One of Ecola State Park's first attractions was a beached whale. In 1806, Capt. William Clark and twelve members of the Corps of Discovery climbed over rocky headlands and fought their way through thick shrubs and trees to get to the whale in what is now Ecola State Park. Today, a paved road from Cannon Beach makes your trek to the park much easier. Winding your way through towering Sitka spruce, you suddenly emerge upon a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean. Be sure to have your camera ready. Ecola State Park offers year-round recreation for all types of modern day explorers. Stop for a picnic to feed your hungry adventurers before taking to the many miles of trails. At Indian Beach you can begin your own expedition on The Clatsop Loop Trail [1.4 MB Acrobat file], a new interpretive trail you that gives you the chance to walk in the footsteps of Capt. Clark and his men. There's more to the park than this rich history. Surfers ride the waves at Indian Beach and tide pools await your discovery. Keep a watchful eye open for the many species of wildlife and birds that call Ecola home. Spot migrating gray whales during winter and spring. And after a long day of exploration, stop for an overnight rest on Tillamook Head in the park's primitive cabins, (cabins are small and very primitive) a 1.5 mile hike from the Indian Beach trailhead.
The view of the coast from the parking lot was spectacular, the hike was incredibly muddy in over a dozen places, as others have mentioned, and the beach itself was beautiful and sparsely populated.
We left the trail at 10:30am and took our time along the hike down the the beach, stopping at a few places to enjoy the view and take some pictures.
At the beach, we took off our shoes and socks and waded into the water, and then sat on the black rocks to soak in the sun and dry off.
We made better time on the way back, and arrived back at our car at 11:45, 1 hour and 15 minutes after we set out.
All in all our tracker app (Strava) logged 3.2 miles - a little more that I expected - and 620 feet elevation gain.
I definitely recommend water proof hiking shoes due to the mud. Hiking poles would have also been nice.
My oldest daughter and I hiked a portion of this trail starting from the Sunset Blvd trailhead entrance. It was a clear beautiful sunny day. If the trail wasn't soggy and extremely muddy in places it would be a very pleasant hike. Even though it was a clear day, the wind was blowing strong as we scaled the first elevation gain. It was bit chilly on top. Overall the hike was easy to moderate in its elevation gain. It would have been a great workout if we went to the end of the trail and exited at Ecola State Park. But we were limited on time and turn around about halfway on the trail.
Hopefully we'll find another warm clear day to take on this hike. If the trail was dry and the wind was less, I may have rated it 4 stars
Pretty sure this would be a fabulous hike without mud but alas, hiking in February is MUDDY. If we hadn't brought our poles and high-ankle boots from Seattle, we would have been extremely sorry. But I'm a hiking addict so we weathered the weather and the muddy, slippery terrain anyway.
went with our 2.5 year old & 7 year old daughter. my husband took turns having our youngest on our shoulders going up the trail but she did half of it on the way down. my oldest did the entire trail. speaking of the trail itself, it was absolutely beautiful & a great work out while going up the trail. the clatsop loop down was pretty easy. there's views along the route. its definitely worth it and I'll most likely go again!