The Wild Oregon Coast, Part 2: Cannon Beach to Netarts

This is Part 2 of a 3 part series on our trip to the Oregon Coast. For Part 1, click here.

Cannon Beach

After our hike into Ecola State Park, we ventured into the town of Cannon Beach to have dinner and catch the sunset. Compared with Seaside, I found Cannon Beach to have a bit more charm. After the unexpected 9 mile hike that we had just finished, we were ready to eat! We ravenously descended upon Ecola Seafood Restaurant and Market, a cute informal two story restaurant located on the corner with both indoor and outdoor seating. Although it was a bit cold that afternoon, they had fire tables which kept us warm while eating outdoors. We chose a nice outdoor spot overlooking Cannon Beach.

One theme we noted while eating on the Oregon Coast – almost everything is fried and/or with a cream sauce. At Ecola Seafood Restaurant and Market, we had clam chowder, fish n chips, more fried seafood and steamed clams. Hopefully the hiking we were doing helped to negate the plethora of calories we ingested. 😬

We didn’t have much time to enjoy our food as we were in a rush to catch the sunset at Cannon Beach itself, with Haystack Rock as a backdrop. Although we initially had difficulty figuring out where to park, we were able to reach the beach just in time…

One of the most identifiable natural wonders of the Oregon Coast, Haystack Rock is a 235 feet (72 meter) tall sea stack and the third-tallest intertidal structure in the world. Since it was high tide, we were unable to approach the rock itself, but I preferred this as it was easier to get photos with a minimum amount of people in them and its reflection in the water and on the beach made for some dramatic photos.

Hug Point

The next day started off kinda rainy, but it wasn’t totally unexpected as the Oregon Coast isn’t known for having the warmest weather. Undeterred, we left our accommodation in Seaside and slowly made our way down Highway 101 to our next Airbnb in Netarts. Along the way, we stopped off at Hug Point. Hug Point is so named because, before the times of automobiles and highways, the only way for stagecoaches to travel down the coast would be to take a road that would “hug” this point at low tide.

The old stagecoach road at Hug Point “hugs” the rocks
The rising tide covers the entrance to the road. If you look closely enough, you can see grooves in the road from the wheels of the passing stagecoaches.

Unfortunately the rising tide prevented us from going any further around Hug Point. (It’s important to be aware of high and low tides at this beach since you don’t want to be stuck in a cove or cave when the tide rises.) Although we didn’t get to explore too much of Hug Point itself, we were able to explore other areas of the beach.

Waterfall (or maybe “Watertrickle”) at Hug Point. It’s usually much fuller in the spring months.
One of the caves to explore before the tide comes in
We weren’t the only ones on the beach.

Elk Flats Trail to Devil’s Cauldron

After our grueling hike the day before, we were looking for a nice short hike. Thankfully, part of the Elk Flats Trail leading to Devil’s Cauldron overlook was only about a mile round trip, so it definitely fit the bill. Minimal effort for maximum results was the name of the game on this rest day.

It was really nice to see some wildflowers along the trail, even at the end of summer.

Honestly, although the hike itself was nice and tame, Devil’s Cauldron itself was a bit of a letdown. It wasn’t really cauldron-y and overall, pretty tame. But there were still nice views of the Oregon Coast that we enjoyed.

The relatively tame Devil’s Cauldron

Highway 101

Driving along Highway 101 was beautiful in itself. Since I was driving, sadly I didn’t get a chance to take many photos, but thankfully I was able to pull over at this one area to enjoy the view. The clouds started to clear as well giving us a glimpse of the blue sky.

Netarts

Our last stop of the day was to the small town of Netarts (pronounced “NEET-arts”), where our cute little Airbnb apartment was located. Netarts is a small town that sits right at the mouth of Netarts Bay. Although it was relatively late when we checked into our apartment, we were still able to walk to the beach to catch the sunset on the bay.

I love how wild and untouched the beaches are on the Oregon Coast.
Fishermen reeling in their catch at the end of the day. In the distance lies the Netarts Spit, a long stretch of sand that separates Netarts Bay from the Pacific Ocean.

The Oregon Coast is full of so many sights to see and things to do. After 2 and a half days, we were just beginning to scratch the surface of its magnificent beauty. Next time, come with me in Part 3 of this series to discover the area around Netarts including the nearby town of Tillamook (think 🧀). If you subscribe below, you’ll be notified when it’s released!

Until next time,

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