Despite the fact that Oregon is right next to California, its beaches don’t get nearly as much attention as their Californian counterparts. True, the weather in Oregon isn’t as warm and it gets a lot more rain than in California, but there still are some beautiful, pristine hidden beaches in Oregon that are worth visiting. In this post, we’ll cover some of the best of them. But first things first…
Where To Find The Prettiest Beaches In Oregon?
Oregon is not the typical destination for a tropical paradise vacation but it is one of the most geographically diverse states in the USA and its western coast is filled with beautiful beaches. The Oregon coast consists of 13 bays, with the most popular ones being Depoe Bay, famous for the clearest waters in Oregon, Winchester Bay, famous for its small-town charm, Yaquina Bay, famous for its impressive port, and Whale Cove, famous for being probably the most picturesque cove in the northwest.
If you’re looking for a guided tour that will allow you to explore the coast of Oregon, I warmly recommend this full Oregon Coast tour.
When To Visit?
The best time to discover hidden beaches in Oregon is the summer. The Oregon coast is notoriously rainy and the summers offer a short break from the gloomy weather. During this time of the year, the days are longer, sunny, and perfect for enjoying the beautiful outdoors of Beaver State.
However, if you’re planning to visit some pristine, hidden beaches in Oregon, it might be a good idea to visit Oregon during the fall. There will be fewer people around which means you’ll get to enjoy the beautiful views for yourself, the temperature will still be bearable but the weather might be a bit more unpredictable, so you may want to take some waterproof shoes, a rain jacket, and a windbreaker.
Getting To The Beaches In Oregon
Some of the hidden beaches in Oregon mentioned on this list are quite remote and the transportation options are limited, so perhaps it might be a good idea to rent a car for your trip. If you’re looking to rent a car in Oregon, you can use Autoeurope to compare the prices of different local dealers and make sure you’re always getting the best deal. If you use our link, you also get up to 10% off on all car rentals in Oregon.
The accommodation options near the beaches of Oregon consist of hotels, glamping facilities, campsites, and campervans. Hipcamp is very popular in the region, it’s like Airbnb for campsites and it offers glamping sites, cabins, yurts, and more. Alternatively, if you still prefer to stick to hotels, you can use our Booking.com link and get up to 15% off on all property bookings in Oregon.
With that being said, let’s see which are some of the best hidden beaches in Oregon.
Crescent Beach is a secluded beach, located very close to some of the most popular beaches in Oregon like Cannon Beach and Seaside Beach. To get to Crescent Beach, you need to take a short hike through the picturesque wood that separates this beach from some of its more famous counterparts. The trail leads through the woods straight to this pristine sandy beach that will leave you mesmerized…
Oregon sure has a lot of things named after the devil (Devil’s Cauldron, Devil’s Punchbowl, Devil’s Basin, etc. but perhaps the least famous “devilish” attraction in Oregon is Devil’s Churn. Accessible only via an obscure turnoff south of Cape Perpetua, Devil’s Churn is a scenic narrow inlet of the Pacific Ocean. The churn looks like a spur disfigured by the gash of the wavy ocean that breaks its waves against the sharp rocks on the coast. It’s one of the most beautiful places along the West Coast and definitely, a valuable addition to this list of the best hidden beaches in Oregon.
If you love isolated beaches with rugged coastlines, you should definitely add Strawberry Hill to your list. Located in the most secluded part of Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint, Strawberry Hill is a unique rugged stretch of coastline famous for its diverse wildlife and scenic tide pools. The beach lies near Highway 101 just outside of the charming town of Yachats. Along the coast, you can also find volcanic ledges, cobbles, and even a couple of caves.
Short Sand Beach
A part of the picturesque Oswald West State Park, Short Sand Beach is a beautiful sandy cove hidden by a stretch of woods. The beach lies along Highway 101 and is the perfect place for a picnic, but also for surfing, and it’s obviously very popular among hikers or people looking for a peaceful place to relax and unwind. From the beach, you can also even start climbing Neahkahnie Mountain via the Elk Flats trail where you can also see one of Oregon’s most famous attractions- Devil’s Cauldron.
Hobbit Beach is a secret sandy cove that’s only accessible through the woods that will make you feel like you stepped into the Shire from Lord Of The Rings. The beach is located north of the Heceta Head State Park that can also be accessed from the trails in the forest that leads to the beach. The sandy beach is beautiful and pristine, the perfect place to just chill and relax. However, many travelers claim that the trek to it is even better than the beach itself. So, if you’re looking to combine some relaxation at the beach with an adventure in the woods, Hobbit Beach is a perfect choice!
Tierra Del Mar Beach, Oregon
Sandwiched between Cape Lookout and Cape Kiwanda, along the Three Capes Scenic Route, Tierra Del Mar is a short, two-mile stretch of sand blissfully undisturbed by crowded feet, surrounded by lush forests that hide its beauty in plain sight. Tierra Del Mar is famous for having one of the softest sands on the Oregon coast and for being one of the finest paragliding destinations in the region; the area is surrounded by tall cliffs that give a beautiful view of the beach and are perfect for paragliders looking for a starting point.
Speaking of the best hidden beaches in Oregon, we just have to mention Horsfall Beach. It’s located in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, along the Central Oregon Coast, around 2 miles away from North Bend. and it’s one of the best places in Oregon for beachcombing and camping. The beach has parking that’s ideal for off-road vehicles and it has all the modern amenities one might need for a great camping trip.
Cove Beach is another beach that lies northwest of Portland that’s hidden behind a densely forested area. The beach, also famous as Magic Rocks Beach is one of the most beautiful ones in Oregon and sadly, most tourists don’t know about it but maybe because locals jealously want to keep it to themselves. Cove Beach is dotted with volcanic cobble stretches that produce a magical sound when the breakers drain off them which is something that makes the beach even more amazing, especially if you’re alone there with no one around.
