There are many great options for walking, playing or exploring nature on the beach with scenic rock formations, including Haystack Rock, offering spectacular settings and remarkable natural areas. The tidepools at Haystack Rock are one of Oregon's seven protected Marine Gardens and all of the near-shore and off-shore rocks along Cannon Beach are vibrant bird habitats and part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. You're invited to explore these exceptional recreation and wildlife areas.
Haystack Rock & The Needles: The two-mile stretch of beach between Ecola Creek (downtown) and Tolovana Park is Cannon Beach's most popular attraction with famous Haystack Rock rising 235 feet at the edge of the center of this sandy expanse. Explore colorful tidepools, watch nesting puffins or photograph the sunset at Haystack Rock. Just south of Haystack Rock are two rocky spires known as “The Needles.” The most convenient beach access to Haystack Rock is a block west of the public parking lot at Gower Street in the town’s Midtown area. This central stretch of beach is also easily accessed at the end of 2nd Street near downtown public parking areas or at the Tolovana Park wayside just two miles south of downtown. A beautiful beach walk of about a mile leads to Haystack Rock from either location.
Chapman Point & Bird Rocks: North of Ecola Creek, the beach reaches north to Chapman Point where large offshore rocks known as Bird Rocks are home to a dense colony of Common Murres that nest here from spring through midsummer. Bring your binoculars and you are sure to exclaim “wow” at the crowded life on the rocks. You may also see Bald Eagles who frequently prey on the nesting colony. This north-end beach is less crowded due to the watery boundary of Ecola Creek. When creek flow is low, waders can traverse the water. Otherwise, head to Les Shirley park on the north side of Ecola Creek where you will find public parking and beach access along the creek. Walk around the dune and head north to Chapman Point. Only the lowest tides of the year will enable you to proceed further to Crescent Beach.
Tolovana Park to Silver Point: At the south end of Cannon Beach (Tolovana Park), the beach stetches south to Silver Point with its rock formation and Jockey Cap Rock just to the south. At low tide, tidepools at Silver Point Rock can be explored and both rocks offer abundant bird life to observe. Park at the Tolovana Park wayside and Silver Point is about a one-mile stroll south. When tide is low, you can continue another mile south along the beach to Arcadia Beach.
More Beaches Nearby: Ecola State Park offers easy access to Indian Beach and a hike to Crescent Beach. Indian Beach is popular with surfers and it offers views of the dramatic rock formations off Ecola Point to the south. Crescent Beach stretches south from the main Ecola State Park viewpoint and is accessible by hiking the park trail recommended for intermediate to experienced hikers. South of Cannon Beach, visitors will find beach access at Arcadia Beach and Hug Point just minutes away. Further south, Oswald West State State Park offers a short walk to beautiful Short Sand Beach, another favorite of surfers.
Read more about Cannon Beach's top attractions
Seeing the Sights
Arts & Culture
Ecola State Park
Hiking & Recreation
Romance & Celebrations
Nature & Wildlife
Romance & Celebrations