Ecola State Park is a nine-mile-long coastal park between Seaside and Cannon Beach along the Oregon Coast. It offers hiking, surfing, tidepooling, and more.
The state park is widely considered to be one of Oregon's best and certainly one of the most scenic along the Oregon coast. Ecola State Park, located at Tillamook Head, is a fantastic place for surfers, hikers, or to bring the whole family and enjoy the best that the Pacific Northwest coast has to offer. It's filled with beauty and history with nearby trails that follow the Clark Expedition like the Clark National Historic Trail.
You can visit the famous Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, walk the Oregon Coast Trail, and see the vast Sitka spruce forest that boarders the coastline.
Nearby, you can also spend time at Oswald West State Park, visit Ecola State Park's famous tide pools, and watch the shoreline for gray whales.
Visitor's Guide to Ecola State Park
If you've never been to Ecola State Park or are going back for a much-anticipated second visit, there are a few things to keep in mind. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about what to expect at Oregon's Ecola State Park:
What to Expect at Ecola State Park in Oregon
Ecola State Park is a beautiful area of Oregon's coast, only a short drive from Portland. It is dotted with cliffside viewpoints, forested Ecola State Park hikes, and lighthouses. It is located on the north end of the well-known Cannon Beach and close to the Indian Beach Parking Area, and has something to offer every visitor.
Whether you are looking for great views, wild-feeling hike, a peaceful day of picnicking and wildlife observation, or incredible surfing, you're sure to find something that makes the visit more than worthwhile.
Plus, if you're a movie fan, you can even scout out Goonies filming locations!
Check out our Cannon Beach Visitor's Guide for more information about this area.
Did you Know? Lewis and Clark once serarched Cannon Beach for a beached whale.
Parking Pass for Ecola State Park
Ecola State Park requires an Oregon State Park pass. You can buy $5 single-day passes, one per vehicle, or pay $30 for a year of unlimited visits. Oregon also offers $50 24-month passes. The permit is good for parking lot at any state park in Oregon. You can buy the passes here.
Directions to Ecola State Park
Use the map below to get directions to Ecola State Park:
Accommodations in and near Ecola State Park
Camping on the beach at Ecola State Park is prohibited. But, visitors won't have to drive far out of their way to find camping opportunities. Some options include:
Ecola State Park Camping
If you're interested in camping at Ecola State Park, there are a variety of options to consider. Some sites are vetter-suited for RVs, others are great for tent camping, or even horse camping.
Sea Ranch Resort
This popular, upscale camping resort is only one mile from Cannon Beach and offers many well-maintained sites for both RV camping and tent camping. It's very close to Ecola State Park and offers views of Ecola Creek.
Close to Cannon Beach
Close to the beach and shops
Wright's for Camping
Wright's for Camping has been in business since 1959 and is a favorite with families traveling to Ecola State Park for a few days. They campground is best for tent campers and has a few critical amenities for those looking for an easy stay near the coast.
0.5 miles from Cannon Beach
22 campsites in the shade
Firewood available for purchase
Tent camping only
RV Camping at Ecola State Park
Circle Creek RV Park & Campground
Circle Creek RV Park & Campground is a popular RV camping area near Ecola State Park. It's located on 11.5 acres of property, making it one of the largest sites near the state park. They offer full RV hookups, wifi, laundry, dish TV, paved spaces, and more.
6 miles from Cannon Beach
Full hookups and wifi
Surrounded by Necanicum River
Cannon Beach RV Resort
The Cannon Beach RV Resort is a full-serve RV camping area that has everything that you could want during your visit to this beautiful Oregon state park. The grounds are very well-maintained and include a convenience store and game room. There is also a large dining area and meeting room!
0.7 miles from Cannon Beach
99 hookup sites
What is the best time of year to visit Ecola State Park?
Summer is definitely the best time to visit Ecola State Park, with highs in the mid to upper 60s and lows in the mid-50s. But, the weather can also be very nice in the late spring and early fall, periods during which you're likely to see fewer visitors.
Temperates can reach the mid-50s in the winter, but more likely, you'll see temperates in the 40s and a high possibility of rain.
Ecola State Park To Do
There are a wide variety of activities to enjoy at Ecola State Park. It's known for having some of the best surfing in Oregon, as well as incredibly scenic hikes and beaches to explore. Other activities at this Oregon State Park include:
Nearby shopping and dining
Camping (RV and tent)
Ecola State Park Tidepools
Ecola State Park has some of the best tidepooling opportunities on the Oregon coast. There are tidepools at Cannon Beach and at Indian Beach that are great spots for hunting through tidepools and observing incredible wildlife.
If you visit tidepools at Ecola State Park, make sure to stay back from the edges to avoid eroding the sand. Also, wildlife officials hope that all visitors will refrain from touching or disturbing the creatures.
Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park
Cannon Beach is one of the most popular areas on Oregon's coast. Ecola State Park is located just north of Cannon Beach, and many visitors choose to spend time there as well. It's known for its incredible sea stacks, specifically Haystack Rock, which can be seen in almost every photo of the beach.
