Enjoying the wind, waves and wildlife at Cannon Beach, OR

The weekend before the fam’s epic road trip to San Francisco, my bro took us to see the beauty of the Oregon Coast, particularly the Cannon Beach area.

It is nearly four miles of publicly accessible fine-sand beaches with a huge rock formation called Haystack Rock rising out 235 feet from the shore’s edge. It was formed 17 millions years ago by the same lava flows that created many of the headlands and rock formations that make up the Oregon Coast. We were fortunate that it was easily accessible during our visit due to low tide.

Cannon Beach, OR

Haystack Rock is actually a National Wildlife Refuge where visitors can observe tidepools teeming with marine life. Tidepool creatures such as soft-bodied anemones, tidepool fishes and sea slugs are interesting to look at but are extremely fragile and may be senstive to exposure to air and sun. Visitors are advised to refrain from touching or moving the creatures they encounter in the tidepools.

How do you catch sight of these creatures? Here are some tips from the locals:

  • Be patient. You may need to take some time to see them.
  • Be still. Crabs, small fish, snails and see slugs nestled under rocks and seaweed may not be immediately visible.
  • Be careful. Walk on the sand or bare rock to avoid stepping on and harming living creatures like barnacles and mussels.

Haystack Rock is also an active nesting spot for many seabirds. Tufted puffins, in particular, are easily observable from spring to summer.

During quieter seasons, herds of Roosevelt Elk are sometimes known to emerge from the thick forests to graze along the coastal meadows, while Gray Whales make their annual migration.

Cannon Beach, OR

The wide expanse of sand also makes a great venue for jogging, walking with dogs, or just hanging out with family or friends.

Cannon Beach, OR

Cannon Beach, OR

Cannon Beach, OR

Well, our group certainly took advantage of the photo opps that the place afforded!

Cannon Beach, OR

Cannon Beach, OR

Cannon Beach, OR

Interested in visiting? Here are other attractions nearby that you may want to include in your itinerary:

  • Ecola State Park. It boasts of easy walking paths, hiking trails and picnic areas, brrathtaking views of the historic Tillamook Rock Lighthouse and vantage areas for bird- and whale-watching.
  • Arcadia Beach. Located two miles south of Cannon Beach, it offers beach access to Lion Rock and beach walks to Hug Point to the south and Silver Point to the north.
  • Oswald West State Park. Stretching four miles along a temperate rainforest, this affords visitors with a picturesque secluded sandy beach and hiking trails that lead to awesome views of the Pacific Ocean.

For more details or help in planning your visit to Cannon Beach, visit CannonBeach.org.