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Beverly Beach-Moolack Beach Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Reflection pool and Yaquina Head from Moolack Beach (bobcat)
View to Beverly Beach from the Devil's Punchbowl (bobcat)
Black oystercatchers (Haematopus bachmani), Moolack Beach ( (bobcat)
Mini-arch and Cape Foulweather, Moolack Beach (bobcat)
Shell fossils, Moolack Beach (bobcat)
The five-mile beach hike between Devil's Punchbowl and Yaquina Head (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Devil's Punchbowl TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Starfish Cove
  • Trail log:
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 10.3 miles
  • Elevation gain: 80 feet
  • High Point: 80 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Year round
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: At Beverly Beach State Park

Contents

Hike Description

The five-mile stretch of beach between Devils Punchbowl State Park and Yaquina Head is one of the most pleasant and interesting beach walks on the central coast. If you start at the north end, the wide stretch of strand before you, known to many as Beverly Beach, offers a picture perfect ideal for beach lovers. You'll cross Spencer Creek at Beverly Beach State Park, and from here the beach itself, now officially Moolack Beach, gets more interesting. Wave-cut platforms and rock formations appear out of the sand at low tide. Rounding Schooner Point, which can only be done at low tide, you'll reach secluded and little-visited Starfish Cove, with its mudstone cliffs, foraging shore birds, and rock platforms embedded with fossil mollusks. The views north extend to high Cape Foulweather; looking south as you hike, Yaquina Head is always in view.

For a shorter walk that takes in the most interesting features of this beach, begin at the Moolack Beach Trailhead on Highway 101 and walk south towards Yaquina Head (5.2 miles round-trip). Make sure you do this section at low tide, as Schooner Point can be difficult to get around at high tide.

First, walk out to the sea-facing cliffs to get a view into the maw of the Devil's Punchbowl, a collapsed wave-carved cave. (The walk down to shore is described in the Devil's Punchbowl Hike). A paved loop around the headland offers views down Moolack Beach to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and out to Gull Rock. Walk back to the first parking area and find a set of about 100 steps leading down to Beverly Beach.

Once you're at this wide sandy beach, you can poke around at the base of the 60-foot cliffs and then start walking south. To your left are residences and beach homes in the community of Otter Rock. Surfers and kite boarders love this section of beach; often harbor seals keep them company in the breaks. You'll cross three small creeks, the third one being Johnson Creek, with colorful sedimentary cliffs to your left. Scrubby Sitka spruce, shore pine, black twinberry and salal form thickets on the bluffs. After Johnson Creek, you'll note that Highway 101 above runs very close to the beach here. There are more beachgoers as you approach the highway bridge over Spencer Creek. Look offshore to where the surf pounds Otter Rock, named after sea otters that are now extinct in this area. You can walk under the bridge to see a 4,100-year-old spruce stump and do the short Spencer Creek Loop Hike from the Beverly Beach Trailhead. Continuing south on the sand, you'll pass below the small community of Beverly Beach and stay parallel with Highway 101 riding the bluff above.

Cross Wade Creek, where a path comes down off Highway 101, and then pass the slippery ascent paths heading up the steep mudstone slope to the Moolack Beach Trailhead, an alternative start for this hike. In the bluff, you can look for petrified driftwood, some of which will have borehole patterns caused by clams. Also, the beach from here to Schooner Point is a favorite for agate hunters. Step over Coal Creek above the beach near a thicket of Hooker’s willow. Keep getting views south to Yaquina Head and north to Otter Crest and Cape Foulweather. At low tide, the rock platforms on the lower beach are exposed: it's a good time to explore their tide pools. Cross Moolack Creek, and pass below more low mudstone cliffs. Shore pines and wind-blasted spruce line this bluff. Look for surf scoters bobbing in the waves; black oystercatchers also forage on this part of the beach at low tide. Pass around Schooner Point, which can be cut off at high tide. The beach becomes gravelly and you cross Schooner Creek before encountering more wave-cut platforms. Look for interesting rock formations, including small arches and fissures as well. In places, you'll find fossil seashells embedded in the rock. There’s a short expanse of sand and then more causeway-like platforms at Starfish Cove. The Yaquina Head Lighthouse looms ever closer and you get a good profile of the rock formations off the Head's west point. Finally, reach a lone sea stack below the grassy outcropping of Yaquina Head, a former undersea volcano (as was Cape Foulweather).

Moolack is the Chinook Jargon for 'elk.' Beverly was the name of a favorite doll of Florence Daneene Christy Pearson, whose parents owned the property where the small community now exists (McArthur & McArthur: Oregon Geographic Names).


Maps

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • No fees
  • Dogs on leash
  • Restrooms at Devil's Punchbowl and Beverly Beach State Parks

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Exploring the Oregon Coast Trail by Connie Soper
  • 120 Hikes on the Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Day Hiking: Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Oregon: The Creaky Knees Guide by Seabury Blair, Jr.
  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • Oregon Campgrounds Hiking Guide by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • Oregon Coast Hikes by Paul M. Williams
  • The Oregon Coast Trail Guide by Jon Kenneke (eBook)
  • Oregon Coast Trail: Hiking Inn to Inn by Jack D. Remington
  • Oregon's Best Coastal Beaches by Dick Trout
  • Hiking Oregon's Geology by Ellen Morris Bishop
  • Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide by Jan Bannan
  • The Dog Lover's Companion to Oregon by Val Mallinson
  • Canine Oregon by Lizann Dunegan

More Links


Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

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