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15 Amazing Hikes in Cannon Beach, Oregon

The Oregon Coast surrounding Cannon Beach is a breathtaking place to explore.

Hiking the coast is a great way to experience the natural wonders including dramatic rock formations, panoramic coastal views, tidal creatures, and wildlife.

You can spend time in nature and relax – get away from the stress of daily life – while also getting some exercise and taking in the beautiful scenery of the Oregon Coast. 

Also Read: Best Things to do in Cannon Beach, Oregon

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike, there are plenty of options to choose for hiking near Cannon Beach or on the Northern Oregon coast. 

The most popular hiking areas include Haystack Rock, Ecola State Park, Oswald West State Park, Arcadia Beach, and Hug Point. 

Best Cannon Beach hikes in Northern Oregon Coast

Hiking is a great way to get some fresh air and see the natural beauty of Oregon. 

Also Read: Best Things to do in Oregon

Most of the trailheads and hiking nature areas are located along Hwy 101 or the Pacific Coast Highway and are easily accessible. 

Here are some great Cannon Beach hiking trails along Oregon’s picturesque coastline worth checking out while in the area.

Hiking in the town of Cannon Beach

Haystack Rock Trail

One of the best hikes on the Oregon Coast! In fact, this is a must while in Cannon Beach.

Haystack Rock Trail is a short coastal trail that leads visitors to the iconic sea stack.. 

This is a very easy, family friendly hike and takes about half an hour to complete.

There is no established trail – you need to walk on the beach up to the rock! You can attempt this trail only at low tide.

Climbing on the rock is not allowed.

This Cannon Beach hike gives you an excellent view of Haystack Rock, the Pacific Ocean, the surrounding cliffs, and the wide expanse of the beach.

Visitors enjoy amazing sunsets from Haystack Rock as well as nearby sea stacks as well as an opportunity to spot wildlife such as sea lions and harbor seals that frequent these waters. 

You can also spot intertidal creatures in the tide pools and sea birds nests including those of tufted puffins and cormorants on the way.

Park anywhere in a downtown parking area and access the Haystack Rock Trail just south of the Ecola Creek, so you don’t have to cross the creek. 

Cannon Beach Nature Trail

This 2.1 miles long trail is a beautiful walk to enjoy the beauty of the Oregon Coast. 

Walk through nature’s wonderland along the beachfront trail that parallels Highway 101. 

Visitors can see wildlife such as deer or elk and enjoy spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean during their walk.

You can find a trail map here.

Ecola State Park hiking

Ecola State Park, located on the Oregon coast near the north end of Cannon Beach, is a favorite hiking destination for locals and tourists alike.

The park features over 7 miles of hiking trails, with varying difficulty levels and lengths – and they all have stunning views of the Pacific Ocean!

Many of these hikes also side paths for those who want shorter hikes as well!

The trail winds through coastal rainforest with panoramic views of Haystack Rock that will take your breath away!

Crescent Beach Trail

Length – 2 miles

Difficulty – Moderate

The 2 miles trail begins at Ecola Point trailhead.

This is a perfect spot for people who love nature and wildlife. 

From here, you can get views of Haystack Rock, Cape Falcon, Tillamook Head, as well as the Terrible Tilly Light. 

Then hike along the signposted trail to Crescent Beach. On the way, you will see a natural arch called Sea Lion Rock where you can spot seabirds.

The trail goes through lush woods, under Sitka spruce trees till you reach the sandy shores.

Wildlife sightings including deer are common. The cliff top views overlooking the coastline are stunning.

At the end of the hike is the secluded sandy beach.

Indian Beach Trail

Length – 4.3 miles 

Difficulty – Moderate

The Indian Beach Trail in Cannon Beach, Oregon is a great way to experience the beautiful coastline of the Pacific Ocean. 

The 4.3 mile trail starts at the south end of town in Ecola State Park and is of moderate difficulty.

The trailhead is at Ecola Point and the trail goes through old growth sitka spruce forest and is a part of the Oregon Coast Trail.

You’ll find many spots to picnic or stop for a break along this hike as well.

Along the way you can enjoy views of Haystack Rock and other natural landmarks like Arch Rock. 

When you get to the end of the trail you will have views of Indian Beach which are just breathtaking! 

