:: CANNON BEACH
It had been a few years since visiting the Oregon coast when my brother gave me an invite to his wife’s family’s amazing home in Cannon Beach, right in front of the iconic Haystack Rock. Bill, Sheena and I loaded up the Subaru and took off on Friday for a long weekend. After some sluggish traffic on I-5 (there’s always a slowdown through Tacoma and the joint air force bases just south) we headed west on 30 along the mighty Columbia River, then south after Astoria along highway 101 and arriving at dusk.
On Saturday Justin, Helen and myself took the dogs to the Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail (yes, that’s a mouthful). We dropped off one car at the Indian Beach parking area in Ecola State Park (just north of Cannon Beach where we’d end the hike), then had Bill drop us off in Seaview at the trail head. The trail started close to the water but moved away and up with some gradual elevation and easy switchbacks. Along the way we saw massive Sitka Spruce trees, large mossy patches and the occasional skunk cabbage.
At the top of the elevation the trail turned into a winding ridge, sometimes just a few feet from a dizzying drop down to the ocean. The wind also picked up as we took a quick break for lunch next to a large fallen spruce. After an easy gradual decent we arrived at Indian Beach, an incredibly large expanse of sand and rock formations along the ocean.
The next day we ventured down the coast and tried the Cape Falcon Trail (about 15 minutes south of Cannon Beach), just under 5 miles round trip. In spite of the warm weather there was a number muddy sections to traverse (Sheena got a good hose-down when we got back to the beach house). As the trail climbed closer to the ocean the views started to open up towards Smuggler Cove with the incredibly wide Short Sand Beach area (not short at all). The trail finally ended at a high bluff at the Cape Falcon Lookout area, a great spot for a few drone shots and a food break.