Arch Cape is a small community named for a natural arch in a minor headland located along the Pacific coast, approximately 4 miles (6.5 km) south of Cannon Beach, Oregon. The community is between Hug Point State Recreation Site to the north and Oswald West State Park to the south.
Arch Cape was a remote hamlet at the end of a wagon road until the Oregon Coast Highway was built. The Arch Cape post office was established in 1891, with weekly mail delivery on foot or horseback. The only way to reach Arch Cape from Cannon Beach was to venture around Hug Point, traveling along the beach at low tide. In 1936, the Oregon Coast Highway ended at Arch Cape, just south of Arch Cape Creek, and work had begun on a tunnel through Neahkahnie Mountain that would be 1228 feet (375 m) long, the longest tunnel at the time on the Oregon highway system.
In 2008, winter storms uncovered a rare “ghost forest” on the Arch Cape beach. Previously covered by deep sand, the giant tree stumps are estimated to be at least 4,000 years old. Oregon Parks and Recreation Department staff also removed a pair of historic cannons. The cannons were discovered by beach visitors during extremely low tides after the storm. It is possible the cannon are remnants from the USS Shark, a U.S. Navy survey shipwrecked in 1846 off the Columbia River Bar, but the cannons’ origins have not yet been determined. Read more here and here. Explore more of Arch Cape here: