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Twin Rocks Beach Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Driftwood shelter, Twin Rocks Beach (bobcat)
Looking back to the bay, Barview Jetty (bobcat)
Tidal wetlands, Barview County Park (bobcat)
Twin Rocks from Rockaway Beach (bobcat)
The route up Twin Rocks Beach from Barview Jetty (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Barview County Park TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Rockaway Beach Trailhead
  • Trail log:
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 9.2 miles
  • Elevation gain: 30 feet
  • High Point: 25 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes, near entry points to the beach


Hike Description

The massive sea stacks of Twin Rocks are always within view on this beach hike: from certain perspectives, you'll be able to see that the nearest rock, known as Elephant Head, is actually a sea arch. To the south, you can also pick out the stacks of Three Arch Rocks and Pyramid Rock. Begin this hike at the Barview Jetty overlooking the treacherous Tillamook Bar. From here, it's a walk north to Rockaway Beach with one wet creek crossing along the way.

From the parking area, find the sandy trail that drops down to parallel the jetty. Atop the jetty boulders are the remains of the rail trestle along which the boulder-carrying trains ran during the jetty construction around the year 1900. At high tide, the area where you will be walking will be flooded, so keep to its northern edge, but don’t stray into the wetland area. After about half a mile, you‘ll reach the restrooms, observation tower, and parking area at the Barview Jetty Trailhead. You can walk out along the jetty, which recently received a major reinforcement. Along the way, you will pass fishermen casting into the channel; look out also for surfacing seals and sea lions. Some of the surface of the jetty has been washed away, so this is not all smooth going, and you’ll have to do some boulder hopping. You’ll get views to Kincheloe Point at the tip of the Bayocean Peninsula, the South Jetty, Cape Meares, Pyramid Rock, and Three Arch Rocks. Turn around at a beacon near the jetty’s end, but do not venture out this far if there are high seas.

Return and head down to the beach: you can do this by either scrambling down the jetty boulders or walking through the picnic area and descending the low dunes. Looking up the wide sand beach, Neahkahnie Mountain and Cape Falcon form the northern horizon, while to your right are low dunes. The profile of the offshore Twin Rocks seems like one structure from this vantage point. A Sitka spruce thicket lines the shore, but tree after individual tree is toppling onto the beach due to incremental erosion. Unseen behind this dark forest wall is Camp Magruder, a Christian camp and retreat. The high tide comes up this shallow beach quite a distance, so driftwood is piled at the forest edge. Pass a riprap protected community of modern beach homes and reach Watseco Creek, which will need to be forded. You are now getting a good view of the two sea stacks that comprise Twin Rocks, part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

Continue walking up the beach. Past Watseco Creek, the beach bulges outwards as a result of Twin Rocks protecting the shore and allowing sand to build up in this spot. Once past Twin Rocks, look back to see that the stack nearest the shore is actually a sea arch, known locally as ‘Elephant Head.’ At the community of Rockaway Beach, you’ll come to Saltair Creek. Head towards Highway 101, which runs very close to the beach here, and cross the creek on the pile of driftwood at the barrier designed to protect the railroad bridge, just west of the highway, from being clobbered by ocean debris. From Saltair Creek, it’s another half-mile to Rockaway Creek. You can walk inland from here to the Rockaway Beach Trailhead and explore the visitor center and commercial establishments along Highway 101.

See the Manhattan Beach Hike for a decription of the beach leading north from Rockaway Beach to the Nehalem Bay Mouth. For the short hike to the ancient cedars on Saltair Creek, see the Cedar Wetlands Hike.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • none

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Exploring the Oregon Coast Trail by Connie Soper
  • Oregon's Best Coastal Beaches by Dick Trout
  • The Oregon Coast Trail Guide by Jon Kenneke (eBook)
  • Oregon Coast Hikes by Paul M. Williams
  • Oregon Coast Trail: Hiking Inn to Inn by Jack D. Remington
  • A Hiker's Guide to the Oregon Coast Trail by David E.M. Bucy & Mary C. McCauley
  • Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide by Jan Bannan
  • The Dog Lover's Companion to Oregon by Val Mallinson

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.