We headed out yesterday afternoon with no real plan in mind. We mentioned Hug Point or Ecola State Park but hadn’t decided until we started driving. We passed Hug Point because we were talking and not paying attention so that made the decision for us. Ecola State Park it was. Once there we headed for Ecola Point. This is a gorgeous bluff with views all around and a great place to get pictures from a higher point of Haystack Rock. We took the trail to Indian Beach even though part of it was closed due to a landslide.
We thought this was the hike we did last year but I quickly realized that it was completely different. In fact, when I got home I looked it up and we were in a totally different area of the park. Like I said, we had no real plan in mind which isn’t always the best way to plan a hike. It worked out though because this hike was absolutely beautiful. This is the type of hike I have been wanting to do with the kids.
That view, once you reached the first viewpoint, you could almost always see it peeking through the trees. It was incredible. The sound of the waves crashing were always in the background.
I should have mentioned in the beginning that at the trailhead there was a sign that warned hikers of cougars and what to do if you encountered one. If you know Grayson, you know how he can sometimes get a little anxious about things like wild animals in the forest coming out to attack him. He’s got this thing with bears too. We made it a game though, a way to engage them and get him out of that mindset and have fun with watching out for cougars. He came up with a game plan in case we saw one which included punches to the face and butt (Sorry PETA, it’s self-defense).
But because of this vigilant cougar watch the kids noticed everything. They stopped at every tree with a hole and looked in it to make sure there were no cougars. They noticed birds calling to each other and assumed they were warning each other of cougars. Their imaginations were running on overdrive. While we were searching every tree we found a rock that someone had drawn on and placed for others to find.
This started an entirely new hunt and although it’s the only one we found they are determined to find more on our other hikes and place rocks out that they have drawn on for other people. Thank you to the person who left this because our kids are stoked to start this new game on our hikes.
Both kids did great on the hike again. Olivia said her legs were tired about halfway through but that she needed to keep going because we had to find more rocks. We ended up hiking a little over 2 miles and I wore her for the last half mile or so.
There was some elevation change but it wasn’t too bad. My favorite portion of the hike was as we came out of the forest and onto the side of a bluff. This portion also gave me a little anxiety because the kids wanted to go so far ahead of us but the trail is on the side of huge hill and when you look down you see the shoreline and a lot of really big rocks. They listened and stayed close though and we made it to the other side. The views were absolutely amazing.
Our weather has been overcast every day that we have been here which we don’t mind but it doesn’t do justice to the raw beauty of the landscape. It’s breathtaking, trust me on that.
Once you get past the bluff you can go a little further but then the trail is closed. We turned around and headed back, stopping along the way to have a snack and take in the scenery one more time.
This is a hike that I wouldn’t ever get tired of doing, especially once they repair the bridge that leads to the rest of the trail and ends up at Indian Beach.
We made our way back with the kids singing (to let the cougars know we were coming of course) and two tired kids.
We took a little break at the picnic area before we went into town for dinner.
After dinner we got some ice cream to end our day.
I can’t always say that our hikes are perfect. There are days that the kids aren’t really feeling it, they complain or we don’t make it very far because they are tired. Hiking with kids isn’t always easy but it’s worth it even on the less than perfect hikes. This hike though, it was pretty close to perfect and it’s one that we won’t forget. And for that, I’m so grateful.