5 Best Hikes in Ecola State Park
The best hikes in Ecola State Park are the Crescent Beach Trail from Tillamook Rock, the Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail, Indian Beach Trail via Ecola State Park, and Bald Point via Indian Beach Trail with views of Indian Point.
Read more about these trails below!
1. Crescent Beach Trail from Tillamook Rock
This fairly short trail near Cannon Beach is family and dog-friendly. Some parts of the trail can be muddy and may require some scrambling on wet rocks. But it's well-loved among locals and tourists!
1 hr 15 mins
Trailhead Coordinates: 46.005906996648314, -123.98054032966344
2. Clatsop Loop Trail from Indian Beach
Clatsop Loop Trail from Indian Beach is a 2.8-mile loop trail that is quite popular with tourists and locals. You should expect to see other people while following this loop. But, it is open year-round and provides incredible views of Ecola State Park. This part of the coast is truly beautiful.
1 hr 30 mins
Trailhead Coordinates: 45.994459417646944, -123.971768402182
3. Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail
This long, challenging out-and-back trail with its starting point in Seaside, Oregon, and takes you through the park. It's named for Captain William Clark and Meriwether Lewis, famed explorers of the Pacific Northwest.
It gains just over 3,000 feet in elevation and provides beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean along the way.
But, hikers are often forced to deal with mud which can make the entire hike more difficult. Watch out for erosion on some areas of the trail!
6 hrs 30 mins
Trailhead Coordinates: 46.00059796499806, -123.95502084052849
4. Indian Beach Trail via Ecola State Park
Indian Beach is a popular area of the park where hikers can walk along the sandy beaches, see the Pacific Ocean, old-growth forests, and even elk in meadows. Like most hikes in this area, the Indian Beach Trail can be muddy. Keep your eyes peeled for whales, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and sea lions!
Trailhead Coordinates: 45.99827554047905, -123.97503971592297
5. Bald Point via Indian Beach Trail
This easy, 1.4-mile hike is close to one of the best things you can do near Ecola State Park-- visit Cannon Beach. Although it's not very long, it's incredibly scenic. Even if you don't do the whole 1.4-mile out-and-back trail, you won't be disappointed.
Trailhead Coordinates: 45.9868263824817, -123.98602604340388
Ecola State Park History
The land that's today Ecola State Park was deeded to the state of Oregon in 1932. Over the years, more land was donated by wealthy families, and other portions, like a 229-acre section, were purchased by Oregon. At the time, during the mid-1930s, it was hard to justify spending taxpayer money on park lands.
Historical records from the time note how the choice to buy Ecola State Park angered certain politicians. But, after the park was accepted, the much-needed infrastructure work created numerous jobs for local people.
In 1961, a famous landslide, also known as a land slippage, destroyed the parking area, roads, and some of the oldest buildings on the property. Today, the Parks system maintains certain precautions to keep an event like this from happening again.
Erosion is a regular issue the park faces. In fact, one famous viewing deck at Ecola Point had to be removed for jhsut this reason. It makes it all the more important to stick to established trails and avoid scrambling up banks or walking on loose ground.
But, the best precautions can't always keep nature at bay. Storms and landslides have resulted in Ecola State Park closing off and on since the park was established. In 2020, a landslide closed the primary entrance to the park. The park only reopened in April 2022 after being closed for nearly five months due to additional landslides and a sinkhole. Ecola State Park is open!
Is Ecola State Park open?
At this moment, in June 2022, Ecola State Park is open. It is often subject to closures due to landslides. Recently, it was closed for nearly 5 months after a sinkhole opened.
Is Ecola State Park worth visiting?
Ecola State Park is worth visiting! It's known for beautiful coastal trails, incredible scenery, and activities the entire family will enjoy. Over its 1,023-acre park, you'll also see some famous filming locations.
How much does it cost to get into Ecola State Park?
It's $5 a day to get into Ecola State Park. Or, you can pay $30 for a year-long Oregon State Parks pass. The permits are available for purchase at the fee station at the park's entrance.
What is Cannon Beach known for?
Cannon Beach is known as the best beach in Oregon and one of the best beaches on the Pacific Coast. It is also known for its sea stacks or incredibly beautiful sea rocks that jut out of the ocean.
Why is Cannon Beach called Cannon Beach?
Cannon Beach is called Cannon Beach because the man who established the first post office there, James P. Austin, hoped to find a lost cannon along the coastline.
Do you need a pass for Ecola State Park?
Yes, to park in the state park, you need an Oregon State Park pass. These cost $30 a year or $5 a day. You can buy them at terminals in most parking lots.
Tillamook Head Lighthouse
Address: WXPJ+WF, Cannon Beach, OR
The Tillamook Head Lighthouse, also known as "Terrible Tilly," is an impressive coastal feat of engineering that draws visitors from around the country. The lighthouse no longer functions, but it is incredibly beautiful and well-worth visiting. It's located 1.2 miles off shore and is visible throughout much of the park.
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