Haystack Rock is a 235-foot (72-meter) tall monolith (or sea stack) on the Oregon coast in the northwestern United States, the third-tallest such structure in the world. A popular tourist destination, the rock is adjacent to the beach and accessible by foot during low tide. Haystack Rock tide pools are home to many intertidal animals, including starfish, anemone, crabs, chitons, limpets, and sea slugs. The rock is also a refuge for many sea birds, including terns and puffins.
Location and management
According to Oregon State Parks and Recreation
, Haystack Rock is located approximately 1.5 miles (2.2 km
) south of downtown Cannon Beach
in Clatsop County
, approximately 80 miles west of Portland
. The nearest major road is U.S. Route 101
. Haystack Rock is part of the Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site
and is managed by Oregon Parks and Recreation below the mean high water
(MHW) level, and above the MHW level by the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge
of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Another Haystack Rock is located in Tillamook County off Pacific City, next to Cape Kiwanda. Iexplore.com says the Pacific City rock is 318 feet, while the Cannon Beach rock is 235 feet in height.
Composed of basalt
, Haystack Rock was formed by lava
flows emanating from the Grand Ronde Mountains
10 to 17 million years ago. The lava flows created many of the Oregon
coast's natural features, including Tillamook Head
, Arch Cape
, and Saddle Mountain
. Haystack Rock was once joined to the coastline but years of erosion have since separated the monolith from the coast. Three smaller, adjacent rock formations to the south of Haystack Rock are collectively called "The Needles".
Haystack Rock was granted Marine Garden status by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
in 1990. Collecting plants or animals is strictly prohibited. Climbing above the mean high tide level (barnacle line) disturbs nesting birds and is not allowed. The Haystack Rock Awareness Program is a volunteer association which conducts educational seminars at the rock during low tide between May and September.
Visitors to Haystack Rock can view many species of marine wildlife in their natural habitat during low tide. The thin strip of rock and sand that connects it to the beach at these times features many tide pools. The area surrounding the rock is popular for picnicking, kite-flying, and bird-watching. Artists and photographers can be found capturing the beauty of Haystack Rock on canvas or on film. Haystack Rock is one of the most identifiable geological formations of Oregon. Many people each year become temporarily trapped on Haystack Rock when high tide engulfs the rock in water, necessitating rescue by the United States Coast Guard or local authorities. Oregon's beaches are publicly owned, and there are several hotels along the beachfront within walking distance of Haystack Rock, making the area congested with tourists during the high season (May through September). Visitors during the winter months will find a desolate, wet, windswept terrain, which many also appreciate.
- Haystack Rock can be seen in the opening scene of The Goonies, when the Fratellis are fleeing from the police and then enter a race on the beach. You can see the Haystack Rock in the background. Later in the film you can see the Haystack Rock again when Mikey is pointing out some rocks in the distance.
- Haystack Rock can also be seen in the 1979 movie 1941, directed by Steven Spielberg. The rock is particularly out of place, as the setting is supposed to be the California coast.
- Haystack Rock can be seen in the movie Kindergarten Cop, during the carnival scene later in the movie.