Haystack Rock is a large sea stack just off the coast at Cannon Beach and probably one of the most iconic sites in Oregon. We visited Haystack Rock from Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site, which allows free access to the beach and Haystack Rock, about a mile up the beach from the parking area. Several other smaller sea stacks near Haystack Rock are called "The Needles"; i.e., needle in a haystack. The rock is home to a large number of nesting birds, including puffins, cormorants, and lots of sea gulls. To protect these birds, people are not allowed to go up on the rock itself. This prohibition is also to reduce the number of rescues. People would go out to the rock at low tide and get stranded when the tide came back in and they would have to be rescued by the Coast Guard or local authorities. Although you can't go up on the rock itself, the tide pools near the base provide a great opportunity to sea the amazing sea life that lives in the wave-battered tide pools. Ochre sea stars, giant green anemones, and kelp crabs are just a few of the critters you can see in the tide pools. As a warning, the Pacific waters are extremely cold. Walking around the photographing the tide pools is only really feasible during low tide when the water doesn't get much above ankle depth. We wandered around for about an hour and by that time, my feet were getting numb. But it was definitely worth the cold to see all the beautiful and colorful animals in the tide pools and get a closer view of Haystack Rock.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.