hidden coast secret beach
Image: Larry Geddis

Secret Beach, a tiny piece of paradise at Milepost 346.

34. Secret Beach

At last, the end, and herein a fitting reward for traveling the full breadth of the Oregon Coast: the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor, nine miles of beach edged with twisting, giant spruce; great cliffs; and natural bridges of black stone. Meander down the sand far enough and you’ll undoubtedly score your own little patch of surf, but to find the tiny piece of paradise known as Secret Beach, you’ll have to expend some extra effort. At the northern end of the corridor, just over a half-mile south of the popular Arch Rock viewpoint, the shoulder widens into a gravel parking area, where the Oregon Coast Trail squeezes between the road and a popular overlook to Thunder Rock Cove—a steep-walled, aquamarine bay that’s rimmed with wildflowers in spring. But hike about a third of a mile north on the trail until you find the trickle of Miner Creek, and you’ll see a short path leading down to the pocket beach, a favorite of Curry County locals. This pristine strip of fine-grained sand sheltered from wind and heavy seas by cliffs of ocean-chiseled stone is the Oregon Coast at its best, where for a few fleeting moments it feels as if you yourself discovered the great, wild blue Pacific, and have left the din of civilization far behind. Park at the unmarked parking area between Mill Creek and Miner Creek.