Great Spots to Check Out Tidepools That Aren’t Haystack Rock
Haystack Rock may be the easiest place in Cannon Beach to check out tidepools, but if you’re looking for a great tidepool experience that manages to also avoid some of the crowds, here are a few options to get you started.
During low tides, the rocks at Silver Point offer many of the same experiences as Haystack, but with far fewer people. You can get to this great spot by walking south from the Tolovana Wayside or you can access it by walking north from Arcadia Beach, where conditions and tides can also occasionally lend themselves to a handful of nice tidepools, particularly in spring before sand has built up on beaches.
Alternatively, a short drive into Ecola State Park at the north end of Cannon Beach leads to more than just the best views on the Oregon Coast. Take the side road out to Indian Beach and discover rarely visited tidepools at the south end of this less-populated boulder-strewn landscape.
The best intertidal area around Cannon Beach is just a short hike away. At the north end of Crescent Beach below the viewpoint at Ecola State Park, you will find plenty of tidepool life among the rocks of Ecola Point. Except for the lowest tides of the year, Crescent Beach is not accessible from the north end of Cannon Beach. The beach can be reached by hiking 1.25 miles south from the main parking lot at Ecola State Park or from a separate trailhead along the main park road. During extreme low tides, you can also reach Ecola Point by walking from the south around Chapman Point on the beach, but use caution when visiting to make sure your exit is not sealed off by incoming tides.
For optimum viewing, it is best to be in the intertidal area at least one hour before daily low tides as the tide is still receding. When visiting tidepools, be aware that the creatures and environment are easily damaged. Walk carefully to avoid damaging the fragile ecosystem. Slow down and watch carefully to observe the sea life in its home. Quietly watching a pool or gently moving seaweed aside will reveal organisms and behavior that would otherwise go unnoticed. Always be aware of your surroundings when visiting the intertidal area and never turn your back on the ocean.