Hug Point State Park

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By Visit Oregon

Nov 14, 2023 / 1:43 am

Hug Point State Recreation Site
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Located in the northwestern region of the United States in the state of Oregon, Hug Point State Park is a stunning locale that attracts countless tourists each year. With its gorgeous coastal views, fascinating history, and unique natural features, it’s no wonder why so many people are drawn to this incredible place. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll get an in-depth look at all the things that make this park truly special. Whether you are an avid nature lover, a history buff, or just someone looking for a peaceful getaway, Hug Point State Park has something to offer.

History of Hug Point State Park

Exploring Hug Point State Park is like taking a step back in time. The park’s history dates back thousands of years when it was used by Native American tribes as a hunting and fishing ground. The park gets its name from a time before modern roads when horse-drawn wagons would “hug” the point of the cliff to avoid the rising tides while traveling along the beach. Evidence of this can be seen in the form of old wagon wheel tracks that can still be found etched into the park’s sandstone cliffs.
The park also played a significant role during the Prohibition era in the 1920s. Smugglers often used the park’s secluded caves to stash illegal liquor, earning it the nickname “Smugglers Cove.” It is these rich historical narratives that add an extra layer of charm and intrigue to Hug Point State Park.

Natural Features of Hug Point State Park

Hug Point State Park is home to a plethora of natural attractions that are sure to take your breath away. One of these is the park’s sandy beach which offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. This beach is perfect for a leisurely stroll, relaxing sunbathing, or even a picnic with a view. During low tide, you can also explore the park’s tide pools that teem with various marine life forms.
Another impressive feature of the park is its waterfall that cascades directly onto the beach. This waterfall, which is fed by a creek running through the park, creates a serene and picturesque setting that is perfect for photography enthusiasts. The park also boasts of sandstone cliffs that house several caves waiting to be discovered. These caves, some of which were used by smugglers during Prohibition, add an element of adventure to your visit.

Activities at Hug Point State Park

From hiking and picnicking to beachcombing and wildlife viewing, Hug Point State Park offers a range of activities for visitors of all ages. The park’s trails weaving through lush forests and along rugged cliffs are perfect for those who love hiking. These trails offer fantastic coastal views and lead to some of the park’s primary attractions like its waterfall and caves.
If you prefer more laid-back activities, you can set up a picnic by the beach or spend your day beachcombing. The park’s beach is known for its variety of shells and interesting rocks waiting to be discovered. Wildlife enthusiasts can also look forward to spotting various bird species and marine life during their visit.

Practical Information

Hug Point State Park is open daily from dawn to dusk. There are no entrance fees but parking is limited during peak season so it is advisable to arrive early. Restrooms are available but there are no food service facilities within the park so visitors are encouraged to bring their own food and beverages. Do remember that this park observes a “leave no trace” policy meaning visitors are expected to take all trash with them when they leave

Getting There

The park is located off Highway 101, about 5 miles south of Cannon Beach. It is accessible by car and there is a parking lot available for visitors. The closest airport is Portland International Airport which is about 90 miles away.
In conclusion, Hug Point State Park is a place of natural beauty and historical significance. Its stunning coastal views, interesting historical narratives, and variety of recreational activities make it a must-visit destination on Oregon’s north coast. Whether you are looking for an adventurous outing or a peaceful retreat, Hug Point State Park has something to offer everyone. Experience the charm of this park for yourself and create unforgettable memories amidst its breathtaking scenery and fascinating history.


How do you get to the waterfall at Hug Point?

