I thought there was no place more scenic than Canada’s west coast. However after my visit to Oregon’s coast, I realized I might be wrong! My friends and I drove to America’s upper-left corner to camp at Nehalem Bay this past Victoria Day long weekend. Although the weather was still typical of the Pacific North-West, Oregon beaches hands-down beat BC beaches. The best part of our short road-trip was fitting a hike to Crescent Beach at Ecola State Park.
Just a short ten minute drive north of Cannon Beach is a much more quiet and secluded Crescent Beach. We drove up into Ecola State Park, winding our way through the forest. For those who are not capable of hiking down to Crescent Beach, the parking lot views were already pretty amazing in itself. There were many picnic tables for tourists to have lunch. My friends and I decided to hike down to the beach to enjoy our food.
Starting from a clearly marked trailhead by the bathrooms, we started on the Crescent Beach Trail. The trail itself isn’t too difficult, but apparently gets pretty muddy in the rainier seasons. Just under 6km there and back and 150m in elevation gain, the hike would probably take around an hour and a half to complete round-trip, but we spent about 3 hours on this adventure as we took our time exploring the beach.
The Crescent Beach Trail starts by meandering through a lush rainforest, with peaks of the gorgeous beach views teasing us of what’s soon to come. Apparently elk and deer often wander through this neck of the woods, but unfortunately we didn’t see any! We wandered through many switchbacks (without much elevation gain or loss) until we saw a sign that pointed us down to Crescent Beach. A junction in the trail also leads to Cannon Beach, which would make for another great hike for another time. From the junction, the switchbacks leading down to Crescent Beach got pretty steep so I definitely recommend having shoes with good tread, unlike Nick who struggled sliding all the way down in his lesbian sandals.
Once we climbed down to the beach, we were greeted by wide-open gorgeous ocean views. There was a miniature waterfall, some really cool cliff faces and even some caves which we unfortunately couldn’t explore as the tide was quickly coming in. We explored the vast beach and the best part was that there were maybe two or three other groups of people there the whole time! Apparently Crescent Beach is never crowded even on summer weekends. If this place existed in Vancouver, it would be absolutely packed. I guess when Cannon Beach is just down the road and is so much more accessible, most people would hang out there instead.
This trip made me yearn to move to a quaint coastal town and live life as a surf bum. Not only are the beaches so much more beautiful and the lifestyle so much more calm than Vancouver, these Oregon towns are so dog friendly! I regret leaving Rey at home. She would’ve absolutely loved running around in the wide open spaces of Crescent Beach.
- < 6km round-trip
- Approx. 150m
- 1-3 hours
- Muddy with many tree roots
- Suitable for families and relatively fit seniors (hiking poles recommended)
- Parking: $5 in Ecola State Park
Hikers: Josie, Kevin, Nickolai, Paula and Victoria
Camera Specs: Canon 70d body + Sigma 10-20mm f/4