This section of the Oregon coast is one of my favorite spots along the entire west coast. The beaches, the trees, the beauty is hard to beat! Hug Point State Park is just 5 miles south of Cannon Beach, home to the famous Haystack Rock. There are numerous state parks along this stretch of Hwy 101. For instance, within the Cannon Beach city limits (just north of Hug Point), there are several more parks: Haystack Hill State Park, Les Shirley Park, and Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site.
Hug Point has a forested picnic area, restrooms, and a short walkway to the beach. There are no fees associated with using this park. Hug Point is so named because before the highway was built, the beach was the only way to travel along this part of the coast. Even at low tides, travelers had to hug the rocks in this area in order to get through. Lucky for us, there is a highway and parking! There are a fair amount of parking spots, however, depending on the time of the year you may be stalking people who are leaving to take their parking spot.
Visiting during low tide is great! Here is a link to tide times and heights. There are many tide pools. Do be aware of tides, as you can become trapped as it rises as you explore this beach. There is an amazing amount of sea life to see in all the tide pools.
An added bonus when the tide goes out, is being able to see the life at the base of many rocks the are along the beach. It is important to note that marine life is very fragile and will die quickly if moved or removed. Please take the time to learn and teach others about Leave No Trace principles. Enjoy nature but only take photos, leave only footprints.
During low tide, you can find many species, including: sea cabbage, laver, black pine, spongy cushion, sea moss, split kelp as well as sea stars, hermit crabs, anemones, small sculpins, mussels, limpets, and barnacles.
As you continue to discover the park, and walk along the beach, you will find many seasonal waterfalls (we were here in July), as well as sea caves. Safe at low tide for exploring.
One cave is complete with a giant piece of drift wood which in the following picture was behind me. It was too dark to get a good picture even with a flash (taking pictures on my phone).
Hug Point Falls is a small waterfall that drops 15 feet from Fall Creek directly on the beach and then flows into the ocean. During high tide, it is very difficult to get to the falls. This fall is not large, but the surrounding area with the falls is what makes this area fascinating to explore. This is what the falls looked like on our visit in July.
With many of my trips, I always try to find a survey marker or benchmark! This marker is on a rock along the beach just north of Hug Point Falls. This is a low tide activity.
I love the ocean, rain or shine. Be prepared to go out and explore in the rain when on the Oregon coast. I usually always carry a waterproof jacket or cover so that we can enjoy exploring without getting soaked in the rain. And don’t forget to bring along some hot chocolate to enjoy back at the picnic tables to warm up afterwards as you continue to enjoy this park!