Moolack Beach – General Information
Type Of Beach: Oregon State Park
Approach: Easy/Medium Difficulty
Main Activities: Hiking, Beachcombing, Tidepooling
Accommodations: Beverly Beach State Park (Camping), Hotels in Newport
Anyone who has spent time in Oregon can hardly argue that we have some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States.
However, that comes with a problem. Nearly every popular beach is so full of people that no one even has a spot to sit, let alone beach comb or find anything interesting.
So, what do we do? We visit the “unpopular” beaches! Moolack beach is one of those in Oregon that qualifies as unpopular simply because it’s not very well known.
However, if you’re looking to escape the crowds, Moolack Beach will give you all the experiences of the famous beaches with way more beach and solitude.
What To Expect
Now, Moolack Beach (also known as Moolack Shores) is not unpopular because it’s not great. It’s simply lesser known because it’s a little harder to get to and is overshadowed by the other beaches in the area.
Since Newport is chock full of amazing beaches Moolack doesn’t quite get the love I feel like it deserves. However, for many people, it is one of the best beaches in the area.
Moolack Beach is one of the largest sandy beaches in the area, stretching almost 5 miles in length and with a tidal range of more than 10 feet.
Because of Moolack Beach’s gentle slope and large tidal range, there may actually be no beach at all when you visit (if it’s high tide). At low tide, however, you’ll find hundreds of feet of sand as well as large rocks that form tidal pools, driftwood, and everything else you’d expect of an Oregon beach.
Where Is Moolack Beach Located?
While most people consider Moolack Beach to be one of Newport’s Beaches it is located about 4 miles north of the city via U.S. Route 101.
The beach runs north/south with the southern end at Yaquina Head and the north end terminating around Otter Rock.
At some point, as you move north, Moolack Beach transitions into Beverly Beach but, as Moolack is undeveloped, there isn’t a clear distinction of exactly where. Most people unofficially use Wade Creek as the separation between Beverly Beach and Moolack Beach.
Getting To The Beach
The easiest way to get to Moolack beach is to park at the Devil’s Punchbowl parking lot and head down the wooden stairs straight to the south. You’ll come out on Beverly Beach from which point you can walk south until, at some indeterminate point, you’ll be able to declare that you’re on Moolack Beach.
There are also several small parking areas along the highway where you can pull out and take small paths to the beach. Several of these can be quite slippery and steep (especially as you get farther north toward Devil’s Punchbowl) so exercise caution if the ground is wet.
If you’re averse to stairs or steep trails you’ll want to get onto the beach as far north as possible where the road and pullouts are down closer to the beach’s elevation.
Things To Do On Moolack Beach
Because Moolack Beach is such a long and uninterrupted beach the most logical thing to do is simply to hang out and walk along the beach.
The sand is great to play in (at low tide) and you can spend a couple of hours walking along the beach without running into much besides driftwood.
I will note that you can’t actually walk to Devil’s Punchbowl via the beach, at least not to access it from the beach level.
Devil’s Punchbowl juts out into the ocean so your hike along the beach ends where it begins and you have to take the stairs up to the viewpoint. If you want to keep walking (as we did) you can head north and get back on the beach at the Marine Garden’s trail.
If you’re headed south you can walk almost all the way to the lighthouse at Yaquina Head which, depending on where you parked, could be 4 miles or more.
If you’re planning on spending much time walking along the beach be aware that you’ll want to check the tide charts before going as there is much less walking space at high tide (and some areas may be totally impassable).
If you’re interested in looking for sea glass or agates then the beaches north of Newport (including Moolack Beach) are probably the best in the entire state. The rocky shores and extreme tidal movements leave a huge expanse of area for treasures to collect.
On a recent trip, we found tons of agates on Moolack beach, in Devil’s Punchbowl, and in the Marine Gardens area. Beverly Beach felt a bit picked over and dry.
Also if you go far enough south on Moolack beach that you end up among rocks you might happen upon some fossils. Just remember that you can’t actually collect and take fossils from Oregon beaches with a permit.
The southern Oregon coast is one of the best areas on the west coast to look at tidepools and Moolack is a great option. If you visit at low tide you’ll find a bunch of rocks on the edge of the waterline. These are typically full of all sorts of fun little creatures that everyone can enjoy looking at.
You can also check out our Guide To Tidepools on the Oregon Coast if you want to know what you’re looking at.
Where To Stay
There are a ton of places to stay along the Oregon Coast. If you’re looking to camp near Moolack Beach then look no further than Beverly Beach State Park. Located between Newport and Cape Foulweather, the park offers breathtaking views of the ocean. There are over 100 campsites available, as well as RV hookups and yurts. Hiking and ranger-led programs are also available. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a whale or two from your campsite!
If you’re looking for a hotel or bed and breakfast there are a bunch of small options along 101 within walking distance of the beaches. If you’re looking for a few more amenities then it might be worth it to you to drive the 15 minutes to Newport. This will give you access to good hotels, good food, and a ton more beaches in both directions.
If you’re staying in Newport, the Shilo Inn Suites Hotel is located right on the beach, making it an ideal choice for visitors who want to be close to the water. The hotel also has an indoor pool and hot tub, making it perfect for families or those who want to relax after a long day of exploring Newport.
The Best Western Agate Beach Inn is another great option for visitors who want to be close to the beach. The hotel is located just across the street from the beach, and it features an outdoor pool and hot tub as well as free breakfast each morning.
For those who want to be in the heart of Newport, the Hallmark Resort & Spa is an excellent choice. The hotel is located downtown and features views of Yaquina Bay and the Oregon Coastline. The hotel also has an outdoor pool and hot tub as well as a spa and fitness center.
While I would totally recommend camping for the full Oregon Coast experience you can have an awesome day at Moolack beach no matter where you stay.
Other Activities In The Area
If you’re tired of all the scenic beautify of the beaches (as if…) you’ll find that there are quite a few other things to do in the area.
Most towns are quite small so you might have to do some driving to get to other destinations but here are a couple of other things that we did the days after visiting Moolack Beach.
Visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium
The Oregon Coast Aquarium is one of the best things to do in Newport. Located right on the waterfront, the Aquarium is home to a variety of marine life, including sharks, seabirds, and octopuses. You can also see sea lions, tidepool creatures, and jellies up close. The Aquarium also offers hands-on activities like touch pools and feedings, so you can learn more about the animals while you’re there.
Explore Yaquina Bay State Park
Yaquina Bay State Park is another great place to visit near Newport. The park is located on Yaquina Bay, and it’s a great spot for picnicking, fishing, or just exploring the coastline. There’s also a lighthouse in the park that you can tour. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of town for a while, Yaquina Bay State Park is the perfect spot.
Check The Historic Bayfront
Newport’s Historic Bayfront is a great place to stroll around, do some shopping, and grab a bite to eat. There are a variety of unique shops and restaurants lining the street, so you’re sure to find something to your taste. Make sure to stop by Rogue Ales & Spirits for a tour and tasting; it’s one of Newport’s most popular breweries.
All in all, Moolack Beach is a great place to spend a day. While it’s not all that different from other beaches in the area the fact that it’s less known means that at least you’ll have some sand to yourself!