Backpacker Magazine Oregon Coast Trail (Section 03): Ecola State Park to Arch Cape 

This 9.5-mile section of the Oregon Coast Trail winds south on sandy beaches punctuated with craggy headlands and 235-foot Haystack Rock.

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Author: Backpacker Magazine
Date: 24 May 2010 8:24:44 PM
Source: Trimble Outdoors website
Activity: Hiking
State: Oregon (OR)
Distance: 9.45 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 319 ft
Total Loss: 504 ft
Net Change: -185 ft
Difficulty: 3 / 10
Tags: Cannon Beach, Oregon, Oregon Coast Trail, Tolovana Park
Rating:   1 rating(s) Rate it

Stretching from the mouth of the Columbia River to the California border, the 382-mile Oregon Coast Trail links sandy shoreline, rugged headlands, and numerous state parks. This section of the OCT starts at Ecola State Park and travels 9.5 miles to Arch Cape.

Walk south from the parking lot at Ecola State Park to the trail just beyond the restrooms. The route climbs briefly into forest before tracing the road for a nearly two-mile descent into the town of Cannon Beach. At mile 2.5, turn left and walk south along Cannon Beach, passing 235-foot Haystack Rock and tidal pools teeming with starfish, sea anemone, crabs, and sea slugs.

From here, continue south along the beach, passing Tolovana Beach, Silver Point, Humbug Point and Arcadia Beach. At mile 7.3, follow the road blasted into Hug Point. (Caution: Do this during mid- or low tide—the road is submerged during high tide.) On the other side of the point is a small oasis, complete with cave, waterfall, colorful algae, and another stretch of beach.

The next 1.8-mile stretch continues south to Arch Cape. At mile 9.4, take the last left before the point of Arch Cape juts out into the sea and follow Leech Lane east to your shuttle car.

CAUTION: Do not try to round headlands without knowledge of tide heights and times. Bring a tide chart and a detailed topo map. Free tide tables are available at state park offices, information centers, and the Hatfield Marine Science Center website.

INFO: Oregon Coast Trail

Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3 | Section 4

-Mapped by Echo Hobbs, Salem Hiking Meetup

TO TRAILHEAD: Shuttle Hike - Ecola State Park parking lot off of highway 101 on the North End. Leech Avenue on the South end, last road on the right as you head South or first on the left on the way North in relation to the tunnel just south of the little town / community of Arch Cape.

Position Format: Datum:

Ecola State Park to Arch Cape

Distance: 9.45 mi Points: 760
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi

Points of Interest


Location: 45.919617, -123.974275
Hike south from the parking area off Ecola Park Road.


Location: 45.915511, -123.966856
Cross a bridge.


Location: 45.915139, -123.969008
The trail passes Crescent Beach (0.1 mile to the west).


Location: 45.911847, -123.965661
Turn right onto Ecola State Park Road and head south.


Location: 45.910661, -123.964619
Continue straight at the junction.


Location: 45.903675, -123.959694
Turn left on 5th Street.


Location: 45.902653, -123.957269
Turn right onto Fir Street (becomes Elm Avenue) and cross Ecola Creek.


Location: 45.898319, -123.959942
Turn right onto 2nd Street.


Location: 45.898300, -123.962769
Beach access: Turn left and walk south along Cannon Beach.


Location: 45.889464, -123.962378
Public restrooms are located near the corner of Dawes Avenue and Hemlock Street in Cannon Beach.


Location: 45.884369, -123.967011
The route passes 235-foot Haystack Rock. Look for tide pools teeming with starfish, sea anemone, crabs, and sea slugs. On summer weekends, volunteers are present to help educate people about these underwater gardens.


Location: 45.873428, -123.963825
Walk south through Tolovana Beach Wayside Park.


Location: 45.857619, -123.964492
Silver Point


Location: 45.847844, -123.962217
Pass Humbug Point.


Location: 45.839233, -123.961508
Arcadia Beach


Location: 45.831492, -123.962483
Follow the road blasted into Hug Point. Caution: Do this during mid- or low tide. The road is submerged during high tide.


Location: 45.831103, -123.962439
A cave is located on the southern side of Hug Point.


Location: 45.830108, -123.961786


Location: 45.828919, -123.962581
Pass Austin Point.


Location: 45.819378, -123.963289
Austin Creek flows into the ocean.


Location: 45.804494, -123.966283
Turn left onto Leech Lane.


Location: 45.804381, -123.964583
The hike ends at Leech Lane and Canon Road.

View from Ecola State Park

Location: 45.919586, -123.973953
View down the beach from the Ecola parking area. © Echo Hobbs


Location: 45.915303, -123.968439
© Echo Hobbs

Ecola Creek

Location: 45.902172, -123.957953
© Echo Hobbs

View of Tillamook Head

Location: 45.893997, -123.965672
© Echo Hobbs

Sand Castle

Location: 45.885767, -123.965564
© Echo Hobbs

Haystack Rock

Location: 45.884258, -123.966486
© Echo Hobbs

Tillamook Head from Humbug Point

Location: 45.847844, -123.961831
© Echo Hobbs

Hug Point

Location: 45.832392, -123.962172
© Echo Hobbs

Road around Hug Point

Location: 45.831683, -123.963181
The road gets covered by high tide. © Echo Hobbs

Hug Point

Location: 45.831022, -123.962569
© Echo Hobbs


Location: 45.831100, -123.962392
© Echo Hobbs


Location: 45.830078, -123.962258
© Echo Hobbs

Walking along Arch Cape

Location: 45.806547, -123.965864
© Echo Hobbs

Arch Cape

Location: 45.804856, -123.966314
© Echo Hobbs

Path to Leech Lane

Location: 45.804497, -123.966225
© Echo Hobbs

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