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Neskowin Beach to Porter Point Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Proposal Rock, Neskowin (bobcat)
Looking north to Cape Lookout, Kiwanda Beach (bobcat)
The notch at Porter Point (bobcat)
Varied thrush (Ixoreus naevius), Neskowin (bobcat)
The drowned forest and Cascade Head, Neskowin Beach (bobcat)
The beach hike to Porter Point (bobcat) Courtesy: National Geographic Topo
  • Start point: Neskowin Beach TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Porter Point
  • Trail log:
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 9.6 miles
  • Elevation gain: 15 feet
  • High Point: 15 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Year round
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Near Neskowin

Contents

Hike Description

This beach hike offers a variety of attractions, but doing the entire route as described involves creek fords, a little rock scrambling, and some scuttling around rock formations to beat the next wave. Check your tide tables before setting out! At the southern end of Newskowin Beach, best left for the lowest point in a tide, is a 2,000-year-old drowned forest of stumps standing erect like an expectant army. The basalt sea stack of Proposal Rock rears off the beach where Neskowin Creek enters the ocean. At the northern point of the hike, the rugged basalt stacks and caves near Porter Point require some exploring. You'll finally reach the Nestucca Bay Mouth, where harbor seals sun and surf.

At the parking area, admire the Haida carving “plenty fish,” which is what Neskowin means. Cross Hawk Street and go right on the bridge over Hawk Creek ditch and then make a left onto the paved path to the beach, a fence on your right and the creek on your left. Forested Proposal Rock dominates the vista ahead. Walk north up the beach. Waves at high tide go right up to the rip-rap below the beach houses here. You can see Cape Kiwanda, Haystack Rock and Cape Lookout to the north. Soon, come to rip-rap jutting out into the waves: at higher tides, there’s no way to pass without getting soaked, so head inland on one of the many beach accesses. After one block, reach Breakers Boulevard running north-south and turn left. Walk up Breakers past the Pacific Sands Resort and The Breakers Rentals to where the road curves to the right. Head left towards the beach and drop down onto the sand.

It’s a wider, sandy strand here at the official beginning of Kiwanda Beach. Dunegrass holds the low dunes to your left: check them out for views from the crest. Stunted shore pines and spruce hide out in copses. Back on the beach, the sand is littered with small rocks, clam and mussel shells. To the east to more and newer dwellings creep up the forested hills. Ahead there are new mansions up on another hill, too. Sanderlings dart in and out with the waves and among the piles of kelp. The beach is steeper for a short spell and then becomes more gentle again. Come to the creek that drains Daley Lake behind Camp Winema. This requires a ford, so take off your socks and shoes. To your right are cliffs cloaked in salal, spruce and pine, with beach houses perched above. The waves come to the base of the rocks. There is a rope leading up over one section, but you can also wait for a retreat to dart around. Then there’s a notch between the cliffs and a hulking sea stack. Negotiate the notch and find a small cave. There’s another potentially soaking passage around more rocks and then you’re out on Porter Point below the high cliffs of Cannery Hill. Driftwood clutters the Point and you can see across the roiling straight to Nestucca Spit. You may see harbor seals hauling themselves out on the far end of the spit; some will be in the waves and coursing through the straight.

Enjoy the solitude here then head back. Back in Neskowin, check out Proposal Rock, whose rocky base can be reached at low tide. A user path will take you to the top. Bald eagles sometimes perch in the spruce trees on the Rock. Then, wade across Neskowin Creek and find the "ghost forest" in the waves (visible at low tide, especially during winter and spring). There are about 200 stumps here, the remains of a coastal woodland perhaps drowned by earthquake/tsunami forces almost 2,000 years ago. It's a short walk down the rest of this beach to the impassable cliffs of Cascade Head.


Maps

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Check tide tables
  • Dogs on leash in inhabited area

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Exploring the Oregon Coast Trail by Connie Soper
  • Hiking the Oregon Coast by Lizann Dunegan
  • Best Easy Day Hikes: Oregon's North Coast by Lizann Dunegan
  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • 120 Hikes on the Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Day Hiking: Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Oregon's Best Coastal Beaches by Dick Trout
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill
  • 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
  • Canine Oregon by Lizann Dunegan
  • The Dog Lover's Companion to Oregon by Val Mallinson
  • Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide by Jan Bannan

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.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.