Oswald West State Park

Cannon Beach, Oregon – Day 3: State Parks and Tillamook Cheese

Day 3

The next morning was still gray but as we finished up our morning beach walk, the weather cleared up! Since it was also low tide, I knew what we had to do. Go to Hug Point State Park, a short drive south of Cannon Beach.

This is an awesome place where there are amazing caves and waterfalls that you can explore. Just be sure to watch your step!

Hug Point State Park

Hug Point State Park

Hug Point State Park

Hug Point State Park

Hug Point State Park

As you can see in that last picture, the weather was turning out to be the best yet. So our next adventure had us doubling back, driving a short way back north, past Cannon Beach to Ecola State Park. (Can you tell I had done a lot of research? I’m a nerd. LOL) Ecola is where you want to be on a clear day. It’s where you can get the best view of Tillamook Lighthouse, a place with some interesting and bizarre history. Really, the whole place has rather epic views.

Ecola State Park

The path to the point was closed due to erosion so we hiked the trail toward Indian Beach. We were rewarded with stunning, sun-lit landscapes and huge, old-growth trees. It felt like we were on a movie set, but it was for real!

Ecola State Park

Ecola State Park

Ecola State Park

Ecola State Park

After our hike, we decided we wanted to go check out the Tillamook Cheese Factory, about an hour south of Cannon Beach. There, we did the self-guided walking tour which was pretty interesting. We could also see the actual processing of the cheese, from milk to packaged product. Here’s a time-lapse of the factory workers reducing big blocks of cheese to smaller ones for packaging.

We indulged and a shockingly delicious lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches and salads. Maybe we were just really hungry. Maybe I just need to buy Tillamook Cheese from now on… 😉

I couldn’t resist this fun photo op, which David took full advantage of.

Tillamook Cheese Factory

With full bellies, we headed back north toward Cannon Beach. However, since the weather was still so fantastic, I persuaded David to make one more stop — this time at Oswald West State Park. It was on the way, was supposed to be really pretty AND was a renown surfing spot. That last part clinched it for him, so off we went.

From the parking area right off of the 101, we took the Short Sand Beach Trail. It’s only half a mile and it follows a pretty creek with several gigantic, old-growth trees. It’s hard to believe, but you’ll cross a foot bridge then come out to a stunning picnic area and instantaneously you go from amazing woods to stunning beach.

Oswald West State Park

…and yes, there were several surfers (in full wetsuits, mind you)!

Oswald West State Park

After walking the entire length of the beach and back, we hiked back up to the parking lot via the Old Growth Forest Trail. We drove back to our hotel, grabbed some food, did another walk on the beach and then watched the sun set from our balcony.

Sunset from Surfsand

After that we prepared for our power outage. Yes, you read that right. The power was supposed to go out at 9pm and not come back on until around 8am the next morning. The hotel prepared us well for this unanticipated event with lanterns and other sundries. Our fireplace provided plenty of heat, so we were toasty all night long. The power came on early – at 6am. We forgot to turn off the lights the night before, so OUCH!

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