A Weekend Road Trip to Cannon Beach, Oregon


I peered more than my camera and admired the indisputable beauty of the rocky coastline. It was an overcast day on the Oregon Coast—not unusual—and the fog seemed endless, reaching from the sky all the way down to the horizon. And except for the crashing waves and distant caws of seagulls, the beach was fully silent. 

I was standing on the shores of Cannon Beach and it was absolutely nothing quick of magical.

Garrett, my fantastic buddy and filmmaker extraordinaire, was chasing seagulls in front of Haystack Rock with his camera attempting to “get the shot.” I stayed back on the beach and laughed.

There’s one thing utterly hilarious about watching a grown man chase birds.

Just one particular day prior I landed in Portland and Garrett drove in from out of town to choose me up at the airport. I was right here in partnership with Spirit Airlines who flies into the Portland Airport (PDX) each day, generating trips to Portland and the Oregon Coast less costly and much more accessible than ever.

We stocked his beat up Jetta with meals supplies, camping gear and photography gear, and with nearly zero program on the books, we hit the road in search of the ideal photography spots along the Oregon Coast.

Points to Do in Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach is the ultimate escape for nature lovers. As a quaint coastal town, it is also an perfect location for these searching for a bit of quiet and relaxation. 

If you take pleasure in extended walks on the beach and ocean-side bonfires, then Cannon Beach is the spot for you.

Hang on the Beach (if the Climate is Superior)

Cloudy days on Cannon Beach.

There’s no doubt that the major attraction in Cannon Beach is the beach itself. Surrounded by jagged rocks and towering cliffs, Cannon Beach is a tranquil getaway along the Oregon coast.

But do not anticipate to roll out your beach towel and sunbathe. The climate in Cannon Beach can ideal be described as moody, with ferocious windstorms, overcast skies and lots of rain.

Having said that, the pristine beauty of the beach alone will make you overlook about tropical climate.

Bring a frisbee, stroll the shoreline or appear for marine life in the pools for the duration of low tide. If you are feeling adventurous, you can also go for a swim in the ocean (though I extremely advocate wearing a wetsuit).

Photograph the Renowned Haystack Rock

The rain clouds and rain came in quite promptly in front of the well-known Haystack Rock!

Situated in the middle of the ocean is the city’s most iconic landmark: Haystack Rock. Protruding 235 feet above sea level, Haystack Rock is thought of to be the world’s third-biggest monolith.

With the sky reflecting off the wet sand, Haystack Rock was created to be photographed. In reality, it is one particular of the most photographed sights in the complete state of Oregon!

You can quite a lot get a excellent angle of the rock from anyplace along the beach. Or, there are some spots along Gower and Hemlock Street that boast unobstructed views from greater up. 

Have a Campfire on the Beach

Cannon Beach is one particular of only a handful of beaches in Oregon that let campfires. So take benefit of it!

As the sun goes down, lay out a couple of blankets and whip out the marshmallows for a fantastic old fashioned bonfire. There’s absolutely nothing much more relaxing than ending your day listening to the roar of the crackling flames with a bottle of nearby Oregon lager in hand.

With the looming shadow of Haystack Rock in the distance, you will really feel as if you have the complete beach to oneself. And if it is a clear evening, you will also have a excellent view of the stars from the beach.

Even though the fire will retain you cozy, nights on the beach can nevertheless be chilly. I advocate bringing further layers and bundling up to keep warm.

Devote the Day in Ecola State Park

Stretching nine miles down the Oregon coastline is Ecola State Park, one particular of my favourite locations in Cannon Beach. The park is perched atop Tillamook Head and boasts some of the ideal views of the Pacific Ocean. 

Head to the prime of Ecola Point for panoramic views of Cresent Beach and the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. If you are searching for a longer hike, then trek the two.five-mile Clatsop Loop Interpretive Trail, a route applied members of Lewis and Clark for the duration of their two-year expedition. 

You can also go to Indian Beach, a secluded sandy beach surrounded by black rocks and lush greenery. This beach is also a well-liked location for surfers. 

Grab a Beer at Pelican Brewery

It is correct, the Pacific Northwest is recognized for its extraordinary craft beer scene. Just order a beer a Pelican Brewery, and you will see what I imply.

Pelican Brewery began in Pacific City, Oregon, and sooner or later opened a number of tasting rooms about the state. Not only does the brewery in Cannon Beach have 20 rotating beers on tap, but they also serve scrumptious pub meals to match. Attempt a handful of of my favorites, like the hoppy Beak Bender Pale Ale or the refreshing 5 Fin Pilsner.

You can also ask the staff for a private brewery tour to understand much more about the beer that is brewed on-web-site.

Hike to Devil’s Cauldron

This quick hike brings you to what was in all probability my favourite spot to go to on this trip. Situated just off the 101, it is a half mile out and back with some of the ideal views we identified.

Spectacular seascapes, rocky coastline and photo ops galore.

