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Short Beach Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The sea stack on Short Beach (bobcat)
On the trail to Short Beach (bobcat)
Short Creek spillway, Short Beach (bobcat)
Larsen Creek Falls, Short Beach (bobcat)
Bird's eye view of Short Beach (bobcat)
  • Start point: Short Beach TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Short Beach
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 1.4 miles round trip
  • High point: 95 feet
  • Elevation gain: 95 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Sometimes

Contents

Hike Description

Once upon a time, there was a slick, dangerous, steep path down to this secluded beach between Cape Meares and Maxwell Point. Then a local altruist, Roy Wilson, took it into his head to spend countless hours creating a staircase down to Short Beach. Over the years, various coastal decorations were added by Roy and others who visited. Unfortunately, the trail became a little better known and has been vandalized on occasion. A website has been set up to help with maintaining this quirky, whimsical path. As an aside, visitors should note, the beach was probably named for a long-gone local resident and not for its length.

The trail, maintained by locals, heads down past an Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge sign. This used to be a treacherous, slippery plunge. Now it is nicely stepped with railings and exhibits all manner of quirky detritus brought up from the beach. The steps head down through a thicket of stunted spruce and shore pine. The path splits. Going left, one comes out above a spillway which pours Short Creek down onto the beach. Short Creek is dammed behind the highway. The trail continues down through a little covered section which contains an ensemble of donations from beachcombers.

Reach cobbled 1,000-yard Short Beach and go right to cross Short Creek. There are quite a few people down here, some of them looking below the high tide mark for the agates, jasper and zeolites for which the beach is quite well-known. There are also many mussel shells on the beach. The mussel beds are prime harvesting grounds at low tide. The stack on the beach, part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, becomes an island at high tide. The beach is rather narrow and slopes steeply to the surf. Gated steps from one clifftop house lead down. Cape Meares lies ahead. I reach Larsen Creek below its two-tier waterfall and cross it. The beach continues a little way farther until it reaches a wave-cut platform. At low tide, continue on a narrow, rocky strand to the sheer cliffs of Cape Meares. On your way back, look south to Maxwell Point, and try to spot paragliders circling high up.


Maps

Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

  • Keep to the trail and the beach; respect private property
  • Don't climb the sea stack; it is part of a wildlife refuge

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Oregon's Best Coastal Beaches by Dick Trout

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.