Located an hour west of Portland, Oregon, the strand of shoreline now called Indian Beach was once home to several Tillamook villages. When passing through on January 8, 1806, William Clark’s guide pointed out these village to the explorer as they searched for a whale carcass that was said to have washed ashore nearby. After passing a five-house village situated on the shore that he called E co-la, meaning “whale creek,” only to find that whale had already been stripped of its usable resources by the locals, and nothing but a skeleton remained. Clark and his men returned to E co-la, where the villagers were busy processing what they’d taken from the whale.
Today, Indian Beach is located inside Ecola State Park, a day-use only park which takes its name from that village. Stretching along 9 miles of coastline, the park offers hiking opportunities and breathtaking scenic vistas, as well as picnicking, tide pooling, swimming, and wildlife observation. It’s also a popular place for surfing.