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William Clark and Meriwether Lewis of the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition are the first known Americans to have visited the Oregon Coast in 1805. After visiting a particular scenic vista of the area that would later become Cannon Beach, he wrote, “...the grandest and most pleasing prospects which my eyes ever surveyed, in front of a boundless Ocean…” This vista, which can still be visited today, is nicknamed Clark’s Point of View and can be accessed via a hiking trail.
Clark dubbed a particular creek that runs through the area Ecola Creek, which is a Native American word for “whale.” However, later settlers renamed it to Elk Creek. It’s unclear whether this was due to a misunderstanding of how “ecola” is pronounced, or if they had other reasons. In 1846, a U.S. Navy schooner shipwrecked just offshore, and a cannon gun washed ashore. This offshore stretch of water later developed a reputation as the “Graveyard of Pacific” due to its treacherous shoals and hidden rocks. The U.S. Post Office, being a stickler for having distinct town names, insisted that Elk Creek choose a new name because it was being confused for Eola, another town in Oregon. The residents, remembering that cannon, opted for Cannon Beach.
Today, Cannon Beach is a touristy beach town, known for the unique rock pillars and columns just offshore, and its annual sand castle contest. The town and the beach itself has been featured in several movies, such as the Goonies and Point Break. The closest large town is Seaside about nine miles to the north. Astoria is around 30 miles north.
A common reason to pick up an RV rental near Cannon Beach is to gain access to a world of adventure and recreational fun. Situated in between Cannon Beach and Seaside, the modest Ecola State Park covers some 10 miles of beach. Between outstanding cliffside views of the sweeping coastlines and the lush inland woods, it’ll be hard to take a bad picture of the landscape. The vast network of hiking trails provides plenty of opportunities for fun. Explore the tidepools, search for elusive wildlife, and surf. From scenic vista points, search for whales and dolphin pods passing by. A portion of the Oregon Coast Trail, which runs for nearly 400 miles from the Oregon-California border to Warrenton, passes through Ecola State Park. Note: this is strictly a day use park; park rangers have been known to issue tickets for overnight stays.
Encompassing over 360,000 acres of territory, Tillamook State Forest has endless opportunities for recreational fun. Hikers need a lifetime and a half to travel all the trails without repeating. There are hundreds of miles of multi-use trails that pass through dense fir woods, bright, airy meadows, over babbling streams and creeks, and around lakes. Search for waterfalls that dot the mountainsides. Hunt for rare, delicious mushrooms (be wary of poisonous ones). Climb to the top of the King’s Mountain for a stunning view of the valley below. There are also several miles of trails for off-highway vehicles ranging in difficulty from easy to challenging. Note: some trails prohibit all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles. Bring your Cannon Beach camper rental, as there are several campgrounds scattered throughout the park. The ones on the perimeter tend to have hookups for all types of RVs.
When you search for an RV Cannon Beach, remember to plan for overnight stays. There are many options within a 30-mile radius. On the eastern side of Cannon Beach is RV Resort at Cannon Beach. Just past Highway 101, the campground is considered in a safe zone from tsunamis and extreme flooding situations. An indoor pool, hot tub, and free WiFi are among a long list of amenities it offers.
Seaside RV Resort in Seaside, OR, is also minutes away from the beach and is close to several attractions in the town. Amenities include features like free WiFi, a dog park, and a pickleball court. There are also a few hiking trails within walking distance of the resort.
On the northwestern side of the Tillamook State Forest, Nehalem Falls Campground is a quiet, rustic campground. It has hookups and running water, and that’s about it as far as amenities go. Due to its proximity to a fishing creek and several hiking trails leading to scenic spots, space fills up quickly during the peak season. The campground is a few miles east of Wheeler.
Cannon Beach is found on the wild, rugged Oregon coast, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, an RV rental makes it easy to explore the other nearby towns and search for historic landmarks and lighthouses alongside the coast. The Lewis and Clark Salt Monument in Seaside is a small, unassuming point of interest. This salt works was established by Lewis and Clark’s crew to cultivate salt, a process that took up to six weeks.
Get a unique view of the Oregon coast by hitting the wild blue yonder. The helicopter pilots, who are also the tour guide, offers a few different tours option. See the ragged coastline advance and recede into the ocean, lined by white froth. The teal-water fade into dark green fathomless depths to the west. Or head inland for a vast, panoramic view of the rugged mountains.
A quintessential beach town, Cannon Beach has a large number of artisan shops, galleries, and boutique businesses. Hop into a Cannon Beach motorhome rental and idly roll down the main street past art galleries, candy shops, quaint bookstores, and chic cafes and restaurants. Sandwiched in between the little shops lining the downtown area, there are surfboard and beach-bicycle shops, too. On the corner of the main and 1st is the Coaster Theater Playhouse, which is an intimate little theater built in a 1920s roller skating rink. The theater hosts plays and musicals performed by both local talents and professional groups touring the country.
Whether your flavor is surfing, hiking, or people-watching at a sidewalk patio cafe, there’s plenty of action to be had in your Cannon Beach camper rental.