To get to the waterfall at Hug Point State Park in Oregon, you can follow these steps:
Travel to Hug Point State Park: Start by making your way to Hug Point State Park, which is located along the Oregon Coast, approximately 5 miles south of Cannon Beach and about 10 miles north of Manzanita. You can reach this area by taking Highway 101.
Park Your Vehicle: Once you arrive at Hug Point State Park, you’ll need to park your vehicle in the designated parking area. There should be signs indicating where to park.
Access the Beach: To reach the waterfall, you’ll need to access the beach. There is a well-marked trailhead that leads down to the beach from the parking area. Follow the trail as it descends towards the shore.
Check the Tide Schedule: It’s essential to check the tide schedule before heading to the waterfall at Hug Point, as the waterfall is only accessible during low tide. You can find tide tables online or at the park’s entrance. Make sure you plan your visit during a time when the tide is low to ensure safety.
Walk Along the Beach: Once you’re on the beach, walk to the south (left if you’re facing the ocean) along the shoreline. You’ll need to walk for a short distance, and you’ll come across a rocky outcrop. This is Hug Point.
Explore the Rocks: Carefully navigate the rocky area by walking around or over the rocks. You’ll see the waterfall as you explore the nooks and crannies of the rocky shoreline. It’s usually a small stream that cascades over the rocks and into the ocean.
Enjoy the Waterfall: Take in the beauty of the waterfall, and be cautious as the rocks can be slippery. Please remember to respect the environment and wildlife in the area and avoid disturbing the natural habitat.
Return Safely: After enjoying the waterfall, make your way back to the parking area, ensuring that you check the tide schedule again to ensure a safe return.
Please exercise caution when exploring the shoreline and be mindful of changing tide conditions. Hug Point State Park is known for its scenic beauty, and the waterfall is just one of the many attractions worth exploring in the area.

Can you walk to Hug Point from Cannon Beach?

Yes, you can walk to Hug Point State Park from Cannon Beach, but it’s important to note that it’s not a short walk, and it can be challenging due to the rocky shoreline. The distance between Cannon Beach and Hug Point is approximately 5 miles, so it’s a relatively long hike along the beach.
Here’s how you can walk from Cannon Beach to Hug Point:
Start in Cannon Beach: Begin your walk in Cannon Beach, which is a popular coastal town on the Oregon Coast.
Head South Along the Beach: Walk southward along the shoreline. You’ll be following the coastline, so you’ll have the ocean on one side and the land on the other. Enjoy the scenic views along the way.
Keep an Eye on Tide Times: It’s crucial to keep an eye on the tide schedule as you walk. The route between Cannon Beach and Hug Point can become impassable during high tide, so plan your walk during low tide to ensure safety. You can find tide tables online or at local visitor centers.
Navigating Rocky Areas: As you approach Hug Point, you’ll encounter rocky areas that you’ll need to navigate. Take caution while walking over rocks, as they can be slippery. Pay attention to the tides and be prepared to turn back if necessary for safety reasons.
Arriving at Hug Point: Once you reach Hug Point, you’ll find the rocky outcrop and the waterfall, which is a unique feature of the area.
Exploring Hug Point: Enjoy exploring Hug Point, taking in the natural beauty, and observing the waterfall. Be sure to respect the environment and avoid disturbing any wildlife.
Return to Cannon Beach: After you’ve had your fill of Hug Point, make your way back to Cannon Beach. Again, be mindful of tide conditions to ensure a safe return journey
Walking from Cannon Beach to Hug Point can be a picturesque adventure, but it requires careful planning, especially regarding tide times and conditions. Make sure you’re prepared for a longer hike and that you have appropriate footwear for walking on rocky terrain. Always prioritize safety when exploring the Oregon Coast.

How low does the tide have to be for Hug Point?

For visiting Hug Point and safely accessing its unique features, including the waterfall and caves, it is generally recommended to visit during a low tide. Ideally, a tide level of 1 foot (0.3 meters) or lower is considered safe for exploring Hug Point without the risk of being trapped by rising tides.
Keep in mind that tidal conditions can vary, so it’s essential to check the local tide tables and forecasts for the specific day and time of your visit. Tide tables are typically available online, at visitor centers, or from local authorities. It’s advisable to plan your visit to Hug Point around low tide to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, as high tides can cover the entire area, making it inaccessible and potentially dangerous.

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