Friday, July 13, 2018

An under-the-radar option for camping in Cannon Beach

This is a belated shout-out to a great camping option for OCTers passing through Cannon Beach.

Cannon Beach has lots of lodging, most of it at the high end $$-wise, but not many options for backpackers. In fact, one (this one). There is no camping on the beach adjacent to the city limits of Cannon Beach or Arch Cape, nor adjacent to state parks (Ecola, Arcadia, Hug Point), which really limits your options. (I’m not a big fan of beach camping anyway). But depending on your schedule, you are going to need to sleep somewhere in the roughly 30-mile stretch of the OCT between the backpacker camp atop Tillamook Head and the hiker-biker camp at Nehalem Bay State Park. There is a private campground at the north end of Cannon Beach called Sea Ranch, but tent sites are $40 and are often booked in advance (no hiker-biker option there) .

Anyway, I vaguely knew about Wright’s, near midtown Cannon Beach, but it’s only open in the summer (Memorial Day weekend through mid-September) and I never got around to checking it out until now. It’s actually pretty awesome. Very small (maybe 20 sites), tents only, under tall trees, family-owned since 1959, a short walk from the beach. Funky in a super family-friendly way. Toilets, showers, and even a laundry room. They don’t advertise a hiker-biker camping area on their website, but they have one. It’s small, but they seem to make room for whoever shows up. It’s a short walk to great beer and coffee and other amenities in midtown. They charge $10 per person.

To get there, walk down the beach from the mouth of Ecola Creek to the next primary beach access just north of Haystack Rock (look for a road and creek hitting the beach). Wind through the motel complex here to the main road through town (S. Hemlock St.), follow it 3 blocks south to Sunset Boulevard. Follow Sunset Boulevard a short distance east; after going under US Highway 101 you’ll see Wright’s straight ahead on the hill.
There are actually two designated hiker-biker sites, adjacent to each other, and apparently Wright's is working on creating a third. If they get overwhelmed with hikers or bikers on any given night, they'll find a spot for you somewhere else on the property. Each site has one picnic table (but no firepit).

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