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Seaside and Points South

Updated: May 13, 2019

Fall Creek Falls, at Hug Point Wayside

After a week in Lincoln City, I moved up the coast to Seaside. I had visited Seaside many times before I retired. Seaside is very much a vacation/holiday destination so expect it to be somewhat crowded, with frequent traffic jams. Fortunately, I was there for places in the vicinity, not just in Seaside.

I really wanted to visit a place called Hug Point; it is a small, easy to miss, wayside 5 miles south of Cannon Beach, and 1.2 miles south of Arcadia Beach State Wayside. Watch for the signs, the turn comes up on you quickly. You have to visit Hug Point at low tide because the part of the beach that is most photogenic is around a rocky point from the main beach. As the tide comes in , this point cuts off your route back to the parking lot and you could be stranded til the next low tide. As always at the beach, know your tide tables and be very observant of the waves and surf.

Around the aforementioned rocky point you will find sandy beaches, a small cove, caves in the rocks, and a very nice waterfall. Fall Creek tumbles over a low rocky outcropping right next to the caves and makes it's way thru the sand to the sea. When you catch this cove in the setting light, it makes for some very nice photos. The second time I went there, I encountered a small theatrical group, in Renaissance costumes, putting on a play that was being video-taped by a drone! The irony was not lost on me !

Just a short distance on the way back north to Cannon Beach and Seaside, I stopped at Arcadia Beach Wayside and walked down on the beach. I had to wait awhile for sunset which gave me time to walk around and look for shots. At the north end of the beach there were some nice rock formations, and as the sun got down to the horizon, I was able to take a number of very nice pictures. In my photo files, look for Rock Star, Sunset Point, Going....Going..., and Gone... These were all taken there.

The big attraction in the Seaside area is Cannon Beach and it's famous rock formation, Haystack Rock. I first went there on a Saturday morning, about 8 am, and parked at Tolovana Park which I was familiar with from eating at Mo's Chowder Restaurant. You can not go to the Oregon Coast without eating at least once at Mo's, enough said. The walk down the beach to Haystack was longer than I expected, approximately 3/4 mile. And when I got there, the entire base area of the formation was surrounded by people. It was low tide and they were everywhere. There are a number of tide pools at the base of Haystack, but they are roped off and monitored by some official types that kept people out of the sensitive areas. I gave up and walked all the way back up the beach to my car, and just enjoyed the very nice morning at the beach.

I returned several days later, during the week, and found the Haystack Rock Public Parking lot at Hemlock and Gower in downtown Cannon Beach. Cross the street and follow the path thru the Surfsand Resort to the beach and the walk to Haystack is much shorter. The morning was overcast with some low hanging coastal fog. I got several nice pictures of the top of Haystack in the fog, reflected in the watery sheen on the beach sand. A good example of when you don't have good light, be creative.

Haystack Rock in the fog, Cannon Beach, Oregon

On the north end of Cannon Beach, just as you exit from the highway, is the entrance road to Ecola State Park. Carefully follow this very narrow, almost one lane, road to the park and turn left to the parking lot. Turning right will take you to Indian Beach, a local surfing spot. At the Ecola parking lot, walk south along some very nice paved trails to an overlook area that gives you a panoramic view of the coast line south, towards Cannon Beach , Haystack Rock, and points south. This is described as one of the most photographed views on the Oregon Coast. There was a 3 foot fence, with even taller grass growing on the other side, that made it difficult to get a clean shot of the coast without this fringe at the bottom of the picture. So I climbed up on the picnic table they had there, set up my tripod and took several series of shots that I later stitched together into several very nice panoramas. I went back several days later, in the evening, and did the same thing, but the light was pretty flat.

These are the main areas south of the Seaside area, I could have spent the whole week in this area, but the areas north of Seaside, including Astoria, Or. awaited. I will talk about some of these in my next blog entry.