Haystack Rock is one of the largest draws to the Oregon Coast. Coming in at number one on our list of Top Instagram Destinations in Clatsop County it holds the largest number of hash-tagged posts. Everyone wants a picture with or of “The Rock”. Boasting its accolades as the 3rd largest monolith in the world visitors from far and wide pass-through Cannon Beach just to see the rock and the habitat of wildlife species that call it home. The Haystack Rock Awareness Program is set up to help educate visitors about this vast marine ecosystem.
Ecola State Park sits just north of Cannon Beach cresting the southern edge of Tillamook Head. The park houses viewpoints of Haystack Rock, Terrible Tilly (The Tillamook Lighthouse) and during certain times of the year vistas of spouting whales. Indian Beach is just a short mile away and hiking trails cover both of these naturally protected areas.
Saddle Mountain is the iconic 2.5-mile hiking trail (5 miles round trip) sitting 20 minutes west from Cannon Beach and Seaside. The hike gets its name from the mountain outline that literally looks like a saddle! The hike is popular amongst visitors and local Oregonians alike. Sunrises and Sunsets from this vista are like no other. On a clear day when one reaches the top, a view of the Pacific Ocean can be seen.
Fort Stevens is Clatsop County’s 4,300-acre iconic state park housing miles of walking, biking, and jogging trails. The park is always nearly full of reserved campsites during the summer. Coffenbury Lake sits just inside the park and is available for fishing, swimming and picnics. There are so many different activities within the park itself that it makes itself one of the states most popular destinations.
The Astoria Column is the 164-stair spiral climb sitting atop the highest viewpoint in Astoria, Oregon. The iconic memorial standing at 125 feet tall, constructed in 1926, draws a map of the area’s history throughout the years. From the vista at the top, on a clear day, one can see the Astoria Megler Bridge, the Columbia River, the Washington border, Young’s Bay, the Pacific Ocean, Fort Stevens, and even Saddle Mountain far off in the distance.
The Peter Iredale Shipwreck has sat on the beach near Fort Stevens since 1906. The ship “was a four-masted steel bark built in Maryport, England, in 1890 and owned by British shipping firm Iredale & Porter”. Throughout the different seasons, the area around the shipwreck changes shape with tides and sand. But no matter the time of year it’s still a sight to see.
The Astoria Megler Bridge is one of the most iconic manmade aspects of Clatsop County. The bridge connects the North Coast of Oregon to the Southwest Coast of Washington. Building started in 1962 and an official opening occurred in 1966. The bridge is 4 miles long and carries an estimation of 7,600 cars each day. Pedestrian walking traffic is not allowed on the bridge except for one time a year, generally in October for The Great Columbia Crossing 10k.
Tillamook Head rests just south of Seaside and Gearhart. The Tillamook Head hiking trail is 6 miles long connecting into Indian Beach and Ecola State Park. Hiking off the trail is extremely prominent to visitor’s and locals alike as views of the Pacific Ocean, remote areas of the coastline and Terrible Tilly (Tillamook Lighthouse) are all available.
Fort Clatsop is the iconic winter encampment for Lewis & Clark’s “Corp of Discovery”. In the winters of 1805-6, this is where the explorers stayed. It is a unit of the Lewis & Clark National & State Historical Park’s that span across the United States. Fort Clatsop visitor center is open every day, except December 25th, and welcomes all visitors to learn about the history of the area.
Battery Russell sits towards the north end of Fort Stevens closest to the banks of the Columbia River. The battery was part of the Harbor Defense of the Columbia throughout 1904-1944. It was once the target of a World War II surprise naval attack in 1942. The battery became a part of the Oregon State Parks in 1975. One can park and enter the history museum which shares tales and stories of the olden times. Walking outside the old battery is now open and available for people to hike through trails, view the battery from the inside and tour the surrounding land.