Hikers, whale-watchers, surfers, and beachcombers flock to this gorgeous coastal park that wraps around Tillamook Head and features 9 miles of Pacific Ocean shoreline. 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 2.5-mile interpretive trail that gives you the chance to walk on the south side of Tillamook Head, and in the footsteps of Captain Clark and members of the Corps of Discovery. From Indian Beach you can also traverse the entire headland via the Tillamook Head Trail. Salal, salmonberry, and some of the region’s largest Sitka spruce trees thrive in this area. (One large Sitka spruce is estimated to have germinated in the 1600s and was almost 200 years old when William Clark walked the trail.)

In addition to Indian Beach, popular with surfers and tide-pool explorers, there is secluded Crescent Beach. The park also has several picnic areas perched on bluffs high above the crashing waves. The 1-mile stretch of trail between the main bluff-top picnic area and Indian Beach is particularly scenic, passing through old-growth forest with good views of the ocean and beaches far below. Ecola is a good spot to observe coastal wildlife. 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. In July and August it’s a good idea to arrive early because parking can be difficult.