Cannon Beach is probably one of the most popular spots on the Oregon coast – and while the views of Haystack Rock are iconic, and the cute beach side cafes are definitely worth a visit, you may want to take some time to get off the beaten path and explore without all the crowds! In this guide, I’ll share the best hikes near Cannon Beach, and my favorite spots for incredible views, secluded beaches, and a little bit of adventure.
I’ll also tell you everything you need to know to plan your trip to Cannon Beach and the Oregon coast – from what to pack to where to stay, and more!
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Getting Around Cannon Beach, Oregon
Whether hiking near Cannon Beach is a day trip from Portland or part of a road trip down the coast, you’ll need to get to the trails!
Where to Fly Into for Cannon BEach, Oregon
If you’re flying for your adventure at Cannon Beach, you’ll fly into the Portland International Airport (PDX). I recommend using Expedia to find the most affordable flights, and from there, Cannon Beach is a little less than a two hour drive away.
Drive or Rent a Car in Cannon Beach
The route to Cannon Beach is easy – from Portland, head west on Highway 26 until you reach the coast, where you’ll turn onto Route 101. Shortly after, there’s Cannon Beach! From the town, all of these hikes are within 10 miles (15 minutes) of driving.
If you’re not taking your own vehicle, you will need to rent a car in Cannon Beach to get to the hiking trails. The easiest place to get your rental is Portland, either from the airport or a nearby office. Booking ahead of time ensures you’ll get a rental, and I recommend using Discover Cars or Rental Cars.
You can also turn this into a fun, unique camping trip and rent a tiny home on wheels! With a camper van, you get a vehicle and a place to sleep, all in one! This is my favorite way to travel, and you can rent a fully decked out van with Escape Campervans.
The Best Time to Visit Cannon Beach, Oregon
The most popular time to visit Cannon Beach, Oregon is summer. The Oregon coast is notoriously rainy, and summer offers a break from the gloomy skies (sometimes). The weather is warm and sunny, and great for hiking!
However, I think the best time to hit the Cannon Beach hiking trails is fall. In September and October, there are fewer people out and about, so you’re likely to get the views to yourself! The temperatures are still moderate (in the 50s), so just bring a rain jacket and be prepared for rain. But, there’s truly no bad time to visit Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Things to Bring for Hiking Around Cannon Beach, Oregon
To help you pack for your hikes near Cannon Beach, here are some things to bring with you!
Waterproof Hiking Shoes
After it rains, the trails on the Oregon coast get really muddy! So waterproof shoes are a must if you’re planning on hiking around Cannon Beach.
My favorite hiking boots are my Danner boots – they’re cute, comfortable, and waterproof! I also love hiking in my Chacos, but I would only recommend sandals in the summer on the Oregon coast – any other time of year is just too muddy! Rain boots are another great option for muddy trails, and are definitely the easiest to clean.
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Rain Jacket or Windbreaker
The Oregon Coast is known for moody weather. It rains often, but even if rain isn’t in the forecast, I recommend bringing a windbreaker any time you’re going to be by the water. Even in the summer, the ocean “breeze” is more like a strong wind, and even on a sunny day you’ll get chilly fast!
The Marmot Minimalist Jacket is a great lightweight, waterproof option for hiking in the rain. For windbreakers, the RVCA Meyer Packable Anorack Jacket is cute, and folds up nice and small! For added warmth and layering, add a a Patagonia fleece.
You need somewhere to put your snacks! And your hiking gear, of course.
When I’m bringing my camera gear, my favorite backpack is the Alex Strohl Mountain Light. It’s definitely the best camera bag out there for hiking with photo gear. If you don’t need storage for camera stuff, I recommend an Osprey Hikelite. For day trips or short hikes when I don’t need to pack too much, I love my Topo Designs Y-Pack!
Especially when you’re hiking or exploring outdoors, it’s important to stay hydrated! Single use water bottles are, of course, terrible for the environment, so avoid that and bring a reusable one!
For hiking, the CamelBak water reservoirs are convenient and easy – they can fit in your hiking backpack for water on the go. Nalgene water bottles are great for day to day, and if you want an insulated water bottle to keep your water cold and refreshing, Hydro Flasks are the best!
The Best Hikes Near Cannon Beach, Oregon
All right, let’s get into it! Here are the 5 best hikes near Cannon Beach, Oregon – each one offering stunning views of the ocean and the coastal scenery.
