• Indian Beach is one of the best surfing destinations in Oregon
• The area has miles of hiking trails including a part of the Oregon Coast Trail
A stunning rocky coastline, Indian Beach is located 4 miles north of Cannon Beach and 10 miles south of Seaside. This is a scenic Pacific Coast destination attracting surfers looking to catch waves and avid hikers planning to explore miles of coastal trails.
The pocket beach of sand stretches for nearly three-quarters of a mile between Indian Point on the north and Bald Point on the south. The easiest way to get there is from Indian Beach Day-Use Area which is situated at the northern edge of Ecola State Park. A trail from the parking area will take you on a short, easy hike right to the sand.
Besides surfing, hiking, and enjoying the breathtaking panoramic view of the beach with the dramatic Submarine Rock, you can explore tidepools, watch wildlife, beachcomb, and hunt for agates.
Parking is limited at the trailhead and the final part of the road is not suitable for RVs and trailers with no area to turn around. You can park at the Ecola Day-Use area and hike to the beach, but it will be a nearly 2-mile trip one way.
Indian Beach with its smooth and consistent waves during both winter and summer is a popular destination for surfers. Winter, particularly January, has the best surfing conditions. You will encounter ridable swell along with light and offshore winds during this season. Expect clean waves nearly half of the time, the rest might be blown out. You can still encounter smaller waves suitable for beginners, but they are few and far between.
Summer also offers fantastic conditions for surfing with the best wind coming from the east while providing some shelter from the northwest wind. You will encounter left and right breaks as well as groundswells and windswells. The best swell angle at this time originates from southwesterly directions. You will get the best experience when the tide is rising during a mid-tide.
Be cautious of rocks, rip tides, and occasional sharks appearing in the area.
In addition to the relaxing stroll along the shore, there are more trails available for both beginner and advanced hikers. Hike to Indian Beach is easy and family-friendly from the trailhead. The trail to Crescent Beach from Ecola Point is 1.5 miles long and relatively difficult with steep and muddy places.
Ecola State Park has a variety of trails including the 8-mile long part of Oregon Coast Trail, a 3-mile Clatsop Loop Trail, and even Tillamook Head Trail which will take you to the city of Seaside. You can also take a short hike to the "Terrible Tilly Lighthouse" viewpoint.
During the minus tide in summer, you can walk all the way to Cannon Beach past Bald Point, Ecola Point, Crescent Beach, and Chapman Point.
Sea stacks, smaller rocks, and the surf of the beach attract many coastal birds. You can see brown pelicans, harlequin ducks, surf scooters, pelagic cormorants, and other birds.
The rocks near both headlands surrounding Indian Beach are fantastic places to see a plethora of ocean creatures in low and minus tides. You can observe saltwater flora and fauna including anemones, sea stars, crabs, and much more!
Rockhounding and Beachcombing
Rockhounding is limited here because the beach is mostly sandy. However, during winter after storms and king tides when powerful waves move layers of sand around, you can find beach treasures for your collection. Beachcombing is productive here all year long with sea glass, sea shells, driftwood, and other interesting finds.
Indian Beach | General Description
Open: Year-round for day use
Managed by: Oregon State Parks
Amenities: Restrooms, picnic tables
Activities: Beachcombing, rockhounding, surfing, tidepool exploring, & nature viewing
Day-use fees: Yes
Indian Beach is located:
- 14 miles north of Gold Beach
- 81 miles northwest of Portland.
Directions to Indian Beach
From Cannon Beach,
- Take Ecola State Park Road and follow it for 1.7 miles
- Turn right onto Ecola Park Road
- Follow Ecola Park Road and Cannon Beach Trail for 1.5 miles
- Indian Beach Day-Use Area will be in front of you.