Fogarty Beach – General Information
Open: Year-round, 6 AM to 9:30 PM
Type Of Beach: State Park
Approach: Easy to Medium
Main Activities: Hiking, Fishing, Tide-pooling, Picnics
Popularity: Low to Moderate
Services: Flush Toilets, Picnic Tables
Accommodations: Lodging (Lincoln City, Depoe Bay), RV Parks Nearby
Up next in our hidden gems series is Fogarty Creek Beach, just a few miles from Lincoln City on the central Oregon coast.
It is named for John Fogarty, a former county judge and state legislator from the late 1800s, not musician John Fogerty from Creedence Clearwater Revival, as people often think.
The beach is part of the larger Fogarty Creek State Recreation Area and Fogarty Creek State Park, both of which were once private land, but after a series of donations and a few purchases by the state in the 1960s, are now available for public use.
What to Expect
As is often the case with beaches named after creeks, Fogarty Creek splits the beach into two sections. The parking lot on the northern side of the creek will provide easier access to the beach, although the southern portion isn’t too much more strenuous.
Its relative lack of popularity is primarily due to Lincoln City being only ten miles away and having over seven miles’ worth of beaches in town. It’s more convenient for most people to get a hotel in town and visit one of the beaches there.
A main advantage you’ll find here over other beaches is the high cliffs that surround it, which provide a fair amount of protection from wind. That’s why I like this beach so much, as I’m not a fan of too much wind. A gentle breeze is nice but that’s about it.
Where is Fogarty Beach Located?
Fogarty Beach is located on the Oregon Coast, just a few miles south of Lincoln City. The beach has two parking lots and two access points, one on the north side of the creek and one on the south side.
If you’re coming from Lincoln City, just head south on Highway 101. After about ten miles or so, you’ll see a sign that says “Fogarty Beach State Park”. Take a left and about 1,000 feet down the road, you’ll arrive at the parking lot.
To get to the beach from Depoe Bay, drive north on Highway 101 until you reach the same sign, and then turn right.
Getting to the Beach
Once you’ve parked your car, you’ll find a couple of bridges in the parking lot. One that goes to the beach, one over the creek that connects the north and south parking areas, and another that leads to a hiking trail (see the hiking section below).
The bridges in the northern parking area will give you easier access to the beach but the ones in the south aren’t much worse.
You’ll also find restrooms with running water here, which is a major selling point. I know a lot of people who don’t like to use chemical toilets or outhouses whose interest in going to the beach increases quite a bit when they find out there’s indoor plumbing.
Things to Do on Fogarty Beach
A lot of the activities on this particular beach are centered around beachcombing, rockhounding, and especially tide-pooling. The only time it ever really gets “busy” is during weekends in the summer, as the tide is going out.
I always bring a picnic lunch every time I bring my friends or family here since it’s such a great spot for it. There are picnic tables and a covered picnic area that can be reserved. Sometimes, I like to eat a sandwich while sitting on a blanket in the sand.
If you get hungry while you’re on the beach but don’t feel like driving all the way back to Lincoln City, there are at least three restaurants within a mile that offer to-go service, allowing you to take your food back to the beach.
There are a couple of hiking trails located within the park, all of which can be reached after a short walk from the parking lot. There’s enough parking here for you to enjoy a hike, then relax on the beach without worrying about taking up a parking space for too long.
The most popular is the loop to Fishing Rock, which is just under three miles. Ironically, fishing isn’t allowed there anymore, but it was when it got its name. Fishermen would use ladders to climb onto the rock formations to get their line further into the water.
This is a big spot for agate hunters, with several different types of minerals found here, including chalcedony, particularly jasper. You’ll also have the chance to find invertebrate fossils, which you can collect without a permit (unlike vertebrate fossils).
Where to Stay
For a lower price and more lodging options, Lincoln City is a great choice and is only ten miles away. If you don’t mind paying more to stay closer to the beach, Depoe Bay also has a few hotels, the least expensive being the Travelodge.
There are multiple RV Parks within a few miles of the beach, including the Fogarty Creek RV Park, which is less than one-half mile from the beach parking lot.
If you’d like to experience the great outdoors in a tent, you may have to go a bit further, as the state park is a day-use-only facility. The Barbara and Walter Brown Memorial Park campground is less than 20 miles away.
Other Activities in the Area
Lincoln City’s Finders Keepers Program
Every year on the beaches in Lincoln City, members of the public place thousands of glass orbs out on the beach for others to find. It used to be part of a weekend festival but the locals decided they loved it so much, they started doing it year-round!
Once you find an orb, not only is it yours to keep, but you can visit the program’s website and find out more about the artist who designed it.
The Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area
If you’re a big fan of caves like I am, you’ll love the Devils Punchbowl even though the official name doesn’t have an apostrophe, which upsets me as a writer. It’s also a great place for whale watching, as their migration routes go right past the park.
Chinook Winds Casino
Just a few miles north is the famous Chinook Winds Casino. I’m not a big gambler myself but I do enjoy music from the 1970s and this is one of the best places in Oregon to see some of the best bands of that era in concert.
Suislaw National Forest
The Siuslaw National Forest has many great opportunities to get more in tune with nature, including backwoods camping, hiking, fishing, and wildlife encounters. You’ll want to keep basic safety tips in mind but it’s a perfect place to get away from life’s stress for a while.
Fogarty Creek Beach and the surrounding State Park are one of my favorite places to visit on the Oregon Coast. A nice little cove with fewer people than you’d find at a more popular beach, plenty of activities, and little wind make it an awesome experience.
Whether you’re on the coast for a day trip or a longer excursion, you won’t want to miss this amazing beach and State Park. Start planning your trip today!