Oregon Coast Tour
7.5 Hours | Enormous beaches, dramatic offshore rock formations, coastal strolls- all along US 101!
Highlights: Ecola State Park – Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock – Neahkahnie Overlook – Oswald West State Park
About the Tour
With over 300 miles of public coastline, Oregon’s beaches are sure to amaze with their dramatic offshore rock formations and reborn beach towns. This tour will travel along one of the most picturesque driving routes in the country, US HWY 101. We will spend the day exploring breathtaking beaches, trekking along sandy shores, and viewing stunning coastline vistas.
**Please note: This tour includes several short hikes (¼ to ½ miles), loose sand, and/or steps to beach access points. As one of our most dynamic tours available, we encourage guests to get out and explore! For information regarding mobility concerns, please call our office at 503-396-3929 to discuss options and alternatives. From November to March, we do not offer online booking availability for this tour.
This is a full day tour, typically offered from 9AM – 4:30PM. Please note, the tour route and sights may vary depending on the time of year and weather conditions. It is always our goal to provide you with the most interesting adventure possible.
We will depart downtown Portland and head west on the Sunset Highway, Oregon’s first automobile route through the Cascade Mountain Range! On our drive to the coast we’ll leave the city behind and drive through rolling pastures and towering forests of Douglas-Firs.
As we drop down from Sunset Highway, we will meander through a lush Sitka spruce forest to find our first glimpse of the Oregon coastline through Ecola State Park. We’ll momentarily leave the vehicle behind and explore this coastal oasis. Nestled between Seaside and Cannon Beach, the area was once traversed by William Clark himself along with 12 members of his team in search of a beached whale. If time allows, we may also travel back through the forest to Indian beach. This secluded pocket hides away from much of the summertime crowd and is a favorite spot for local beach combers. A local favorite for outdoor enthusiasts, the park connects with the Oregon Coast Trail, a 382-mile hiking trail that spans the entire length of the Oregon Coastline.
Leaving the park, we will make a quick jaunt to nearby Cannon Beach, a piece of coastline punctuated spectacularly by Haystack Rock, a sea stack just off the shore made famous by its resemblance to its namesake. Claimed to be the third tallest “intertidal” structure in the world, it is a huge basalt rock that was formed by lava flows over 15 million years ago! Three smaller adjacent rock formations to its south are appropriately named the Needles. Here we’ll walk along the sandy beach, watch beautiful birds circle the rock (Tufted Puffins, Pelagic Cormorants, and Western Gulls if the season is right), and if we’re lucky and the tide is out, we’ll view many species of marine wildlife in their natural tide pool habitat.
The town of Cannon Beach will be the backdrop of our lunch stop for the day. Guests are able to take their pick of several small-town eateries, each boasting their own eclectic menus. On a sunny day, guests may opt to take lunch to-go and enjoy it on a city bench facing the waves!
Moving further along our day of adventures, we’ll head south on the famous Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, Highway 101, exploring more beautiful coastal shores. Upon Neahkahnie Overlook, we’ll find stunning views along the highest drive-able point along the Oregon coast! Whale watching is a year-round activity on the Oregon coast, with best times from mid-December to January (southern migration) and late March to June (northern migration), when upwards of 18,000 gray whales pass close to the coast.
Here, our journey will take us back north along Hwy 101 to Oswald West State Park, aptly named after the Oregon Governor Oswald West. Governor West is credited with ensuring our vast Oregon coastline would remain open for public use. Time dependent, we can opt to take a short, forested hike following along Short Sand Creek which opens to a driftwood stacked coastline known as Smugglers Cove. A variable from this stop would be a short visit to Hug Point. At low tide, we may be able to walk around the point to view a small coastal waterfall! Finishing up at this last stop, we will make the trek back to Portland through Hwy 26 to have you back in downtown just in time for dinner.