Ecola State Park is situated between Cannon Beach and Seaside, just a little over an hour from Portland via HWY 26.  Ecola has six trailheads to enter the park.  The three recommended trail runs are the North Tillamook Head on Sunset Blvd in Seaside, Indian Beach, and the main parking area at Ecola Point.  It’s 7.4 miles from North Tillamook Head to Ecola Point.  Indian Beach splits the two points being 2.1 miles North of Ecola Point. There is a .9 mile trail to Crescent Beach from Ecola Point that’s very primitive and not worth running.

 

The muddy roots in Ecola State Park add to the challenge of the hill climbs.

 

 

The section from Ecola Point to Indian Beach switches up a 200-foot incline heading away from the coast through cedar forests, Sitka spruce, and sword ferns for the first mile.  At the peak is a view of the rocky shoreline familiar of the Oregon Coast.  The trail then heads down to Indian Beach.

 

Artwork being drawn in the sand at Indian Beach.

 

Run through the parking lot past the bridge over Indian Creek to the Clatsop Look Trail and Tillamook Head Trail junction.  Stay left on Tillamook Head Trail and start the climb up to Bald Mountain.  There are several lookouts on the ascent of Indian Beach and Bird Point.  The trail rises over 700 feet in 1-1/2 miles to Hikers Camp, a set of three cabins meant for thru-hikers of the Oregon Coast Trail.  This is the peak of Tillamook Head.  The quarter-mile trail lookout trail to the lookout point runs over planks of wood to a view of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, 1-1/2 miles offshore.

 

Tillamook Rock Lighthouse from the viewpoint near Hikers Camp

 

The trail continues four miles through the forest to North Tillamook Head, a neighborhood in the south part of Seaside.  Take the less traveled double-track Clatsop Loop Trail from Hikers Camp as an alternative way back to Indian Beach.

 

Clatsop Loop Trail is an alternative way from Hikers Camp to Indian Creek