The amazing thing about the West Coast is that it is still mostly wild, open, and astoundingly beautiful country, where you can drive for miles and miles and have the scenery all to yourself.
Ecola State Park
The rest of Ecola State Park protects a series of rugged headlands stretching for nine miles along the coast, with many forested hiking trails, including some of the most scenic portions of the Oregon Coast Trail system. The park also marks the southernmost extent of Lewis and Clark’s cross-country expedition. Clark and a few other members of the Corps of Discovery expedition traversed the area in search of supplements to their diet of hardtack and dried salmon. The word “ecola” means whale in the Chinookan tongue and was affixed to this region by the Lewis and Clark expedition, who found one of these leviathans washed up on a beach. They happily bought 300 pounds of tangy whale blubber from local Indians, but these days you’d better bring your own lunch to picnic atop bluffs with sweeping views of the rock-strewn Pacific.
The view from the top of Tillamook Head, which rises 1,200 feet above the sea at the heart of the park, was memorialized by explorer William Clark as “the grandest and most pleasing prospect” he had ever beheld.