May 5th, 2013
Weather: Mid 80s, sunny, breezy, warm
Hikers: Ian, Court, Greg, Cat
Drove to Cannon Beach from Portland and arrived at noon. The original intent was to hike the Clatsop Loop, but this trail was great. It wound through the forest, out to overlooks, along the cliff faces, and finally down to Indian Beach, with many changes in elevation. The views of the Pacific were amazing. We could see the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, aka “Terrible Tilly” in the distance, along with various other rock formations. Total distance covered round trip was about 3.5 miles, but the terrain was somewhat challenging at points.
The beach was amazing, albeit somewhat crowded. There was a freshwater stream about 15 feet wide that came down from the forest and cut across the beach straight into the ocean. The sand was fine and gray. Around the rocks were many tide pools fed by the very cold water of the Pacific. Our feet were numb after a few minutes wading. In the tide pools were many creatures: purple and orange starfish as big as your hand, anemones (blue and green), urchins, mussels (Court was amazed at the size of some), and tons of barnacles, all clinging to the dark black rocks. The beach was very wide, probably 200 yards from water to the forest cliffs.
We made our way back using a slight shortcut we found further down the beach. The temperature change within the forest compared to the beach was awesome. We didn’t encounter much wildlife, but I saw a small centipede of some kind and also got a great (and lucky) photo of a white butterfly in mid-flight.
Once back to the car, we headed into town for supplies and went further down Cannon Beach for a picnic and views of Haystack Rock and surrounding area.