Crescent Beach, accessed by Crescent Beach Trail, is a less crowded alternative to Ecola State Park's popular Indian Beach. Proximity to Cannon Beach and Portland via Highway 26 makes this a very convenient coastal access point. The Crescent Beach Trail starts at the east end of the Ecola Point Picnic Area, near the public restrooms. For those not desiring a hike, the Ecola Point Lookout is also a nice spot, with picnic tables on a grassy bluff overlooking the Pacific, and there are several well-developed, short trails to different lookout points. There is also a 1.5-mile trail to Indian Beach that starts at the northwest corner of the parking area.
The Crescent Beach Trail begins climbing steeply behind a hill and toward the park access road. The path joins the road for a short while before descending slightly to the edge of a ridge, and you'll get frequent views of the beach and ocean some 200 feet below. The route heads inland, following the contour around a drainage before dropping steeply to the beach. From here, a wide open, relatively uncrowded beach stretches for a quarter-mile in each direction, offering many options for exploration or a private area to relax on the sand.
At only 1.25 miles each way, the hike is short and fairly easy; however, be prepared for somewhat rough trail conditions in spots, including muddy sections and some steep sections toward the end.