During low tide, the beach often gets littered with shells (perfect for beachcombers) and during high tide, the breakers are washed to the shore and start to produce the magical click-clacking sounds mentioned above.
Located halfway between Cape Arago and Yoakam Point State Natural Site, Lighthouse Beach is one of the best hidden beaches in Oregon for surfers and kayakers. The beach is surrounded by rocky headlands which protect it from cross currents and the harsh Oregon winds which also makes Lighthouse Beach one of the most underrated birdwatching destinations in the region. Similar to most other beaches in Oregon, Lighthouse Beach is also surrounded by forests and this attracts a lot of birds on the shore throughout the year.
If you’re a kayak enthusiast, you’ll be happy to hear that you can also access the beach via kayak from the Cape Arago Loop.
Carved into the north base of Yaquina Head, Starfish Cove is a peaceful beach composed of rock platforms and wave-etched mudstone. The cove is perfect for tide-pooling during low tide; more often than not, you can find a lot of clams, fossils, and loose specimens. I know taking them as souvenirs might be tempting but try to resist the urge; take some photos and leave the tide pools intact for other visitors to wander over them too.
If you want to get to the beach, you have to walk the slippery trail leading to the beach located just north of the turn to Yaquina Head.
Together with Lighthouse Beach, Bastendorff Beach is another local favorite when it comes to surfing. The beach also lies near Yoakam Head with its entrance being less than a mile away from Cape Arago Highway. In addition to surfers, Bastendorff Beach is also popular among kite flying enthusiasts (because of the wind), beachcombers, or just people who want to get a break from everything and enjoy the beautiful landscapes surrounding the beach.
Not to be confused with Short Sand Beach, Short Beach is located just north of Oceanside, west of Portland. The beach isn’t very frequented, mainly because most visitors never notice it as it’s not visible from the road and there aren’t any road signs announcing its existence. On the beach, you can find rocks of all sizes, from massive onshore sea stacks to tiny, colorful pebbles, and during the lowest tides, you can even walk all the way around the large rock that’s positioned in the center of the beach.
However, the real highlight, in my opinion, is the manmade viaduct that creates a threadlike waterfall that flows from Larson Creek and reaches its delta on the beach.
To get to Short Beach, you need to pass the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Cape Meares Loop Road and turn when you see a chain-link fence on your right-hand side (before reaching Radar Road).
Hooskanaden Beach is one of the least-known hidden beaches in Oregon. There are no signs pointing towards the direction of the beach and you can’t see it from the highway which is probably the main reason why this beach doesn’t get more visitors. If you’re wondering about the unusual name, it was given to the area by the Tututni (Native American tribe) and it translates to “gravel place”.
In addition to gravels, the area is also known for its diverse wildlife, consisting of different kinds of migratory birds and marine mammals. If you’re planning to visit, keep in mind that a trip to Hooskanaden Beach during the winter isn’t recommended because the beach gets flooded by high tides and breakers.
To get to the beach, you need to follow an off-the-beaten-track trail along the southbound lane of Highway 101, milepost 344 that leads downhill to the shore.
Agate Beach is a part of the Otter Point State Recreation Site that’s located west of Grant Pass. The beach is located nearby Gold Beach but it’s a lot less frequented. True, it’s not as glamorous and its shoreline is small and rugged but it’s one of the most peaceful and scenic places in this part of Oregon. To get to Agate Beach, you need to follow a narrow winding trail that isolates the beach from the highway. And the best part of all is once you get through the trail and to the beach, for a second you’ll feel like you’re on your own deserted island (yes, it’s that peaceful).
Well-known and often admired by locals for its exotic rock spires, this little-known beach north of Thomas Creek Bridge is one of the most scenic and peaceful hidden beaches in Oregon. China Beach gets a lot of tide pools during low tide and most beachcombers are fascinated by it because you can find a lot of colorful rocks, shells, and many other things. The beach is also especially beautiful during sunrise, so if sunrise photography is your thing, this is one place in Oregon that should definitely be on your list.
Another place most tourists in Oregon often overlook is the Lost Creek State Recreation Site. The coast is flanked by miles of unfrequented, soft sandy beaches, perfect for people looking to find some serenity and relax after a rough day/week. It’s also a great place for families, there are a lot of tourist facilities in the area, impressive vibrant tide pools, warm ocean waves, and some spectacular views of the sweeping mountains in the background.
The beach is perfect for having picnics and camping but if you ever get bored don’t worry, there are a lot of other exciting places in near proximity and even a few hiking trails.
Technically, God’s Thumb might not be classified as a beach because it’s located on an elevated surface but it’s right next to the coast so we decided to include it in this list of the best hidden beaches in Oregon. The thumb is one of the most scenic spots on the Oregon coast and one of the best hikes in Oregon. The trail is a little bit shorter than 5 miles but it’s steep and often muddy. However, don’t let this discourage you; the views you’ll get as you approach the coast will be worth the hustle.
Last but not least, we round up this list with perhaps the most famous one of all the hidden beaches in Oregon. Its name might be a bit misleading because even though it started off as a “secret beach”, it’s not nearly as unknown as before. Many people got to know about it throughout the years but I would still not call Secret Beach mainstream. Similar to most beaches on this list, the only way to get to the actual beach is by passing a trail that leads through a gorgeous old-growth forest. The journey is almost 2 miles long but the scenic cliffs, beautiful sea stacks, and jaw-dropping views will surely make it worth your while.
Did you ever visit some of the best hidden beaches in Oregon? Do you have a favorite? If not, which one would you like to visit first? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
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