Cannon Beach is one of the most popular attractions on the Oregon coast – and while the iconic sea stack and the cute beach town is definitely worth a visit, if you drive just a little farther south, you’ll stumble upon some less crowded gems – including the Hug Point State Recreation Site.
The Hug Point waterfall is an incredible sight, but to see the unique ocean side falls, you’ll need to know when to visit! This guide will tell you all about exploring the Hug Point State Recreation Site – when to see the waterfall, things to do on the beach, and more.
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Getting to the Hug Point State Recreation Site
To get to the Hug Point State Recreation Site, all you need to do is continue south on Highway 101 (Oregon’s coastal route) from Cannon Beach! It’s less than 5 miles, and you’ll see signs for the Hug Point State Recreation Site.
Along the way, you can stop at Arcadia Beach – a scenic overlook with a quick walk to the beach. The jagged rock formation in the middle of the sandy beach makes for a nice place to stop for a few photos!
Afterwards, continue to Hug Point! The parking lot is pretty big, but this place can definitely get busy – so plan your trip for a weekday if possible, and aim to get there early, or closer to sunset.
Things to Bring to Hug Point
When you explore the Hug Point State Recreation Site, here are a few things you should pack to make your experience the best it can be!
There aren’t any trails at Hug Point, so unless you plan to do an intense walk down the sandy beach, you won’t need any hardcore hiking boots. But, I definitely recommend waterproof shoes!
If you want to see the Hug Point waterfall, there may be some stream crossings in the sand depending on weather and time of year. Waterproof shoes also make it easier to get close to the tide pools, and to look out at the ocean without getting your socks soaked by a rogue wave.
I love my Chaco sandals for exploring the coast, and if you want some more coverage, Hunter rain boots are perfect for rainy days and stream crossings. Another great option are these cute waterproof sneakers – perfect for hiking and exploring, because they have grippy soles for extra traction.
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Rain Jacket or windbreaker
Even in the summer, a jacket is a must for visiting the Hug Point State Recreation Site! The wind on the coast can be intense, and being by the ocean means you can expect a breeze. It rains often on the Oregon Coast, so I recommend a rain jacket if you’re going anytime that isn’t summer. A windbreaker or fleece is also amazing for staying warm.
The Marmot Minimalist Jacket is a great lightweight, waterproof option for exploring 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.
A Day Bag
You won’t need a hiking backpack to explore at Hug Point, but a day bag is great for carrying water and snacks! I love my Topo Designs Y-Pack. If you need a bigger bag (maybe for a picnic blanket), check out the 37L Mountain Backpack by Topo Designs! If you’re carrying camera gear, the best backpack is the Alex Strohl Mountain Light.
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!
How to Get to Hug Point Waterfall
A waterfall by the ocean is a unique and beautiful sight, and along with the sea caves at Hug Point, you’ll want to check it out!
But, seeing the Hug Point waterfall takes a little bit of planning.
when to See the Hug Point Waterfall
The best time to visit the Hug Point State Recreation Site is in the fall, or after heavy rain. Summers are usually drier on the Oregon coast, so the waterfall is usually little more than a trickle. Once the rainy season begins, however, the little Hug Point waterfall is a constant stream.
Low Tide at Hug Point
The other thing you’ll need to consider is that the only time you can see the Hug Point waterfall is at low tide. At high tide, this part of the beach is completely inaccessible. Check the tide chart ahead of time, and be careful! Once the tide comes in, you can get stranded on this part of the beach.
How to Get to Hug Point Waterfall
To get to the Hug Point waterfall, walk down from the parking lot to the beach. From there, head to the right. You’ll walk past sea caves and tide pools, and once you get around the cliff that encloses this part of the beach, you’ll see the waterfall! It’s a short walk, only about a quarter mile.
More to Explore at the Hug Point State Recreation Site
You can continue walking along the beach past the Hug Point waterfall for a look at the sea caves and tide pools. If you go left from the parking lot, you’ll see a unique pointy sea stack – past that, you’ll find a more secluded beach perfect for a picnic!
There’s a lesser known view of Hug Point too! From the parking lot, head to the right (if you’re facing the beach). There, You’ll see a narrow trail that goes up the cliffside. Climb up, and you’ll find a few picnic tables. Climb a little further, and you’ll be greeted with a view of Hug Point from above! Best of all, you’ll likely get this spot all to yourself.
Where to Stay Near Hug Point
An Adorable Cabin
For a unique place to stay during your trip, check out Hipcamp! It’s like Airbnb for campsites – and you can find yurts, cabins, glamping sites, and more. There are several cute cabins to stay in near the Hug Point State Recreation Site, 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!
A Camper Van
Whether you car camp, tent camp, or rent a tiny home on wheels, The Dyrt is the best way to find campsites!
A Beachfront Inn
Close to Hug Point, you’ll find the town of Cannon Beach – with incredible getaways and places to stay for a relaxing trip! Here are a few of the best places to stay.
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
On this map, the star icon will show you the exact location of the Hug Point beach, and the orange bed icons are places to stay!
More Adventures Near Hug Point
- Elk Flats
- Crescent Beach
- Cape Falcon
- Short Sands Beach
- Guide to Oswald West State Park
- The Best Hikes Near Cannon Beach
- The Best Hikes on the Oregon Coast
- Natural Bridges – Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor
Have you been to Hug Point, or any of these other hikes on the Oregon coast? Let me know in the comments below!
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