Indian Beach sits at the base of Tillamook Head’s southern slope in Ecola State Park, and it is an ideal place to take in the enormity of the basalt formation that displays the region's geological heritage. If the tumultuous and vast Pacific doesn’t inspire sufficient awe, consider the prospect that some 15 million years ago the rock that forms the Tillamook Headland was a molten river of basalt flowing down the Columbia Gorge from Idaho.
Stepping back into today, relax and contemplate the view of hardy surfers in the waves, the Brandt’s cormorants stretching their wings from the top of Indian Point, and the incredible construction of Terrible Tilly, the lighthouse on Tillamook Rock. For a quick, remarkable history of this lonely lighthouse, visit www.lighthousefriends.com. If you are exploring during high tide and would like to walk the length of the beach, you can avoid a stream crossing by taking a trail that leaves from the parking lot. Tide pools may be found at the south end of the beach during low tide.
If you have the time and energy, the quick, 3-mile hike on the Clatsop Loop provides an excellent overview of the area in addition to views of the lighthouse, Hiker’s Camp and an old World War II radar installation. The Crescent Beach Trail also offers access to a nearby and less-trafficked beach. The longer hike across Tillamook Head is also well-worth the effort, time and energy permitting.