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Arresting Views of Indian Beach, Ecola, at Cannon Beach

Published 08/27/2012


(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – There is so much to see from this north Oregon coast landmark, so much more than just the beach itself.

Cannon Beach's Ecola State Park and its Indian Beach are a major attraction for the Oregon coast, with bundles of hiking, surfing and beachcombing all around you. Even its history stretches back to some events that were a game-changer for the entire United States some 200 years ago. The spot played a part in a major movie too, but it's literally the views that steal the show here.


Among these sights, of course, include seeing that lighthouse, the mysterious Tillamook Rock Lighthouse about a mile offshore. It's nicknamed Terrible Tilly for the grueling conditions that plagued the lighthouse keepers stationed out there during its run as a functioning light, until the late 50's. This is how it looks at sea level from the sandy stretch of Indian Beach.

Behind you, Indian Beach presents these magnificent, golden cliffs, especially if the sun hits them just right.


From the picnic ground area and overlook at Indian Beach, this spot has quite the key to unlock scenic beauty with – in more than one sense of the word. That rock in the distance with a hole in it is known as “Goonies Rock” these days, because it held a “key” moment near the end of that cult favorite. It's unclear if the rock had another name before the The Goonies movie made such a splash. But it got stuck with that moniker fairly quickly after the flick rose to prominence.

These overlooks are arresting during any mood the seasons present here on the Oregon coast.


The history of Ecola State Park – that we know of – goes back as far as Lewis & Clark, but obviously the native peoples here had more ties to it for much, much longer.

In late December 1806, Clark and 12 members of the Corps of Discovery, including Sacagawea, set off south from their Fort Clatsop in search of a beached whale they'd heard about from local tribes. This arduous journey took them over what is now Tillamook Head, ambling over heavy brush and steep inclines. It caused William Clark to proclaim it "the Steepest worst & highest mountain I ever ascended."


At some point, the 13 stopped along the hills of Ecola State Park – presumably south of Indian Beach - and apparently at least member of the crew carved his name into a tree around these overlooks. This was never found, however.


Then there are the massive, impressive views of the main overlooks, seen above, with that highly recognizable tree soaring high into the air.


This amazing spot still looks that way even at night.

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