Line Up at Ecola State Park, Oregon

Line Up at Ecola State Park, Oregon

Sitting in line is not one of my favorite pass times. I actually loathe having to wait. Make me sit in my car and I go crazy.

Yes, I am the woman who changes lanes in a traffic jam hoping yours will move faster than mine. I am also the person who roams the parking lot waiting for someone to move instead of just patiently waiting in a lane.

It’s a failing I know.

When we were in Cannon Beach, Oregon earlier this month I suggested to our merry band of friends that we head up the road 2 miles to Ecola State Park. There were supposed to be gorgeous views of the Tillamock Lighthouse and Haystack rock.

Expectations were high; we would not be disappointed. First we actually had to get into the park.

This might seem like an easy task, but it wasn’t. Everyone else in Cannon Beach had just finished up a late breakfast too. They all felt like a hike was the best course of action, just like me.

My car slowly crept along the winding path. I couldn’t even see the gate where I would pay my $5 entrance fee. Didn’t they have one of the boxes in the parking lot like in Washington? Whatever happened to the honor system? It sure is faster.

Finally, FINALLY, after drinking an entire bottle of Vitamin Water, we got through the gate.

There was a line up to park at Indian Beach, so we turned left to check out Ecola Point. Smart move; there was plenty of parking available there.

I couldn’t wait to stretch my legs…and head to the restrooms. Drinking an entire bottle of water in the car might not have been the best idea.

The wait in line, which honestly, was not more than 15 minutes, was well worth it.

Ecola Point was breathtaking. No, more than that. I felt like I was transported. If you hadn’t told me I was in Oregon, I might have thought I was on a Greek Island. The water was cobalt, turquoise and teal.

Waves crashed against mammoth rocks shooting out of the sea. In the distance I could see the Tillamock Lighthouse, which is actually kind of a creepy place these days. It operates as a columbarium, which means it holds the ash filled urns of the recently departed.

Looking down from the point we could see Crescent beach and Indian beach, both smooth expanses of sand that spring out past the Sitka spruce trees. Surfers have been known to take the waves at Indian Beach while budding Jacque Cousteaus can discover sea life in the tide pools.

We stuck to the point; climbing the hill for a better view and running through tall grass that I was convinced was home to a few snakes. I have no idea if there are actually snakes in that area, but tall grass always has something lurking in it, at least in my imagination.

The kids were determined to climb down to the beach. The parents put a quick stop to this death-defying trek. The kids were headed down a vertical drop most adults wouldn’t want to tackle.

I decided to forgo a trip to Indian beach. It was time to just go back to the hotel, prop our feet up and find the strength to hop in the hot tub. Our kids might not have been tired but the parents were ready to collapse.

No line getting out of the park hindered our path to nap time, and thank goodness. I’m not sure my sanity could have handled a back up in both directions.

Know Before You Go

  • Ecola State Park, Off Highway 101, 2 miles north of Cannon Beach
  • Cost: $5 per car for a day pass/ $30 for a 12-month permit
  • Restrooms on sight
  • Strollers? No. Bring a baby carrier for infants. Toddlers can easily walk in many parts
  • Picnic tables are available.
  • Pack: sunscreen and sun hats. If the sun is up you will find very little shade at Ecola Point.
  • Seasonal Highlights: Migrating gray whales during winter and spring months.

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20 comments

  1. What a beautiful spot and it looks like you had an absolutely perfect day – the photos are gorgeous! And I’ve learned a new word today – I had never heard of a columbarium before!

  2. Great photos! I’ve been down the Oregon Coast twice, but it’s been almost ten years since my last trip. This post really makes me want to go back.

  3. What a stunning place. I’m not a fan of waiting in lines either. I always get jealous of the lack of lines at male bathrooms. I would have never expected that you’d need to wait in a line to enter a national park!

  4. I’ve not been to Ecola for decades; your photos brought back some great memories though. What a beautiful day it was for your visit.

  5. If I get to the west coast, I think I need to visit this park. Your pictures are breathtaking!

  6. Another beautiful part of the Oregon Coast. It really is a stunning area…worth the wait in the line! Aren’t you lucky the weather was perfect.

  7. Thanks for this nudge for me to get to Oregon’s coast. STILL have never made it there. The ghosts in the Columbarium surely have a good view!

  8. I went there years ago and your photos certainly capture the beauty of the area.

  9. I am really jealous of all the amazing natural beauty you have around you. Those pictures are fantastic!

  10. Gorgeous!! I don’t think I have ever seen the Pacific look so beautiful! What a perfect day too.

    And I am just like you…impatient to get to where I want to be!!

    Thanks for linking up this week! XOXO

  11. Wow! I’ve been to the Oregon Coast many times but I don’t think I’ve seen it in this light (literally)! What a great day for some awesome photos! Post card images! Good work!

  12. I know the coastline in Oregon is gorgeous. It’s good to know where to go in particular though, so thanks for the tip.

  13. wow that sure looks like something from the Greek Islands! Bummer about the wait – at least the view was worth it. Yeah not sure that I would want to climb down to the beach…scary going down but can you imagine trying to get back up?

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