Be cautious right here, as the cliffs are steep. There are security ropes, and I advise you not to pass them unless you know what you are undertaking.

Check out the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum

If it begins raining for the duration of your go to Cannon Beach (which it in all probability will), then I advocate spending a handful of hours in the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum. This compact museum is packed with artifacts, stories and photographs detailing just about every inch of Cannon Beach history.

There are fascinating exhibits on Native Americans, Oregon’s initially settlers, the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1806. In the shipwreck exhibit, you will also understand how Cannon Beach earned its harrowing nickname, “The Graveyard of the Pacific.”

See the Tide Pools at Hug Point

With sandy beaches, dark sea caves, and cascading waterfalls, Hug Point State Park is one particular of the most diverse parks along the Oregon coast. It is just 5 miles south of Cannon Beach, and worth a pit cease for the duration of your go to.

Come for the duration of low tide, exactly where you can discover the shallow tide pools and stroll via the colossal rock caves. As you appear in the pools, you will be capable to spot starfish, barnacles and sea anemones. It is also exciting to gather sand dollars that have been scattered about the beach.

Saying Goodbye to Cannon Beach

Just after a memorable weekend on the coast, it was time to head back to the genuine planet. We packed up our tents, loaded up the Jetta (who performed marvelously on the road trip) and began the journey back to Portland.

My flight with Spirit Airlines left in the evening, so we had a leisurely stroll back to Portland, ample time to say our “goodbye for now’s” and a handful of hours to reflect on the previous weekend.

My trip to Cannon Beach was much more than just a seaside holiday. In reality, I had just spent a number of days with one particular of my ideal buds exploring and photographing one particular of the most wonderful locations on the planet. It does not get greater than that!

Cannon Beach Road Trip Logistics

How to Get From Portland to Cannon Beach

Acquiring into Portland is a cinch. Round-trip fares on Spirit are unbelievably economical, which tends to make having to and from Cannon Beach a breeze.

From Portland, you can attain Cannon Beach in as small as 90 minutes. Highway 26 is a straight shot from Portland straight to the coast. It is the quickest route, but in all probability not the most scenic.

Alternatively, attempt Highway six. This route adds an further hour to the journey, but winds along the Wilson River. You will also get to see a number of waterfalls on the drive. If you have got the time, the further hour is nicely worth it.

The third choice is to take Highway 30 to Astoria and then US-101 south to Cannon Beach. The drive is slower and much more relaxed than taking Highway 26 and delivers wonderful views of the Columbia River. 

As soon as you get to the town of Cannon Beach, you will see it is compact and charming, with a number of shops and restaurants dotted along North Hemlock Street. The beach, which is also referred to as Cannon Beach, is situated just a handful of methods from the town.

Cannon Beach Climate

The climate along the Oregon Coast is unpredictable, to say the least. We traveled in mid-June, and our initially evening was a scene straight out of a horror film as dense fog and sticky rain engulfed the complete region. But the subsequent day, we have been surprisingly greeted with clear skies, warm climate and a spectacular sunset. 

As you can see, the climate in Cannon Beach can be wildly variable.

But frequently speaking, summer season is the most comfy time to go to the Oregon Coast. In the course of this time, temperatures hover amongst 60 to 65 degrees F and there is reasonably small rain. Whilst summer season is the warmest time to go to, it is nevertheless widespread to have overcast and cloudy days from time to time.

Winter, on the other hand, is normally windy, wet and cold. You may well get fortunate with a handful of mild days, nonetheless, you should really anticipate constant rain showers. If you want to devote time outdoors on the beach, you are greater off going for the duration of a distinctive time of year. 

Cannon Beach Camping

If you program on camping in Cannon Beach, you will have a wide variety of campgrounds to select from. 

As an Oregon native, Garrett knew a handful of fantastic locations for backcountry camping. He grew up in these components, and upon arrival, we went to go go to the spots exactly where he applied to camp for no cost as a kid.

However, we found that camping was no longer permitted in these locations, leaving us frantically looking for a new location to keep. We planned to camp for no cost, but as it turns out, in Cannon Beach, there’s just no such factor any longer.

Garrett brought the incorrect poles for his tent so slept in this janky setup &#x1f923

That is how we identified Wright’s for Camping. This loved ones-run campground situated in the woods and is just a quick 10-minute stroll to the beach. Every single of the 22 camping web pages has a picnic table and fire ring, and there are bathrooms and laundry facilities on the home. 

Yet another campground in the region is Sea Ranch RV Park &amp Stables. They have each RV hookups and tent web pages, as nicely as bathrooms, laundry and picnic facilities.

If you choose to keep outdoors the city, then head handful of miles south to Nehalem Bay State Park. They’re open year-round and have tent web pages as nicely as yurts for rent. The park also delivers a ton of exciting activities like hiking, horseback riding, and fishing.

Whilst we lucked out and got a camping spot final minute, it is nevertheless advised to reserve early in advance. Most web pages are booked out, specially for the duration of the summer season higher season.

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