Short Beach is long on exciting finds on the N. Oregon coast

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Short Beach is long on exciting finds on the N. Oregon coast

Posted 9/24/21 at 5:26 PM PDT
From employees of the Oregon Coast Beach Connection

(Oceanside, Oregon) – Right along the Three Capes Tour on the north coast of Oregon, in a tiny piece of land between Oceanside and Cape Meares, you come across this breathtaking hidden place. There is only a short opening in the trees here for a quick view of the beach and ocean as you head towards the lighthouse. If you blink, you’re missing out.

Short Beach (which once housed a real-life radar station) is full of scenic tidbits and surprises, starting with the large, bulbous rock structure that sits on the tide line and supports a small grove of trees on top. You can’t climb the structure except maybe at its base at low tide, but it’s a beauty.

If you think it sounds familiar, it looks a little like another landmark on the Oregon coast not far south: Neskowin’s Proposal Rock. This is full of angular rock formations, sloping land masses inside and, overall, boasts a geological story that must one day be told.

At one end of this exceptionally cool bay, the familiar rock structures near Oceanside jut out from behind the cliff. At the other end is the Cape Meares lighthouse. You can hardly see it from here.

There a huge waterfall sometimes pours gently into the sea – just out of reach of the beach, and inside that cove there is a rocky cove that is also inaccessible. Short Beach holds many secrets like this: teasing with spots you can’t reach, formations, and features cut off by invading seawater.

There is another huge waterfall-like feature, really a drainpipe from the water up the hill and rainwater. With a sizable walkway around it, it’s an uncommon man-made feature on the Oregon coast that allows for both breathtaking ocean views and a close look at this structure.

Access to Short Beach got a lot easier 20 years ago. Once it was a steep and slippery slope that resulted in a lot of injuries: some of them reportedly headed. By the early 2000s, tired of rescues and visits to the local emergency room, local volunteers banded together to create an appealing, rustic, and meandering staircase. It’s a calf cramp inducer, but it’s worth it.

There is another little lookout point and a stop halfway where you can rest and watch the crazy sea action.


Short Beach seen from above at Cape Meares

For a serious dose of history, note that Radar Road is right here, really your only signage to the location. It’s named after the WWII radar bunker that still stands on a hill across from the motorway and a few hundred meters north of the gravel parking lot. It’s a creepy find, with its hollow eyes for windows and ramshackle, but functional, cold design – and generally impossible to get to. However, it is a thrill to discover it from afar.

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