North Cannon Beach/Ecola State Park (at low tide)

Cannon Beach/Ecola park Cheat Sheet

Hiking Distance: 5 – 6 Miles
Elevation Gain: 0′
Difficulty: Easy
Traffic: Moderate/Heavy (but spread out)
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Kid-Friendly: Yes
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: Yes
Horses Allowed: Yes
Parking Fee: No
Bathrooms: Public restrooms
Features: Rock formations, tide pools, wildlife/ocean life
Distance from Burnside Bridge: 79.5 Miles

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Cannon Beach/Ecola park

I’ve been to Cannon Beach quite a few times, usually with visitors who wanted to see Beacon Rock so I usually walked south. I’ve also hiked much of Ecola State Park but only through the forest.

Turns out that the beach part of Ecola State Park is absolutely phenomenal, which is what I’m recommending on this “hike.” On the foggy day that I went, it was like visiting another planet (see photos below).

This is more of a walk than a hike and I hadn’t originally intended on blogging it, but afterwards really wanted to share it with folks.

If you can, wear neoprene water shoes so you can adventure around in the water. I went barefoot, which is doable, but did lose some feeling in my feet after a while which was a bit of a concern.

Final and most important tip: Check the tide tables before you go and go at low tide. This was the best tidepooling I’ve ever done!

Notes for getting there: I usually stop at the public restrooms before moseying down West 2nd Street and down the stairs to the beach. Get there early if you go during the summer because parking can be a problem. I arrived around 8:00 a.m. on a Friday during August and managed to get a spot right at the end of the street near the beach. There are other access points to use if you get there during a busier time, so do your research and plan ahead (but expect a little chaos).

Saddle Mountain

Saddle Mountain Cheat Sheet

Hiking Distance: 6 Miles
Elevation Gain: 1700′
Difficulty: Strenuous
Traffic: Heavy
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Kid-Friendly: No
Dogs Allowed: Yes (use extreme caution)
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Parking Fee: None
Bathrooms: Yes
Features: Views, Wildflowers, Dense Forest, Picnic Tables along Trail
Distance from Burnside Bridge: 72 Miles

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Saddle Mountain is a must-do for any avid hiker in the Portland area. The views are spectacular and the changing scenery and rock formations keep things interesting. It’s a tough hike but worth it if you don’t mind (or even enjoy) those dizzying moments as you climb ever upward.

Theres a side trail about 0.2 miles in that you should definitely check out. I think it’s one of the best views on a hike full of amazing views.

If your dog is clumsy, like mine, you may want to leave her home when you hike this one. There is wire fencing on the path in some places to help with erosion which could trip your dog, and other areas that are just generally dicey.

Because this is such an amazing hike, the trail tends to get busy. Try checking it out on a weekday if that’s an option for you.

For more info, check out the Saddle Mountain Trail Guide.

Here’s a link to the Saddle Mountain trailhead location.