A Day at the Beach: Cannon Beach & Ecola State Park

Hit the Beach!

One of the most famous beaches in Oregon and a constant on the list of top U.S. beaches is Cannon Beach. When we had an RV, this was a constant on our list of places to camp. Next to Cannon Beach is Ecola State Park, another amazing place to see birds, sea life, and explore the tide pools at low tide. I highly recommend to anyone that is going to visit Portland, you take a day out and drive to the coast and visit these two places.

Haystack rock is probably one of the most photographed sites on the Oregon coast. You can get close to it at low tide and usually meet a ranger that will show you the star fish and other creatures in the tide pools around it.

Sunsets are an amazing site on either side of Haystack Rock.

A long walk on the beach from there is Ecola Beach which is only really accessible at lower tides.

It is also a favorite place for my daughters to entertain my dog (the late great Jake) with some dance moves.

If there is a dog heaven, it looks just like this beach. I can see my boy now running at top speed enjoying every smell and dip in the water along his journey.

This lighthouse is one of the most intimidating one I have ever shot. I still haven’t got the shot I really want but I keep trying!

Thousands of seabirds inhabit this area year round.

Starfish were starting to die out in vast numbers but are starting to come back again. You will see some giant ones at low tide.

You can walk for miles and miles but need to always be aware of the tides. It is easy to get trapped on a beach that will be completely submerged at high tide.

Sunset walks are the most magical of anyplace I have ever been.

The view from the bluffs at Ecola are equally spectacular.

That same lighthouse is impressive from above too. Someday I will get the perfect picture of this lighthouse. I want to make a book of all the lighthouses of Washington and Oregon at some point. It is part of my retirement plan and this one is definitely on my stay until you get the shot list.

Hope you enjoyed this little trip and took your mind off the shit happening in the world. Nothing clears my head like a day at the beach



      • I worked on a Ninja Turtles movie based in Astoria in the 90’s and went to Cannon Beach a lot. We shot mostly up on Saddle Mountain where they had built a feudal Japanese village – the Turtles go back in time – don’t ask.  I took a lot of pictures – none half as good as yours but they were on film so who knows what box they’re in now.


        In Astoria, there was a tiny little restaurant that was on the main street(I think) that only had like 5 tables. The owner was some famous chef and he would open it when he felt like it and only serve one choice for dinner. You only knew it was open if the sandwich board was out front and the lights were on – and there was a long line of people. Once he ran out of whatever the dish was – that was it – no one else could come in. I think it was called something like Rock Lobster or maybe we had rock lobster there. I can’t remember, but the food was amazing the couple of times I made it in.

        • That sounds very Astoria!  I don’t think I know that place if it is still there but have a friend that would know, I’ll ask him.  They have one of the best farmers markets in the summer and one of the best breweries in all of Oregon.  We stayed in Astoria on our first trip in our RV & had 50 mph winds and my eldest got super sick.  It was one of those, did we just fuck up buying an RV kind of trips!  Luckily, later trips were way better.

  1. Now I’m jealous. Lets start drilling for oil right offshore and put some Arbys and Popeyes on the beach!

    But seriously, it’s great that there was the foresight to keep these places open for everyone.

    • The Oregon & Washington coasts are still really rugged.  Most of the coastal towns do a good job of keeping it that way but some it is just because of how isolated they are.

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