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Cannon Beach's Unknown Beaches: Escape Within an Oregon Coast Escape

Published 05/26/2019 at 2:53 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Cannon Beach's Unknown Beaches: Escape Within an Oregon Coast Escape

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(Cannon Beach, Oregon) - The sands of Cannon Beach, one of the Oregon coast's more popular hotspots, are usually smothered with people as well as grains. However, there are a handful of parts that are less populated, where you can get away from the throngs and crowds.

One is at the very northern end, near the southern face of the cliffs of Ecola State Park and what is known as Chapman Point. It takes some walking, but that's why you'll find less folks there.

These basalt headlands are perhaps half a mile from the nearest beach access, which lies at the end of a private neighborhood at 5th St. This final access is close to Les Shirley Park and its parking and restrooms. If you’re up for some hiking, you can, however, reach it by a much longer walk from the last access downtown - from Whale Park. But you’ll have to cross the creek.

Jutting out into the sea is Chapman Point, a miniature cove all its own along this part of the Oregon coast. Behind that basalt structure sits an even more hidden beach: Crescent Beach. There, you'll find a large half-moon of a beach, cut off from any access except a more than one-mile hike. Pristine sands surround you, with almost always nary another human being there. A mix of rubbly stuff, rocky blobs and soft sands, a sizable sandstone monolith sits practically in the middle.

This part of Cannon Beach you can only get to via a hike from the road that takes you to Ecola State Park, which begins at the private neighborhood. You can't park at the trailhead: you'll have to park a ways away along this winding road and hike to the beginning of the hiking trail. It's a lot of work getting to Crescent Beach. Hence the lack of crowds, indeed the almost complete lack of anyone.

Hovering over Crescent Beach are the cliffs of Ecola State Park and its main viewpoint. When you look down from this famed Oregon coast viewing area, it’s Crescent Beach in the foreground.

On extremely rare occasions, Chapman Point opens up during enormous minus tides. Even then, your window of opportunity is tiny: dart in and out quickly or you’re stuck walking a couple of miles or more back to civilization.


Also hidden to much of the world is the southern end of Cannon Beach – the extreme southern end, beyond famed Tolovana. Look for the streets with the names of other Oregon coast regions and tribes, such as Coos, Orford, etc. Keep walking south of there and you quickly come to an area with no more beach accesses and thus no one else.

After a half mile or so you come to Silver Point, where magical things can be found. Wild scratchings in the cliff walls that tell some funky geologic tales, an awe-inspiring sea cave, wave action that conducts itself in an odd manner, and small boulders covered in sea goo that manage to make them look hairy.

Here, you almost always have this area to yourself, and without the long, strenuous trek of getting to Crescent Beach.

If you’re up for some major hiking, the beach continues southward and uninterrupted a couple of miles until it reaches Hug Point. More on these spots below and at the Cannon Beach Virtual Tour.

Hotels in Cannon Beach - Where to eat -

Cannon Beach Vacation Rentals.  About 60 vacation homes to choose from: ocean view, oceanfront and very close to the beach, all in Cannon Beach or in Arch Cape. All are either oceanfront or very close. Homes sleep as many as 12. 164 Sunset. Cannon Beach, Oregon. 503-436-0940. 866-436-0940. www.visitcb.com 

Inn at Haystack Rock.  3 blocks from downtown, only a block from beach. Garden courtyard with a Spanish-style fountain. Private patios, barbecue area, free wi-fi, flatscreen TV with DVD player, large, complimentary DVD library. Some host sleep two or three, one hosts six. 487 S. Hemlock. Cannon Beach . 800-559-0893. Inn at Haystack Rock website here.

The Inn at Arch Cape  Historic gem, 100 years old. Updated rooms w/ flat panel TV, WiFi, fireplace made of beach rock (firewood provided). 31950 W. Ocean Lane. Arch Cape, Oregon. (less than 10 min drive from Manzanita) (503) 436-2082. Website here.- Book now


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