Also Read:
Ultimate Oregon Road Trip Itinerary
Best Places to stop on the Oregon Coast
Best Places to Visit on West Coast USA

Clatsop Loop Trail

Length – 3 miles

Difficulty – Difficult

The Clatsop Loop trail is a 3 mile hike in the beautiful, forested Ecola State Park on the Oregon Coast. 

This is a short but challenging walk through the forest.

The trail starts at Indian Beach and loops around the shore before returning back to Indian Beach. 

The terrain varies, with steep sections, rocky outcroppings, and some level ground.

Along this route you’ll pass by many scenic viewpoints including Arch Rock and Haystack Rock. 

There are also opportunities for beach access and tide pooling if you’re up for it! 

Tillamook Head Trail

Length – 12.3 miles 

Difficulty – Difficult

The Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail is a beautiful coastal walk that will take you through the Oregon Coast Range. 

This is one of the most popular trails in Ecola State Park and follows an original path of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

The six miles one way trail passes by forests, meadows, and streams as well as providing an excellent view of the Pacific Ocean from the headland. 

It’s a great hike for those who want to see some of the natural beauty Oregon has to offer and enjoy the ocean view from Tillamook Head. 

The trail starts at Ecola Point which features spectacular views of the beach, Haystack Rock, Cape Falcon, and Neahkahnie Mountains.

Along the way there are many viewpoints to stop and enjoy so be sure to bring your camera!  You can also see the iconic Tillamook Rock Lighthouse from the trail.

This 12 miles round trip trail offers moderate terrain with few steep inclines and takes you up to Seaside, Oregon..

Oswald West State Park hiking trails

Looking for a new hiking adventure in this part of Oregon? Oswald West State Park, south of Cannon Beach, is the perfect place to go. 

This park is located between Arch Cape and Manzanita and is a hot spot for tourists in the summer months.

There are many hikes in this Oregon State Park that vary in length and difficulty level.

The park also offers beach access and is perfect for families with young children.

Necarney Creek Trail

Length – 0.8 miles 

Difficulty – Easy

Necarney Creek Trail is a scenic gradual hike that takes you through the woods to Necarney Creek, a small waterfall and stunning views of the Necarney Valley. 

The trail winds through an old-growth dense forest of Douglas fir and hemlock trees before reaching an amazing panorama over the creek.

The trail eventually ends in oak woodlands where the creek finally meets the Pacific Ocean. 

This hike is great for birders looking for waterfowl, raptors, or songbirds. You might also spot a gray whale or two in the winter.

Though it’s an easy trail, some parts are steep and can be slippery in wet weather. 

Short Sands Beach Trail

Length – 1.2 miles

Difficulty – Easy

The Short Sands Beach Trail, located in Oswald West state park, is through a forest of sitka spruce and along the Short Sand Creek. 

The walk to the shoreline and back will take about 30 minutes round trip. It’s worth it for the scenery alone!

Short Sand Beach itself is a sandy beach that is popular for surfing and sand boarding.

The beach is also great for relaxing, swimming, and beachcombing for shells and driftwood. 

Devil’s Cauldron Trail

Length – 0.5 miles 

Difficulty – Easy

Looking for a new trail to explore?

Devil’s Cauldron Trail is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for an easy hike with beautiful views. 

The moderate terrain makes it accessible for all skill levels and the short distance means you can spend more time exploring. 

You’ll be able to see wildlife, including deer and whales, as well as enjoy some of the best bird watching in Oregon.

You will be hiking through an old growth forest filled with ferns and mossy rocks, walking over rocky cliffs with views of Nehalem Bay before reaching the Devil’s Cauldron, a secluded cove with crashing and foaming waves.

Cape Falcon Trail

Length – 4.6 miles 

Difficulty – Moderate

The Cape Falcon Trail is a challenging hike with spectacular views and wildlife. 

It takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Oswald West Park.

This almost 5 mile loop offers a variety of terrain including sheer cliffs, white sand beaches, and lush forests.

The trail has excellent views of the Neahkahnie Mountain, Smugglers Cove, Devil’s Cauldron and goes all the way to Arch Cape.

Keep an eye out for birds such as bald eagles, ospreys, seals, and more!

