Launch: 200' MSL
Landing: Beach, grassy areas
Direction(s): S-SW, WSW (look for SW 8 at the Astoria station)
Description of Site: Ecola State Park is a pristine forest preserve just north of Cannon Beach, OR. It is a popular tourist stop along the scenic coast highway. With over 6 miles of coastal trails and elevations that range from beach level to over a thousand feet, it is no wonder that many people are attracted to the area. Large numbers of pedestrians will be present to witness your flight on almost any given day. A 5 dollar per car-load daily use fee will be collected at the gate. Annual permits are available for a $30 dollar fee. Launch is a 200 foot grassy knob overlooking the beach. Glide to beach landing is about a 2 to 1.
Directions to launch: park in the parking area then walk up to the Host camp and check in. Then walk along the road south to the maintenance shed road, follow it down to the small parking area, walk up the short trail to the ridge edge. Launch is in the bowl as shown in the photos.
Return to launch by trail that begins about midway along the beach cliff.
Top-landing down the slope from launch is possible.
The launch area is the bowl on the grassy hillside. Landings can be made on the hillside or the beach.
Site Protocol: Flying Ecola is a privilege and not a right! It is granted with special consideration by the Park Ranger Follow all rules and regulation of the park.
Site Liaison: Brad Hill
Others Experienced at this Site: John Benedict, Brad Hill, Ancil Nance, Steve Roti.
Flights have been made north to Indian Beach on SW 10 days, with ascents, then, to the top of the ridge coming down from Tillamook Head. You can experience turbulence if crossing the parking area too low. You could also get in trouble when trying to ascend Indian Point. The remedy is to have plenty of height before going north from Ecola. Flights to Cannon Beach have also been made. The usual landing zone, at lower tides, is along Crescent Beach. In south winds avoid landing on the south end of the beach as there could be turbulence from Chapman Point.
Winds have been known to pick up speed quickly, so keep an eye on the water patterns and land before you have to. One pilot was blown back to the clear cuts east of the beach, and another was snagged by a tall tree. Don't throw caution to the wind. Your wing may be able to fly 18 MPH, but that does not leave a useful margin when the winds get a tad stronger than that. 8 to 12 MPH seems to be good range. You could get in trouble here if the wind picks up quickly or if the tide is high and you can't top land..
Submitted by: Pat Erwin 2/10/97, revised 06/07/11
Jason demonstrates proper top-landing area which is also the launch.