Wrapping around Tillamook Head, between Seaside and Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park stretches along 9 miles of coastline and offers outstanding sightseeing and recreation opportunities combined with a storied past. Though the scenic and hiking opportunities may be the main allure, the diversity of outdoor recreation including picnicking, tidepooling, surfing and wildlife observation make Ecola State park a destination year round.
Sightseeing opportunities begin the moment you enter the park. The entrance road meanders through a lush Sitka spruce forest, eventually opening up to a grassy bluff offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. You may recognize the viewpoint south, a scene from many published photographs. Sea stacks punctuate the long sweep of shoreline south, backed by the town of Cannon Beach and ridge of coastal mountains above.
Ecola’s trails offer cliffside viewpoints of secluded coves, forested promontories and even a long abandoned lighthouse. The park’s network of trails include an 8 mile segment of the Oregon Coast Trail, and a 2 1/2 mile historical interpretive route called the Clatsop Loop Trail. Part of the Clatsop Loop Trail and the trail over Tillamook Head follow in the footsteps of the Corps of Discovery. Captain William Clark and 12 members of the Corps of Discovery traveled through what is now the park in 1806 in search of a beached whale near present-day Cannon Beach. After scaling the north slope of Tillamook Head and reaching one of its viewpoints, Clarke described the vista as “… the grandest and most pleasing prospects which my eyes ever surveyed…”
Stop for a picnic before taking to the many miles of trails. Visit Indian Beach, a secluded sandy beach, popular with surfers and beach goers, offering tide pools and scenic splendor. Keep a watchful eye open for the park’s wildlife, such as deer, elk or eagles soaring overhead. You may even spot migrating gray whales throughout winter and spring.
The road that leads up to Ecola is very tight and has many turns, motorhomes and trucks pulling trailers are not recommended.
Due to natural erosion and landslides the Ecola Point Viewing Deck was no longer on stable ground and had to be removed.
Yes. Pets must be on a leash not more than six feet long, and kept under physical control at all times. You're responsible to pick up after your pets.
Ecola State Park was created in the 1930s on top of complex landslides that have remained active throughout the park’s history. The trails and entrance road were built before anyone understood coastal geology or best road building practices for the area, which is why trails and roads are sometimes closed for repair.
OVERNIGHT PARKING IS NOT ALLOWED WITHIN ECOLA STATE PARK. Hiker's Camp provides an overnight stop for those hiking the Oregon Coast Trail; it is not a park-and-camp overnight area. The camping area is primitive in nature, but does have three small Adirondack-style shelters. Each of these rustic structures sleeps four on bunk bed-style wooden platforms. The shelters encircle a large fire ring and a central picnic shelter. A vault toilet is nearby, but the camp does not have water.
Again, please remember there is no overnight parking within Ecola State Park.
Drones are not allowed to protect nesting shorebirds.
The short answer is no, but the handler of any domestic animal on the ocean shore does have responsibilities. Please refer to an excerpt from our ocean shore rules, below:
(2) The handler of any domestic animal must be responsible for the animal's behavior and must exercise direct control over the animal while in the ocean shore state recreation area.
(a) “Direct control” means that the animal is within the unobstructed sight of the handler and responds to voice commands or other methods of control.
(b) Domestic animal handlers must carry a leash or restraining device at all times while in the ocean shore state recreation area.
(c) Domestic animal handlers must promptly leash animals at the request or order of a park employee.
(d) Handlers must prevent their animals from harassing people, wildlife and other domestic animals.
(e) Animals may not be hitched or confined in a manner that may cause damage to any natural resources on the ocean shore.
(f) Handlers are responsible for the removal of the animal's waste while in the ocean shore state recreation area.
OVERNIGHT PARKING IS NOT ALLOWED WITHIN ECOLA STATE PARK. Hiker's Camp provides an overnight stop for those hiking the Oregon Coast Trail; it is not a park-and-camp overnight area.
Special events and nontraditional activities require a special use permit.
OPRD does not issue special use permits at this park for events that take place between the Friday before Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day.
Lands were acquired between 1932 and 1978 by gift and purchase from private owners and the federal government. The original tract of 451 acres was acquired in 1932 by gift and purchase from the Ecola Point and Indian Beach Corporation with corporation members Rodney Glisan, Florence Minott, Caroline and Louise Flanders donating their portion. This land includes much of the ocean frontage in the park, extending from the northern edge of the city of Cannon Beach to Indian Beach. Later, lands were acquired to the north of Tillamook Head extending toward Seaside, providing a route for the Tillamook Head trail. Samuel Boardman, Henry Van Duzer and others worked hard to acquire this park land for Oregon in the 1930s and 1940s. Sam Boardman stressed the importance of acquiring a wider strip of land to protect the shoreline forest from wind damage and other threats. Some lands were purchased from Crown Zellerbach Corporation after being logged, and the World War II Army radar station tract on Tillamook Head was acquired under Chester. Armstrong's direction in 1952. The donation of the Elmer Feldenheimer Forest Reserve adjoining the northeast portion of the park aids in park protection from the elements. Ecola Park contains examples of old growth Sitka spruce, western hemlock and habitat for elk and deer. Here, in 1806, Captain William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition viewed burial canoes of the Kilamox (Tillamook) and, looking south from Tillamook Head, he described the view as the "grandest and most pleasing prospect" he had ever surveyed. Ecola Park was developed originally by the CCC under National Park Service direction between 1934 and 1941. Improvements included roads, picnic facilities, trails, the office, workshop and caretaker's house. In the early 1950s, a campground was developed at Ecola in the wave of enthusiasm which came with post-war development of the Oregon state parks. The camp was abandoned in 1954 as inappropriate to the setting. Some of the shallow soils on steep slopes at Ecola Park are subject to rapid erosion following heavy rains. In 1961, a landslide at Ecola Point damaged 125 acres and caused the park to be closed for 10 months. Other slides have been a problem at Bald Point and between Ecola and Chapman Points. The latter affects the park entrance road. A slide here closed the park for four months in 1975. Within Ecola Park is a National Recreation Trail dedicated in April, 1972. This is the Tillamook Head Trail extending six miles from Seaside to Cannon Beach. Tillamook Head is a high point on the trail between Seaside and Indian Beach. It is named for the Tillamook tribes in whose ancestral territory the headland is located. The trail follows the coastal exploration route used by Captain Clark in the winter of 1806.