Ecola State Park
Fees: $3 day use pass
The viewpoint provides a good first stop once inside the park. This area includes numerous picnic tables, grills, bathrooms and a short trail/boardwalk to the tip of the peninsula which provides a scenic sweeping viewpoint of the coastline. A couple trail heads are located here including the one to Crescent Beach. There is a separate road and parking area for Indian Beach, which is just a short walk down from the parking lot. This beach is protected and beautiful, with a few small tidal pools towards the end.
Our favorite spot in this park, however, is Crescent Beach. Reaching this oasis requires a 1.5 mile hike down to the ocean but because of this slight inconvenience it is usually pretty deserted. Difficulty is moderate. There were a few washed out areas which could be tricky when muddy and the climb back up is of course a bit more demanding but, in our opinion, still worth the trouble. There are several spectacular views of the coastline along the trail, including a view of Haystack Rock - the 235 foot tall monolith that is the third tallest structure like this in the world. At low tide we've heard that this beach is connected to Cannon Beach but we've only been there at high tide. A spring empties out onto this beach providing a very scenic drinking hole for the dog.
Crescent Beach as seen from the viewpoint.