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Crescent Beach Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Crescent Beach from Ecola Point (bobcat)
On Crescent Beach (bobcat)
Cave, Crescent Beach (bobcat)
Sitka spruce and salal, Crescent Beach Trail (bobcat)
Walks at Ecola Point and Crescent Beach (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Ecola State Park TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Chapman Point
  • Trail log:
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 3.6 miles
  • Elevation gain: 310 feet
  • High Point: 300 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

This secluded little beach, hemmed in by two well-photographed headlands, Ecola Point and Chapman Point is only 1 1/4 miles from the busy parking lot at Ecola State Park. Only a small percentage of day trippers make it down to the beach, however, and you can enjoy the caves at Ecola Point and views of the sea stacks off both points - Sea Lion Rocks at Ecola Point and Bird Rocks at Chapman Point - in relative isolation. At low tide, the tide pools invite exploration and pelicans, sea lions, and seals are frequently spotted offshore.

First, take a little time to wander around Ecola Point. There is a steep access trail down to the beach at the north side of the point so you can walk around to Sea Lion Rocks (This trail may be closed, however). Note that the trails out to the viewpoint have been permanently closed since December 2015. From various points around the parking area, you can get views south to Haystack Rock and Cape Falcon as well as north to the offshore Tillamook Rock Light and Tillamook Head. Look for all manner of sea birds: pelicans are profuse in the summer, as are cormorants, murres and gulls.

Head back to the restrooms. The signed Crescent Beach Trail begins to the left side of these. Walk up some steps and then drop into lush woods. Sitka spruce, alder, sword fern and red elderberry dominate. There are more steps up and then you cross a service road and meet Ecola Park Road. Follow the road for about 70 yards and then drop down on the trail again. Get a view at a bench at the top of a cliff and then head into the spruce forest. Both elk and deer are common in these woods, so keep an eye and an ear out! Emerge at a clifftop viewpoint and then you’re back into deeper woods. The trail runs into a lush gully. Cross a creek on a plank bridge and traverse up into a salal thicket. Then reenter the woods and rise through dense salal and spruce. The trail drops through a more open thicket to a junction. Keeping left would take you up to Ecola Park Road. Switchback right for Crescent Beach. The trail leads down through alder and young spruce. Switchback three times on a slippery tread. Make a short traverse into an open woodland of spruce, and switchback three more times to cross a footbridge; then, switchback down some wooden steps to the beach.

Walking north, you'll see a small waterfall splashing down to the driftwood-rimmed beach: it is lushly crowned by blooming seawatch, stonecrop, figwort and paintbrush in summer. At Ecola Point, there are caves and two tunnels that you can walk through. At low tide, you can go around the point to a series of pocket beaches, but choose the time of your passage very carefully. Turn back and walk to the south end of the beach at Chapman Point, with the distinctly-shaped Thimble Rock and the Bird Rocks offshore. At the low point of the tide, it's possible to walk around the point to Chapman Beach. Chapman Point itself is protected by the small John Yeon State Natural Site, named after the preservationist who bought the land in 1927 to prevent it becoming the site of a dance hall. Yeon later donated the land to the state.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Dogs must be on leash
  • $5 day-use parking fee
  • Picnic tables, restrooms, interpretive signs

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • I Heart Oregon (& Washington) by Lisa D. Holmes
  • 120 Hikes on the Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Day Hiking: Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • PDX Hiking 365 by Matt Reeder
  • Oregon Coast Hikes by Paul Williams
  • Oregon's Best Coastal Beaches by Dick Trout
  • The Oregon Coast Trail Guide by Jon Kenneke (eBook)
  • Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide by Jan Bannan

More Links


Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.