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Ecola Point to Indian Beach Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

TKO put tools to trail here.png
Indian Point from the Oregon Coast Trail, Ecola State Park (bobcat)
View to Sea Lion Rock from the trail (bobcat)
On Indian Beach at Canyon Creek (bobcat)
Big Sitka spruce along the trail (bobcat)
The Oregon Coast Trail between Ecola Point and Indian Beach) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo/MapBuilder Topo
  • Start point: Ecola State Park TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Indian Beach
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 4.7 miles
  • Elevation gain: 875 feet
  • High Point: 475 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes

Contents

Hike Description

The section of the Oregon Coast Trail between Indian Beach and Ecola Point was washed out in 2017, and a new, somewhat longer route takes the trail farther inland. There are views at the beginning and end of this hike on the remaining sections of the old trail, but most of the trail takes you up above a thickly forested bowl in old-growth Sitka spruce forest that transitions to secondary forest. The reward at the end of the hike is a stroll along Indian Beach, tucked into a shallow cove between Indian Point and Bald Point, and views to ”Terrible Tilly”, a decommissioned lighthouse that sits atop its own lonely rock off of Tillamook Head. Note that the new trail, designed by Ptarmigan Ptrails and opened in 2020, is not difficult but it is extremely muddy and has some elevation gain, so come prepared with good footwear!

Before you take the Oregon Coast Trail north, you can walk out to the west end of the parking area. An opening in the trees to the right offers a view tp the arch and intriguing pinnacle at Sea Lion Rock offshore. Pick up a trail that leads down to a viewpoint of ”Terrible Tilly” and numerous sea stacks. Walk up a paved trail to get views south from Ecola Point to Crescent Beach, Chapman Point, Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock, and Cape Falcon. Then return to the north side of the parking area to find the Oregon Coast Trail.

The path, paved at first, leads down to a footbridge over swampy Crescent Creek, which flows lazily under an alder canopy. Then you’ll switchback up into a Sitka spruce/sword fern forest, passing a big spruce and taking a set of box steps up to two more switchbacks. You reach a viewpoint at a dropoff, where you can see north to Indian Point and ”Terrible Tilly”. From here, you’ll rise to pass the old decommissioned trail, and hike under spruce and hemlock through a salal understory.

The trail drops a little to offer views to the parking area and Ecola Point. Then the path winds up through several muddy dips and switchbacks past a massive spruce tree. Two more switchbacks take you to the high point on the trail, after which you’ll be descending in a secondary spruce forest full of nurse stumps. You can now see down to Ecola Park Road as you drop down a narrow ridge. Continue to wind down through many muddy spots and descend a set of steps to get views to the Sea Lion Rock arch, ”Terrible Tilly”, and Indian Beach. You’ll get more views down to the beach as you take a few more steps to switchback and reach a junction.

The trail to the right leads over Canyon Creek to the Indian Beach Trailhead, where there are restrooms. For Indian Beach itself, go left down to the somewhat cobbled strand. You can hike north a short stretch to Indian Point, but you’ll have to wade both Canyon and Indian creeks. The longer section of the beach is to your left, where you can get one more view of ”Terrible Tilly” and the sea stacks off of Ecola Point.


Maps

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

  • none for the current alignment of this trail

More Links


Contributors

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.