rainforest etc.,.
6. Ecola Park Road Walking Path: Paved path running parallel to main road within park suitable for casual strolls or bike rides amidst dense greenery without much elevation gain/loss making it accessible even those not into strenuous hiking activities.
7. Sea Lion Viewpoint Spur: Small offshoot near southern end of traverse hike taking you closer towards cliff edge where can observe colony of Sea Lions lounging around offshore rocks during certain times year depending upon their migratory patterns.
8. Elk Flats Route: Unofficial yet well-trodden route connecting south side indian beach carpark directly onto headland trails bypassing need drive further northwards thus saving time especially if planning only day visit.
9. Lightkeeper's House Ruins Site Walk: Brief walk over wooden boardwalks revealing remnants former lighthouse keeper residence destroyed long ago due harsh weather conditions prevalent this region, also includes interpretive signage providing historical context about life hardships faced by those who lived here during that era.
Ecola State Park is located on the Oregon coast, just north of Cannon Beach. To get there from Portland, follow US-26 W towards Seaside for approximately 80 miles. Once you reach Seaside, continue driving south on Highway 101 for about four miles until you see signs directing you to Ecola State Park.
If coming from Astoria or other northern areas along the coast, take Highway 101 South and drive through Gearhart before reaching Seaside. From there, simply stay on Highway 101 heading southbound until you spot the signage indicating Ecola State Park.
Once inside the park entrance off of highway 101 (near milepost marker #32), follow the road as it winds uphill into a lush forested area with breathtaking views overlooking Haystack Rock and Tillamook Head coastline. There are several parking lots available throughout different sections of this expansive state park where visitors can leave their vehicles while exploring its various trails and viewpoints.
To access Indian Beach within Ecola State Park specifically - which offers stunning vistas and opportunities for beachcombing - turn left at an intersection near one of these parking lots after entering via highway 101's main entrance point mentioned earlier in our directions above; then proceed downhill following signs leading down toward Indian Beach itself!