Ecola State Park
Lewis and Clark National
92343 Fort Clatsop Road
Astoria, OR 97103-9197
(503) 861-2471 ext. 214
WELCOME to Ecola State Park
After more than 18 arduous months of
exploration, the Corps of Discovery had yet to face what Capt. William
Clark would call �the Steepest worst & highest mountain I ever
Tillamook Head, located between present day
Seaside and Cannon Beach, claimed that title, according to the
explorer�s journal. Shortly after Christmas Day in 1806, Clark and
12 other expedition members, including Sacagawea, climbed over rocky
headlands and made their way through thick shrubs and trees to see a
beached whale south of what is now Ecola State Park. The expedition
also wanted to trade for whale blubber and meat to enhance their
The weather and trail was bad enough to prevent
the group from reaching the whale until Jan. 8, at which time the
neighboring Tillamook Indians had gathered most of the meat and
blubber. They traded the expedition a few gallons of rendered oil and
300 pounds of blubber. Upon tasting the flesh, Clark found it not
unlike �the fat of Poark� and resembling �beaver or dog in
Today Ecola State Park wraps around Tillamook
Head and features nine miles of Pacific Ocean shoreline. Hikers,
whalewatchers, surfers and beachgoers flock to the popular park.
The hikes include an 8-mile segment of the
Oregon Coast Trail that is also a part of the Lewis and Clark National
Historic Trail. Indian Beach marks the start of the new Clatsop Loop
Trail, a 2 � mile interpretive trail that gives you the chance to
walk on the south side of Tillamook Head, and in the footsteps of
Capt. Clark and members of the Corps, but minus the whale blubber!
Your journey starts at Indian Creek and ascend to Hiker�s Camp.
Salal, salmonberry and some of the region�s largest Sitka spruce
trees thrive here. To identify Sitka spruce, look for overlapping bark
like scales and paper-like cones. A large Sitka spruce nearby is
estimated to have germinated in the 1600s and was almost 200 years old
when Clark walked the trail.
In addition to Indian Beach, popular with
surfers and tide pool explorers, there is secluded Crescent Beach.
Many species of wildlife and birds call Ecola home During the winter
and spring, you can see migrating gray whales from one of the
promontories overlooking the ocean. During the migration seasons, a
popular whale watching program features trained volunteers to help you
spot the grays.
IF YOU GO: Take U.S. Highway 101 toward Cannon
Beach. Take the exit for Ecola State Park.
During July and August parking can be crowded. Look for the Lewis and
Clark Explorer Shuttle that will take you from the public parking in
Cannon Beach to the park. The park entrance fee is $3 each day or $25
a year. Restrooms are available. For more information, call Ecola
State Park, (503) 436-2844.
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