Photo: The Mysterious Beauty of Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, OR

Haystack rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon is probably one of the most photographed natural landmarks in the world. Well, duh! It’s just so gorgeous. Those of us lucky enough to live close by have many opportunities to photograph Cannon Beach during various times of the year, during different weather activities. During low tide in the summertime, visitors can approach very close to Haystack rock and see various forms of marine life in the shallow waters.

At low tide, mysterious sea life is magically revealed.

As the tide recedes, smaller boulders near the rock are exposed, revealing thick coats of barnacles, seaweed, marine moss and tiny crabs. However, Haystack rock itself is a nationally protected marine wildlife sanctuary, so visitors cannot get within a few yards of it. This gives Haystack rock a mysterious quality, as only the sea birds really know what’s on top of and on the other side of the rock. Warning signs are posted near the monolith; Fish and Wildlife employees are around to help enforce this mandate, and are very knowledgeable about the area. They are very happy to answer any questions you may have about Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach and the marine life that makes Haystack rock their home. Some of them will even lead group talks about the area.

As you can imagine, Cannon Beach is very popular with tourists and locals alike, especially during the summer months when temps are at their warmest. But don’t be fooled into thinking the Pacific waters of the Northern Oregon coast are warm. Even during the height of summer the waters are pretty cool, and you’d need a wet suit to spend any real time in the water. Indeed, surfers up and down the Oregon coast don their full-body suits to take advantage of the smallish waves.

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Hi, I’m Susan, a travel writer based in Portland, Oregon. THANKS for stopping by my Pacific Northwest travel site! This blog focuses on Pacific Northwest travel, but also is a place showcase all of my travels, and is a great place to start when planning your next vacation to my area of the world. Please e-mail me or leave a comment, I’m here to help!

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