Short Sands Beach
Located in Oswald West State Park, the Short Sands Beach is one of the best surfing beaches on the Oregon coast – so whether you want to jump in and ride the waves, or just enjoy the scenery, this is one of the best hikes near Cannon Beach, Oregon. The hike is paved and easy, so it’s perfect for stretching your legs – low effort, with an incredibly scenic payoff!
The cove is enveloped by stunning limestone cliffs and rocky formations, and there’s even a waterfall on the beach.
Distance: 1.2 mi roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 82 feet
The Cape Falcon trail is breathtaking the entire way. This one is in Oswald West State Park as well, and it climbs steadily through old growth forest, with lush ferns and mossy trees all around, until it opens up to a view of Short Sands Beach below. Continue hiking, and you’ll end up at a breathtaking vista with views of the ocean!
Length: 4.6 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 623 feet
The Hug Point State Recreation Site is just south of Cannon Beach. This is one of the best places around Cannon Beach to explore the coast! You can walk down the sandy beach and look at the sea stacks, caves, and even a waterfall by the ocean! From the parking lot, you can take a short trail up the cliffside to see Hug Point from above.
The Elk Flats trail is short, and incredibly scenic! This is definitely one of the best hikes near Cannon Beach, and one of my favorite on the Oregon coast. You’ll find view of Devil’s Cauldron – where the waves beat against the steep cliff, creating a swirling pool of ocean foam, as well as a sweeping view of the ocean where you can stand on top of a cliff for a magical experience.
Length: 2.9 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 616 feet
In Ecola State Park, you’ll find the Crescent Beach trail. The trail leads you through lush greenery and old growth forest, offering the occasional peek at the ocean – until you get to Crescent Beach! The beach is only accessible by hiking, so it’s secluded, and the wide open space amongst the unique sea stacks and rocky formations means you’ll have the beach practically to yourself.
Length: 2.3 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 538 feet
Camping Near Cannon Beach, Oregon
When you hike near Cannon Beach, you may want to turn it into a camping trip! This is a cheaper way to explore Cannon Beach, especially if it’s part of a road trip along the coast.
Can You Camp on Cannon Beach?
Camping on the beach is prohibited in Cannon Beach and the surrounding areas. While you can’t set up a tent on the beach, you have other options for camping near Cannon Beach!
Car Camping in Cannon Beach, Oregon
Car camping is a fun way to explore the hiking trails near Cannon Beach! However, it’s important to keep in mind that you can’t stay in town – car camping is not allowed in Cannon Beach and many of the surrounding areas. But, there are plenty of campsites around!
If you want to car camp, consider renting a camper van to explore Cannon Beach! With Escape Campervans, you get a fully decked out van and car camp with all the amenities you need.
Free Camping Near Cannon Beach, Oregon
Whether you rent a van, car camp, or bring a tent, there is lots of free camping close to Cannon Beach! My favorite way to find free camping is The Dyrt. The free app will give you access to tons of free camping near Cannon Beach, and you can try out the Pro version for free to see nearby national forests and BLM land, where you can camp for free.
Glamping Near Cannon Beach, Oregon
Another great way to explore the trails is by glamping in Cannon Beach! You can get outside, without being too far from bathrooms and showers.
For glamping near Cannon Beach, check out Hipcamp! It’s like Airbnb for campsites – and you can find yurts (like this one close to the Oregon Coast), cabins, glamping sites, and more. There are several cute cabins to stay in around Cannon Beach, adding a fun experience to your trip, and a great place to relax after a hike! You can even get $10 off your first booking here!
Best Places to Stay in Cannon Beach, Oregon
If you don’t feel like camping, there are plenty of other options for places to stay in Cannon Beach! There are tons of incredible getaways for a relaxing trip – but here are a few of the best places to stay in Cannon Beach.
- Tolovana Inn – a beachfront inn with an indoor saltwater pool, hot tub, and sauna!
- Webb’s Scenic Surf – just steps from the beach and the iconic Haystack Rock
- Puffin Place Cabana – a fully outfitted vacation home for a private stay right on the water
Cannon Beach Hiking Trails Map
Here is a Cannon Beach hiking trails map, along with the best places to stay near Cannon Beach!
The little hiker icons will give you the exact coordinates for every trailhead mentioned here, and the orange bed icons will show you the best places to stay in Cannon Beach.
Have you done any of these 5 best hikes near Cannon Beach, Oregon, or do you have a recommendation that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments below!
More Adventures Near Cannon Beach
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