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Think You Know the Oregon Coast Village of Arch Cape? (Video)

Published 06/10/2020 at 6:24 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Think You Know the Oregon Coast Village of Arch Cape? (Video)

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(Arch Cape, Oregon) – That little unincorporated town just south of Cannon Beach is a mere blip as you whiz past the entrance to the Arch Cape Tunnel, on a deeply forested stretch of north Oregon coast that is more mysterious than it even looks. The place is tiny but it’s packed with a variety of layers, often quite unique to the rest of the region.

From its history to its weird geology (check out the ghost forests of Arch Cape), along with the natural nooks ‘n crannies of the village, there are more sides to this than meets the eye. You can see some of that in the video, showing two different color schemes. Here’ even more:

Arch Cape Was the Original Cannon Beach. Yes Virginia, there were technically two Cannon Beach’s, although not at the same time. Arch Cape had the name Cannon Beach originally because that’s where a cannon was found from a wrecked ship back in the 1900s. It had that moniker from 1891 until 1911, when it suddenly decided it didn’t want it anymore, changing it to Arch Cape.

In 1922, the slightly larger town of Ecola (called Elk Creek before that) changed its name again to Cannon Beach. See Quirky Oregon Coast History: How Cannon Beach Got Its Name.

Mammoth Historic Find. The USS Shark had wrecked way up at Astoria in the 1840s and parts of it slinked their way down to this spot. Some forty years later, a local man spotted three cannon from that ship as well as other parts, but only had time to pull away one – which you can see at the Cannon Beach History Museum. The other two made only brief appearances over the next decade or two and then completely disappeared into the sand.

Thus, they become lore for over 100 years. Until the major storms of 2007 and ‘08, when a Lake Oswego teen made the discovery of the century: she spotted the two cannon in the sand. It was a huge media event at the time and made regional historians quite happy. It was even featured on a major PBS show at the time. See Cannon That Gave Oregon Coast Town Its Name Leaves the State.

Northern Arch Cape. Don’t think there’s only one entrance to Arch Cape. There’s at least two more, although a couple lurk in between private homes, and well, that’s just a bit awkward. Some of these gravel roads north of the main access (next to the Arch Cape tunnel) lead to beach accesses while others don’t.

Shark Lane is the other prime access real estate, where parking is at an absolute minimal (you’re parking in someone’s neighborhood so don’t be a jerk). A small path leads you onto what is largely a bunch of large stones and it’s difficult to walk on, but it’s fine if the tide is way out or summer sand levels get high enough. However, weird stuff piles up by the creek and it’s always interesting to see what Oregon coast waters have chucked up here lately.

The very northern end of the beaches starts at Hug Point, which leaves almost a mile of walking in the sand if you’re heading towards Shark Lane’s access. Along the way, this is a pleasant stroll on a fairly wide beach, but one you can’t really try if the tides are unruly.

Think You Know the Oregon Coast Village of Arch Cape? (Video)

Queen Victoria or Castle Rock? (Photo at top) That slightly poky but splat-like basalt structure out in front of Arch Cape is known primarily as Castle Rock, although many locals have simply nicknamed it Queen Vic, short for Queen Victoria. Look to this one when things get stormy out there as waves like to give it a good beating. Hotels in Cannon Beach - Where to eat - Cannon Beach Maps and Virtual Tours

Staying in Arch Cape?

Beachcomber Vacation Homes.  Numerous vacation rentals in the Cannon Beach area, including Falcon Cove and Arch Cape. Depending on the home, you may find amenities and luxuries such as a barbecue, claw foot tub, a ship's ladder. 115 Sunset Blvd. Cannon Beach, Oregon. 855-219-4758. 503-436-4500. Website.


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