14 Best Secluded Beaches In Oregon (For Avoiding Crowds)

Sharing is caring!

My wife and I like people, we really do. But we’re not shopping for a 5-acre property so we can fill our yard with more guests.

Instead, we plan vacations to get away from our house and people who know where we live. Despite its popularity, the Oregon coast is one of our favorite places to escape to.

The huge number of beaches on the Oregon coast means that there is always somewhere where you can relax and not have to see a bunch of people.

Not only do you avoid the people but you have the chance for some amazing photographs, undisturbed tide pool exploring, beach combing, etc.

But where should you go?

We actually do a series about Lesser Known Beaches In The PNW but it seemed more helpful to combine them all together into one list of secret beaches in Oregon!

So, here it is! How many have you visited?

Let’s just hope this article doesn’t make them too popular and ruin Oregon’s last less popular beaches…

Best Lesser Known Beaches In Oregon

I will mention before we get into this that this list isn’t in any real order. I could have ordered them by location or by popularity but, instead, I just listed them in the order they came out of my brain. Enjoy!

1. Neptune Beach

Neptune Beach At A Glance

Open: Year-round, 6 AM to 9 PM
Type Of Beach: State Park
Approach: Easy (northern entrance), Moderate (south entrance)
Main Activities: Picnicking, Beachcombing, Tidepooling
Popularity: Low to Moderate
Services: Restrooms, Picnic Tables (south), None (north)
Accommodations: Florence, Yachats (lodging), Cape Perpetua (camping, RV), Searose Beach (cabins)

Neptune Beach is located 22 miles north of Florence and four miles south of Yachats on Highway 101. The beach is made up of two sections that are divided by Cummins Creek, with the southern portion being larger and sandier than the northern side which has rocks instead.

The main activities at Neptune Beach include rockhounding, tidepooling (although it’s important to note that this beach is part of a Marine Reserve so taking wildlife or vertebrate fossils from here isn’t allowed), picnicking, seeing the natural cave during low tide, as well as camping in nearby RV parks or Siuslaw National Forest.

2. Arcadia Beach

Arcadia Beach At A Glance

Open: Year-round, 6 AM to 10 PM
Type Of Beach: State Park
Approach: Easy
Main Activities: Tidepooling, Agate Hunting, Hiking, Fishing
Popularity: Low to Moderate
Services: Flush Toilets, Picnic Tables
Accommodations: Florence (Lodging, Camping, RV Park), Manzanita (Lodging)

Arcadia Beach is situated between Cannon Beach and Tillamook. In my opinion, it is one of the best places for beachcombing, tidepooling, and rockhounding on the coast. Especially at low tide.

If you’re into hiking there are also excellent trails available from both Hug Point and Humbug Point.

The parking lot can be accessed from Highway 101 between mile markers 22 & 23. From there it’s a short trail through woods that leads onto the sand.

Nearby attractions include nearby Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park, Oswald West State Park, Seaside Aquarium, and Clatsop State Forest Campgrounds.

3. Elk Lake Beach

Elk Lake Beach At A Glance

Open: Year-round, with limited access from November to May (ice and snow)
Type Of Beach: US Forest Service
Approach: Easy
Main Activities: Swimming, Boating, Fishing, Windsurfing
Popularity: Low to Moderate
Services: Pit Toilets, Picnic Tables
Accommodations: Camping & RV Parking Nearby, Lodging in Bend

Elk Lake Beach is a bit of an anomaly on this list as it’s a “high-altitude mountain beach”. In other words, it’s on a lake. Located near the Central Oregon section of the Cascade Mountains, the beach is approximately 4,900 feet above sea level.

The beach consists of two main areas: “Elk Lake Sunset View Day Use Area” and the “South Beach Picnic Area”, both with road access and parking lots nearby.

The most popular activities here include swimming, fishing (both motorized & non-motorized), and windsurfing. The lake is also a great spot for kayakers and fly fishers (salmon can be found).

If you’re looking to camp there are four campgrounds in the area as well as dispersed camping opportunities for those looking to really avoid people.

4. Stonefield Beach

Stonefield Beach At A Glance

Open: Year-round, 6 AM to 9 PM
Type Of Beach: State Park
Approach: Easy to Moderate
Main Activities: Hiking, Rockhounding, Whale Watching, Tide-pooling
Popularity: Low to Moderate
Services: None
Accommodations: Florence, Yachats (Lodging), Siuslaw Forest, Cape Perpetua (Camping) Highway 101 (RV Parking)

Stonefield Beach State Recreation Site is located between Yachats and Florence, two of the most popular beach cities in Oregon

The beach is a little over one mile long, divided into a rockier northern section of just under a mile and the smaller southern half of sandy dunes at about a quarter-mile in length.

Visitors can enjoy activities such as whale watching, rockhounding around low tides for agates or seashells, and exploring small caves on the north end during low tide as well as nearby attractions like Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint or Cummins Creek Wilderness Area.

Accommodations are available in nearby towns such as Florence or Yachats; camping options include Cape Perpetua Campground near the beach and Tillicum Beach Campground further away plus dispersed camping in Siuslaw National Forest.

