The sounds of ocean waves and seabirds soothe as you walk part or all of the almost four miles of sandy beach stretching between Cannon Beach and the Pacific Ocean. Punctuated by beautiful rock formations and sea stacks characteristic of the fantastic Oregon coastline, the beach extends from the north at rocky Chapman Point to the south at Silver Point. It is graced in the center by iconic Haystack Rock, rising 235 feet out of the ocean and featuring an ecosystem of bird life and tidepools that cannot be missed. With plenty of access points, this beach is a great place for everything from romantic strolls and twilight bonfires to sandcastle building and beach combing. For even more options, explore any of several nearby beaches, including Arcadia Beach, Hug Point, and Short Sand Beach to the south and the beaches of Ecola State Park to the north, each with its unique appeal and beauty.
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. 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 the 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 town's Midtown area's public parking lot at Gower Street. This central stretch of beach is also easily accessed at the end of 2nd Street near downtown public parking areas or 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 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 will 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 year's lowest tides 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 stretches 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 one-mile stroll south. When the 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 provides 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.