Road Trip Day 4: Cape Kiwanda and Cannon Beach

I was staying in Cannon Beach for two nights to double my chances of catching a good sunset (more on that later), so I had a little day trip down the coast planned to Cape Kiwanda for day 4.

PNW Road Trip Cape Kiwanda Oregon

As you can see, Cape Kiwanda also features a massive sea rock, which is awesome. I can’t really explain why I love big rocks out in the ocean so much, but I do.

Aside from the view out to sea, Cape Kiwanda is also known for some hiking. I had originally planned to do so, until I arrived and saw how steep and sandy the initial climb was (you can kind of see it in the distance of the picture below.) I just wasn’t in the mood for negotiating the largest sand dune I’d ever seen that day, although I’ll admit I’m a little disappointed in myself because I knew from pictures that the views up there are spectacular. Which brings me to a disclaimer about this road trip.

Because I was traveling alone, I wasn’t comfortable doing certain hikes on my own. Not because I wasn’t capable, but out of an abundance of caution. So I did miss out on a few things I wanted to see, but at least I made it back in one piece.

PNW Road Trip Cape Kiwanda Oregon

PNW Road Trip Cape Kiwanda Oregon

PNW Road Trip Cape Kiwanda Oregon

PNW Road Trip Cape Kiwanda Oregon

Still, even though I skipped the hiking portion of Cape Kiwanda I had plenty of fun exploring the tide pools below.

PNW Road Trip Cape Kiwanda Oregon

PNW Road Trip Cape Kiwanda Oregon

PNW Road Trip Cape Kiwanda Oregon

After grabbing some lunch, I drove back north towards Cannon Beach. I had heard there was a great view of Cannon Beach from Ecola State Park, so I stopped there for some pictures. If you’ve watched The Goonies, you may remember a similar view from the film.

PNW Road Trip Ecola State Park Oregon

PNW Road Trip Ecola State Park Oregon

After Ecola State Park, I killed some time before sunset by walking around Cannon Beach to soak in my last views of Haystack Rock, which never failed to impress.

PNW Road Trip Cannon Beach Oregon

PNW Road Trip Cannon Beach Oregon

PNW Road Trip Cannon Beach Oregon

PNW Road Trip Cannon Beach Oregon

PNW Road Trip Cannon Beach Oregon

Sadly, my two-night stay here yielded no sunsets. Those micro-climates are tricky! So just watch this photographer’s video and let’s pretend that’s what I saw, too.

Next up: Multnomah Falls, Horstail Falls, and Portland!

Previously:
Day 1: Seattle and Whale Watching!
Day 2: Olympic Peninsula
Day 3: Washington to Oregon

Road Trip Day 3: Washington to Oregon

I woke up pretty early on day 3 (sleeping in a tent with a rooster nearby will do that to you.) As I mentioned in the last post, I was served up a delicious breakfast by my Airbnb host before making my way down the Washington coast to Oregon.

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

First stop: Ruby Beach. With the morning fog still rolling in from the ocean and the beach nearly deserted when I arrived, it felt like I stepped onto another planet. While similar to La Push, Ruby Beach also somehow feels completely different. The beach is rockier, the driftwood is more scattered, and the tide pools are further inland. I had an amazing morning exploring here.

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

As time passed, a few more people turned up to explore the beach as well. I was enjoying having it to myself, but I did appreciate having some people in photos for scale to help show just how insane these rocks are.

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washingotn

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washingotn

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

I loved this little rock tunnel, for some reason it reminds me of The Little Mermaid.

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

I even managed a sneaky selfie with my camera remote! Sadly it didn’t work as far away from the camera as I would’ve liked, so this is the only selfie I have of the whole trip. Whoops!

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

PNW Road Trip Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula Washington

I didn’t want to leave Ruby Beach, but I still had a good four hours of driving left before I made it to my destination of Cannon Beach, Oregon, so I had to move on.

The drive down the Olympic Peninsula is truly gorgeous, with highway 101 flanked by enormous trees for most of the drive out of Washington. Crossing the Columbia River into Astoria, Oregon was particularly spectacular — I wish I had stopped to take some pictures, but the drive was so relaxing that I simply pressed on. I stopped briefly in Seaside (a busy beach town with indoor arcades, sort of like Point Pleasant for fellow my NJ readers) for an extremely late lunch before arriving at my hotel in Cannon Beach.

PNW Road Trip Cannon Beach Haystack Rock Oregon

PNW Road Trip Haystack Rock Cannon Beach Oregon

Cannon Beach, situated just south of Ecola State Park, is much quieter than Seaside. I was hoping to photograph sunset here with the main landmark, Haystack Rock as my backdrop. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t cooperating. Damn those pesky microclimates! Can’t complain too much, though, as it was still a picturesque way to end the day.

PNW Road Trip Haystack Rock Cannon Beach Oregon

PNW Road Trip Haystack Rock Cannon Beach Oregon

PNW Road Trip Haystack Rock Cannon Beach Oregon

Next up: Cape Kiwanda, and another night in Cannon Beach

Previously:
Day 1: Seattle and Whale Watching!
Day 2: Olympic Peninsula