5. Collins Beach

Collins Beach At A Glance

Open: Year-round, From Dawn To 10 PM
Type Of Beach: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Approach: Easy
Main Activities: Sunbathing, Picnicking, Dog Walking
Popularity: Moderate (Summer), Low (Winter)
Services: Two Outhouse-Style Toilets
Accommodations: Portland (Lodging & RV Parking), Warren (Camping)

Collins Beach is a clothing-optional beach located on Sauvie Island in the Columbia River, half an hour from Portland. It is one of only two clothing-optional beaches in Oregon and has kept that designation for over 50 years.

But don’t worry, there is a clothes section as well (but no divider between the two – children beware…).

The main reason that the beach isn’t more popular is that Sauvie Island is not that popular itself and there are several better-known beaches on the island.

Visitors to Collins Beach can expect to find sand below the vegetation line, sunbathing (as nature intended), picnicking with food/nonalcoholic beverages allowed year round (no alcohol May – Sept.), dog walking (on a leash), fresh fruit stands, plant nurseries, corn maze at Pumpkin Patch Farm & Winery, plus wildlife viewing/hiking at the nearby Wildlife Area.

6. Nelscott Beach

Nelscott Beach At A Glance

Open: Year-round, 6 AM to 9 PM
Type Of Beach: City-managed
Approach: Easy
Main Activities: Big Wave Surfing, Sunbathing, Beachcombing
Popularity: Moderate
Services: Restrooms
Accommodations: Lincoln City (Lodging & RV Parks, Otis (Camping)

Nelscott Beach is located in Lincoln City, a coastal city with seven miles of sand and around 10,000 people. It is named for the former city of Nelscott which merged with four other communities to become Lincoln Beach.

Nelscott is one of Oregon’s best-known “big wave” surfing locations but is still considered to be a less-popular beach.

If you’re not into surfing, other activities include rockhounding/beachcombing, camping, kayak tours (Salmon River Wooden Kayak Company), visiting D River State Recreation Site, and going to local cultural centers like Lincoln City Cultural Center.

7. Bob Creek Beach

Bob Creek Beach At A Glance

Open: Year-round, 6 AM to 9 PM
Type Of Beach: State Scenic Viewpoint
Approach: Easy
Main Activities: Beachcombing, Tide-pooling, Cave Exploring
Popularity: Low to Moderate
Services: Picnic Tables
Accommodations: Yachats, Florence (lodging), Cape Perpetua (RV, camping)

Bob Creek Beach is a small, crescent-shaped beach located between Cape Perpetua and Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park in Oregon. It offers agate hunting, tidepooling, beachcombing, and rockhounding opportunities but the sand cannot be dug into due to its protected shell-midden status.

Other activities near Bob Creek Beach include exploring Thor’s Well at Cape Perpetua during low tide, whale watching at Neptune Scenic Viewpoint, hiking trails at Carl G. Washburne State Park, harbor seals viewing at Strawberry Hill viewpoint, and picnics near Gwynn Creek viewpoint.

8. Fogarty Beach

Fogarty Beach At A Glance

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

Fogarty Creek Beach is located on the coast just a few miles south of Lincoln City. It’s part of the larger Fogarty Creek State Recreation Area and Park, which were donated or purchased by the state in the 1960s.

The beach has two parking lots and two access points – one on each side of the creek.

Activities include tide-pooling, rockhounding for agates and fossils, picnicking with picnic tables & covered areas available for reservation; restaurants within 1-mile offer to-go service; hiking trails nearby at Fishing Rock Loop (3 mi).

Other attractions are Chinook Winds Casino and Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area.

9. Bastendorff Beach

Bastendorff Beach At A Glance

Open: Year-round, dawn to dusk
Type Of Beach: Bureau of Land Management
Approach: Easy
Main Activities: Beachcombing, Surfing, Fishing, Cave Exploring
Popularity: Low to Moderate
Services: Toilets, Picnic Benches
Accommodations:  On-site Camping, Coos Bay (lodging)

Bastendorff Beach near Coos Bay is, in my opinion, a vastly underrated beach that stretches over a mile long.

The site itself is part of the larger Bastendorff Beach County Park, which covers 90 acres and provides activities such as cave exploration (at low tide), dog walking, picnics at tables or gazebos on the sand, children’s playgrounds with swing sets and merry-go-rounds.

The beach itself is great for surfing and windsurfing as well as beachcombing/tidepooling – just remember to check daily state limits before collecting shells!

Whale watching is also popular here and it can get a bit crowded during the migration periods from December to March and again from March through May.

10. Echo Beach

Echo Beach At A Glance

Open: Fall to Spring
Type Of Beach: National Forest
Approach: Easy
Main Activities: Camping, Swimming, Hiking
Popularity: Low to Moderate
Services: Pit Toilets, Picnic Benches
Accommodations: Echo Beach Campground (Camping), Grant’s Pass (Lodging)

Echo Beach is a hidden gem located on the banks of the Illinois River, part of the Rogue River–Siskiyou National Forest.

