As you hike the trail from Ecola State Park to Indian Beach, on the northern Oregon coast, gorgeous ocean views will stop you in your tracks as you emerge suddenly upon them from the forest. This 3-mile roundtrip hike turned out to be a fun and rewarding half-day activity for my family, with children ranging in age from 8 to 21.
The trailhead is at Ecola State Park, a beautiful park sitting on a grassy hill overlooking the ocean, and off to the south, Cannon Beach. Our 1.5 mile hike led through the forest on a relatively easy trail that snaked up, down and around before dumping us out at Indian Beach, a secluded and uncrowded place. Along the way, the trail escapes from the trees periodically, offering stunning views of the ocean and monolithic rocks below. It provides an excellent reason to stop, catch your breath, get a drink, and pull out your camera.
Our kids practically ran the whole way, and our 8-year-old had no trouble at all. We all enjoyed picking wild raspberries and examining a small garden snake as it crossed our path. When we arrived at the beach, we had fun hopping along the lava rocks and inspecting the multi-colored starfish in the tide pools. The day was blessed with sunshine, a rare gift on a trip where it rained the rest of the week. (It was still beautiful on the rainy days!)
Everyone was hungry when we returned from our hike, so we sat down at one of the picnic tables in the park and enjoyed a simple lunch. Before we could leave that picturesque spot, we soaked in the view of majestic Cannon Beach, and took many photos. It was one of my favorite days of our entire Oregon trip, and it’s a hike I would recommend for families, especially LDS families looking for good, clean fun.