Top Spring Activities at Cannon Beach
Published February 22, 2021
Spring along the Oregon Coast is sensational, with longer, warmer days and a laundry list of coastal outdoor experiences to soak in the spring sun and mild temperatures.
A popular year-round activity, tidepool exploration is especially exciting in the spring as there’s just more animal activity thanks to longer and warmer days. There are many amazing creatures and marine plant life, from anemones and starfish to crabs, coral, sponges, snails, fish, and more, to explore along Cannon Beach’s rocky shoreline tidal pools. The best time to visit the tidepools is one hour before daily low tide (0.0 feet and lower), but if the ocean is calm the tide pools can be observed at one or even two-foot tides.
Cannon Beach Tidepool Exploring
Here are some top spots to check out the area’s best tidepools.
- Haystack Rock - this popular, easy-to-access area provides an unrivaled tidepool experience. The Haystack Rock Awareness Program offers interpretive, guided tidal pool tours at the base of Haystack Rock year-round.
- Silver Point - walk north of Acadia Beach to experience some of the best spring tidepools. It’s particularly best this time of year prior to sand deposits on the beaches, which generally begin in the summer.
- Ecola Point - this lesser-traveled area is accessed via a short hike along Cresent Beach. Hike 1.25 miles south of the main parking lot at Ecola State Park. There are other access points from the north and south but are dependent on the tides.
- Indian Beach - a quick drive to Ecola State Park yields some of the area’s most rarely visited tidepools. Take the side road signage to Indian Beach.
Tide Pool etiquetteKeep in mind that tidepools are sensitive environments that can easily be damaged. Walk only on sand or bare rock and watch your step. Avoid treading on rocks covered in barnacles. Don’t turn your back to the ocean. Dogs must be leashed in the Haystack area and the collection of any materials within 300 yards of Haystack Rock is prohibited.
One of the best times of the year for whale watching in the Cannon Beach area is March through May. Gray whales are the most commonly seen whales off the Cannon Beach shoreline. Generally, mid-March through mid-April and sometimes into May and mid-December through mid-January is when gray whales migrate to and from Mexico and Alaska. Nearly 20,000 whales will travel the route from the cold hunting waters of Alaska to the warm breeding and calving waters of Baja. Some of the best shoreline whale watching points include Ecola State Park, but often a Cannon Beach vacation rental with a beachfront balcony also provides excellent opportunities to see these gentle 35-ton giants breach. Be sure to have your binoculars at the ready!
Cannon Beach Whale Watching
Cannon Beach Razor Clamming
Generally late spring into early summer, late May/early June is when razor clamming is in season. It’s important to check local wildlife closures before digging these little diggers up. Clatsop Beach is one of the area’s most popular, accounting for 95% of Oregon’s razor clam harvest. In addition, many other local beaches such as Cannon Beach, Indian Beach, Short Sants (near Manzanita), and Cape Meares Bach (near Tillamook), and many more.