It’s great for primitive camping or day trips and is situated 28 miles southwest of Grant’s Pass.

Popular activities include camping, rock jumping, visiting Swinging Bridge (a 60-foot-high wooden suspension bridge), Iron Ring Picnic Area (without picnic tables!), swimming holes at Sixmile Recreation Area and Store Gulch as well as fishing in nearby rivers.

You’ll be fairly remote if you choose to visit this beach so you’ll want to plan on camping as there are no lodgings available near Echo Beach. There are some hotels and Airbnbs available in Grant’s Pass about 45 minutes away.

11. Poet’s Beach

Poet’s Beach At A Glance

Open: Year-round
Type Of Beach: City/Urban
Approach: Very Easy
Main Activities: Hiking, Beachcombing, Tidepooling
Popularity: Moderate
Services: Restrooms (Waterfront Park), Food (A Few Blocks Away)
Accommodations: Portland (Lodging), Nearby Forests (Dispersed Camping)

Poet’s Beach is a man-made beach located in Portland, Oregon, near the I-5 Marquam Bridge. It features a swimming area and designated ramp for light watercraft such as paddle boards, kayaks, and rafts; however, there are no lifeguards available so visitors must swim at their own risk.

Visitors can also enjoy walking on the path that runs through Riverfront Park or take advantage of nearby attractions like the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry with its planetarium, IMAX theater, and submarine tours underneath the Willamette River.

The accommodation and eating options are all the usual line-up that you’ll find in Portland so, if you’re in the city, this might be your best bet for a non-crowded beach escape.

12. Tunnel Beach

Tunnel Beach At A Glance

Open: Year-round
Type Of Beach: State Recreation Site
Approach: Medium Difficulty
Main Activities: Agate Hunting, Tidepooling
Popularity: Low to Moderate
Services: Bathrooms
Accommodations: Tillamook (Lodging), Oceanside Beach State Recreation Site (Camping)

Tunnel Beach is one of the more popular options on this list so you’ll want to visit during an off-time or season. Having said that, it’s cool enough that we still visit regularly!

The highlight of the beach is the tunnel itself which was carved by the Rosenberg family in 1926 to allow access to Tunnel Beach from Oceanside.

The beach is medium-sized about 300 yards long and 125 feet deep. Tide pooling, agate hunting, wildlife spotting (including baby Stellar sea lions), and bird watching are all popular activities here.

You should also check out the Octopus Tree (aka Council Tree) that is located near Cape Meares while you’re in the area!

13. Short Beach

Short Beach At A Glance

Open: Year-round
Type Of Beach: BLM-Owned Land
Approach: Medium Difficulty (Stairs), Medium-Hard Difficulty (Path)
Main Activities: Rockhounding, Beachcombing, Tidepooling
Popularity: Low to Moderate
Services: None (Closest Services Located In Oceanside)
Accommodations: Oceanside State Recreation Area (Camping), Tillamook or Oceanside Hotels)

Short Beach is a lesser-known beach in Oregon located between Cape Meares Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge and Ocean State Beach Recreation Area.

Even though the beach comes in at about one kilometer in length you’ll want to check the tide table before heading there as there really isn’t much sand when the tide is high.

The top activities at Short Beach include rockhounding for minerals such as calcite, jasper, quartz, zeolite petrified wood, and agates.

Nearby attractions are Tillamook Cheese Factory & Rockaway Beach across Tillamook Bay.

14. Moolack Beach

Moolack Beach At A Glance

Open: Year-round
Type Of Beach: Oregon State Park
Approach: Easy/Medium Difficulty
Main Activities: Hiking, Beachcombing, Tidepooling
Popularity: Low
Services: None
Accommodations: Beverly Beach State Park (Camping), Hotels in Newport

Moolack Beach is one of the largest sandy beaches in Newport, Oregon, stretching almost 5 miles long and with a tidal range of more than 10 feet. While there are quite a few people that visit the beach, its size means that you can always find some sand to call your own.

It can be accessed from U.S. Route 101 or via the Devil’s Punchbowl parking lot and wooden stairs; several small parking areas along the highway also lead to paths down to the beach but may be slippery when wet so exercise caution.

Because the beach is in a pretty popular area there are tons of other things to do including visiting Oregon Coast Aquarium, exploring Yaquina Bay State Park (which has a lighthouse), and strolling Historic Bayfront street which features unique shops & restaurants like Rogue Brewery.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this wasn’t too much of a downer. The fact is, even a crowded Oregon beach can be an incredible time!

We’ve met some very interesting and knowledgeable people while trekking on the beaches so people aren’t all bad.

However, there are enough secluded beaches in Oregon that you should never have to use the time of year (or day) as an excuse not to go!

See you on the sand!

1 thought on “14 Best Secluded Beaches In Oregon (For Avoiding Crowds)”

  1. I loved reading about all the beaches. I’ve lived in PDX 6+ years and I’ve only been to a couple of the beaches mentioned. I think next summer I’ll plan to see a different beach each week. I can’t wait.
    Thank you for all this information.

Comments are closed.