Cannon Beach is known for its miles of soft sand beach with spectacular views of monolithic stones and is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Oregon. It is a located 75 miles west of Portland in Clatsop county, Oregon. In 1846, a cannon from the US Navy schooner Shark washed ashore just north of Arch Cape, a few miles to the south of the community of Elk Creek. The cannon, rediscovered in 1898, is in the city’s museum and a replica of it can be seen alongside U.S. Route 101. The community of Cannon Beach was originally named Ecola but in 1992 it was renamed Cannon Beach based on its history. The town has a population of around 1500 people.
We had visited the Canyon beach in September 2001 as part of our Oregon and Washington trip. It was our first vacation as a family of three ( my elder daughter was just 4 months old) and surprisingly she was no trouble at all. We had a great time and I hope she also enjoyed seeing the natural wonders at a very early stage of her life.
The cannon beach is recognized by its well-known landmark, the Haystack Rock. At 235 feet (72 meter) it is the third largest coastal monolith in the world. It is an intertidal structure and can be reached by the land at low tide.
The rock is protected as part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge as well as a designated National Wilderness Area. The area below the rock is referred to as a Marine Garden covers an area within a 300 yard radius from the base of Haystack Rock. The tidepools in the Marine Garden have diverse and rich with marine life such as starfishes, anemones, crabs, algae, and many others. The marine life in and around the Marine Garden is very vulnerable to human disturbance, collection is prohibited and extreme caution needs to be taken when walking in and around this area. There is a small cave system that penetrates the rock and can be seen from the coastline.
Near Haystack Rock are the Needles, two tall rocks rising straight out of the water.
There are over 2,000 seabirds that nest on Haystack Rock each year. The Tufted puffin, Pigeon guillemot, Black Oystercatcher, Pelagic cormorant are some of the birds that can be seen on the rock.
One of the most popular events in Cannon Beach is the “Sandcastle Day” occurring during the month of June every year. More information can be found at http://www.cannon-beach.net/cbsandcastle.html
Every year thousands of whales make a 10,000 mile round trip journey southwards from Alaska’s Bering and Chukchi seas to the lagoons around Baja California, where they mate and give birth before returning north. The “Whale Watching” weeks are from December 26 to Jan 1st and March 20 to 27. Ecola State Park and Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center are the closest whale watching sites.
T hose living on the Oregon coast have a front-row seat for one of the most spectacular events of the natural world—the migration of gray whales. Each year, thousands of these gentle giants make a roughly 10,000-mile round-trip south from Alaska’s Bering and Chukchi seas to the lagoons around Baja California, where they mate and give birth before returning north.
A map of the City of Cannon Beach, prepared by the State of Oregon and the Federal Highway Administration, is available for download.
View Cannon Beach, OR in a larger map
The following are some useful links..