Elk Flats Trail

Length – 2.9 miles 

Difficulty – Moderate

The Elk Flats Trail is a moderately difficult hike that provides great views of the sunset and the Oregon Coast. 

The trailhead takes you to several overlooks that offer spectacular views of Oswald West State Park and Tillamook Bay.

The trail meanders through forested areas before reaching open grasslands and ends up with magnificent ocean vistas at the sandy Short Sand Beach.

As you hike along this mostly shaded path, look up to spot any elk walking across the open meadows.

You can also often spot seals bobbing on the water and migrating whales from the overlooks!

If you are a beginner hiker, carry hiking poles and wear good shoes, as the trail can often get wet and slippery.

Neahkahnie Mountain Trail

Length – 2.7 miles 

Difficulty – Moderate

Neahkahnie Mountain Trail is great for hikers, photographers, and coast lovers, with views of the Pacific Ocean and the Tillamook coastline on clear days. 

Neahkahnie Mountain Trail offers panoramic views of the coast from the overlooks all the way upto Cape Kiwanda and Cape Lookout. 

This trail has a variety of wildflowers that bloom during different seasons, and many animals can be spotted along this route as well! 

Hug Point State Recreation Area

Hug Point State Recreation Area is one of the most popular attractions in northern Oregon. 

It is home to the Hug Point trail that features some of the most breathtaking views along the coast. 

Hug Point Trail

Length – 1.2 miles 

Difficulty – Easy

The Hug Point Trail takes you through Douglas Fir trees, mountain hemlock trees, and Sitka spruce trees before ending at a pretty beach.

The trail has breathtaking views of the sea stacks, Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, and the Pacific Ocean.

Hug Point Trail is a short, easy hiking trail that is perfect for families with kids.

Your little hiker will enjoy seeing the amazing views and wildlife on this trail. 

You can also explore the beach at low tide and look for tide pool creatures including crabs.

The most popular time for hiking the trail is during sunrise or sunset to take photos and enjoy the scenery.

Saddle Mountain State Natural Area

Length – 5.2 miles

Difficulty – Moderate

A hiking trail that will make your heart soar with the best views Oregon has to offer!

Saddle Mountain Trail in Southeast, Oregon is not for the faint at heart. 

The Saddle Mountain Trail is a scenic trail that takes visitors on an easy hike through gorgeous scenery with views as far as Columbia River and into Washington!

This strenuous hike winds up and over the summit of Saddle Mountain.

At 3283 feet high, you’ll be treated to 360-degree views of rugged peaks and valleys for miles around.

Ecola Creek Forest Reserve

If you are looking for a serene place to explore, visit the Ecola Creek Forest Reserve located in Newport, Oregon is the perfect destination. 

The reserve features a variety of different ecosystems including old growth Douglas fir forests, coastal sage scrub, oak woodlands, wetlands and vernal pools.

Not only does it offer wildlife encounters and beautiful views of the coast, but has over 45 miles of trails that are suitable for all skill levels.

Things to pack for Cannon Beach hiking

It’s important to pack properly for hiking the Oregon Coast. Here are some essentials that you should take:

-a waterproof jacket  

-sunscreen  

-sunglasses  

-a hat or visor 

-water bottle or camelback (to stay hydrated) 

-water proof hiking sandals or shoes

-hiking daypack

-snacks

-trail maps

-swimsuit

-towel

-sunblock

Tips for hiking near Cannon Beach 

The trails in Oregon State Parks can be slippery and challenging after storms so wear quality hiking shoes.

The trail is often narrow and surrounded by vegetation, so wear pants to avoid getting scratched. 

Stay safe along cliff edges and overlooks or in narrow portion of the trail. 

The most popular trails are crowded during peak and the parking lots can often get full, especially on summer weekends. Get out early in the morning to avoid crowds.

Keep your distance away from all wildlife and marine life. If you see a beached whale or any other stranded animals, do not go near it and report it immediately.

Pack out all trash to preserve these wild beauty spots for future generations.

If you’re looking for a way to re-energize and enjoy the natural beauty of Oregon, hiking is an excellent option. 

Along with hiking you can spot wildlife, explore secluded coves, enjoy kayaking, and take stunning photographs while also enjoying the time outdoors. 

We hope you liked our guide to hiking in Cannon Beach, Oregon.

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