Worth a Stop: Ecola State Park

9 Sep

Ecola State Park

Located off Highway 101, approximately eighty miles west of Portland, lies one of Oregon’s greatest treasures. Steeped in rich history, Ecola State Park’s first claim to fame came by way of a beached whale back in 1806. Capt. William Clark and twelve members of the Corps of Discovery faced steep cliffs, rocky headlands, shrubs and trees fighting their way to reach the whale in what is now Ecola State Park.

Goonies Rock

Today, the park’s whale watching opportunities, reliable waves, and cult Hollywood connection that pulls in the crowds. Part of the cult classic “Goonies” was filmed on Indian Beach, located at the northern end of the park. The offshore rock structure with the oval hole in it, used at the end of the film, is now referred to as “Goonies Rock.” Even with all this draw, Ecola retains an incredibly mellow vibe, providing the perfect escape from the often-overcrowded community of Cannon Beach. It is as if this park has remained off the radar, its existence kept secret, tucked away amongst the Sitka spruces.

We come here to hike. It appears that no matter which trail you take, you’re guaranteed breathtaking views. We also make sure to pack a baguette, some cheese, and a little salad and fruit to enjoy down on Indian Beach once we’ve finished. It’s a great place to watch the surfers, and we’ve even witnessed a few weddings over the years.

Ecola State Park provides pit toilet restrooms, and there are several picnic areas located around the park with barbecues. Dogs (leashes required) are permitted but no horses. There is a year-round day use fee of $5.00 per vehicle due upon entry. Whether you’re a surfer coming for the waves, a day-tripper exploring the trails and wildlife, or an adventurer seeking a place to rest your head for the night (check out the park’s primitive cabins on Tillamook Head), Ecola State Park definitely won’t disappoint.

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