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Lincoln Beach Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Looking up Lincoln Beach to Cascade Head from Fishing Rock (bobcat)
Surf scoters off of Lincoln Beach (bobcat)
Waxmyrtle thicket, Fishing Rock State Recreation Site (bobcat)
Looking down on Fishing Rock from the viewpoint (bobcat)
The beach walk to the pillow lava promontory of Fishing Rock (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Gleneden Beach TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Fishing Rock
  • Trail log:
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 5.0 miles
  • Elevation gain: 50 feet
  • High Point: 50 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

A six-mile expanse of strand extends south from the tip of Salishan Spit, which encloses Siletz Bay (See the Salishan Spit Hike), to the rocky promontory of Fishing Rock, part of Fishing Rock State Recreation Site. This hike takes in the southernmost 2 ½ miles of Lincoln Beach, a pleasant stroll that gets more interesting as you hike around the lava promontory of Fishing Rock, where you have a good chance of spotting seals, sea lions, and various seabirds. Fishing Rock itself is an island and part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge and Oregon Islands Wilderness.

From the north end of the parking area at Gleneden Beach, find the paved trail that leads through a shore pine shaded gully to the beach. You’ll turn south and follow the sandy expanse of Lincoln Beach for 2.2 miles before ascending to the Fishing Rock headland. At low tides in the winter, a drowned forest may reveal itself at the wash line. During the last great subduction earthquake in January 1700, most of the north coast dropped several feet, submerging coastal woodlands. Now just the stumps remain to remind us that another great earthquake is about due. As you hike, look back to Cascade Head jutting out on the northern horizon, while to the south the nearest headland is that of Fishing Rock, your destination for this hike. A low sandstone bluff, characterized by colorful layers of succeeding deposits backs the beach. Very soon, however, you’ll pass a public access road to the beach (No vehicles actually permitted on the beach) and then note the riprap against the bluff to protect the homes here. There’s another public access point just before you cross Schoolhouse Creek. Next is a pedestrian access stairway off of El Mar Avenue. Continue walking south to cross another creek. In this section, use of riprap is less frequent, and the bluff is topped by thickets of shore pine and Sitka spruce. You’ll pass several more access points from Lincoln Avenue as riprap again lines the back of the beach. Note that there is very little parking available in Lincoln Beach for those not staying there: if you are just here for the day, park at the Gleneden Beach Trailhead or the Fishing Rock Trailhead.

When you reach the lava headland of Fishing Rock, hike up the path, signed for the Oregon Coast Trail, that leads into a dense Sitka spruce, waxmyrtle, and shore pine thicket. You’ll come to several junctions as you tunnel through this dark thicket, but keeping right will offer you a view over clifftop salal up Lincoln Beach and Salishan Spit to Cascade Head. Finally, emerge on a grassy expanse where you can walk out to get a view over the lava island of Fishing Rock, separated from the peninsula by a churning chasm. Look for basking seals, sunning cormorants, and prospecting oystercatchers. Surf scoters, dark seagoing ducks with bright, multicolored faces, ride the waves. The rounded boulders that compose the point are pillow basalts, formed when a lava flow, in this case the Grand Ronde member of the Columbia River Basalts, hits water.

A trail leads around the south side of the point to offer views south along a series of inaccessible, cliff-backed beaches that are inundated at high tide. An archipelago of low, rocky islets lies offshore. The small cove at Fogarty Creek is out of sight, and behind the next headland to the south is Boiler Bay. You can return the way you came by following the Oregon Coast Trail to your left at a junction in a spruce thicket. Going right will take you out to the Fishing Rock Trailhead.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • No fees
  • Dogs on leash at Gleneden Beach State Recreation Site and at the Fishing Rock trails
  • Restrooms and picnic tables at Gleneden Beach State Recreation Site

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 120 Hikes on the Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Day Hiking: Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Exploring the Oregon Coast Trail by Connie Soper
  • Oregon Coast Trail: Hiking Inn to Inn by Jack D. Remington
  • Oregon Coast Hikes by Paul M. Williams
  • The Oregon Coast Trail Guide by Jon Kenneke (eBook)
  • Oregon’s Best Coastal Beaches by Dick Trout
  • 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


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.