A secluded beach with stunning sea stacks and bright teal waters hidden between jagged cliffs, what’s not to love about Secret Beach in Oregon?! It represents the epitome of what makes the Oregon Coast so special. Only accessible by foot, Secret Beach is completely worth the extra effort required to get there. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to find this not-so-secret Secret Beach on the Oregon Coast!
why you should visit secret beach on the Oregon coast
There are plenty of beautiful beaches with massive basalt towers throughout the Oregon coast. So what makes Secret Beach so special?
Well, this little slice of heaven is hidden away between two large cliffs, where sea stacks dot the teal blue waters along the coastline. And unlike most beaches on the Oregon Coast, it can only be reached by hiking a short distance through the forest, making it slightly off the beaten path of most road trippers.
This secluded beach is particularly beautiful, a picture perfect representation of the natural beauty that makes this section of southern Oregon in Samuel Boardman State Park so special.
Venture to Secret Beach and you’ll get to see a piece of the coast that’s not visible from the road or a quick viewpoint.
is Secret Beach a “secret”?
And before we dive into it, let us set realistic expectations for your visit to Secret Beach. Despite its name, Secret Beach is not, in fact, a secret. It’s marked on Google Maps and it’s actually a fairly popular spot. Now, don’t let that dissuade you!
Secret Beach is a really unique spot, even if you have to share it with a few others. It is a little bit off the beaten path compared to other beaches and viewpoints on the Oregon Coast.
Plus, it does tend to be quieter than other beaches in the area due to the mild amount of effort required to get there.
Other oregon Resources
Looking for more to do on the Oregon Coast?! We’ve got lots of resources to help you plan your trip!
- Beautiful, secluded beach with classic Oregon Coast sea stack views
- Relatively easy to access, but hiking required to reach the beach keeps the crowds away.
- Not as “secret” as you may have hoped!
- Trail to get there is steep and can be a little confusing.
Where is Oregon’s Secret Beach?
Secret Beach is located in the stunning Samuel Boardman State Park along the southern part of the Oregon Coast.
It’s roughly midway between the Oregon Coast towns of Gold Beach and Brookings. From Brookings, it’s about 15 minutes to the trailhead, and from Gold Beach, it’s about 20 minutes.
In our opinion, Samuel Boardman State Park is easily one of the most beautiful stretches of the Oregon Coast, with towering basalt cliffs and arches carved by the turbulent ocean waves below.
It spans 12-miles along Highway 101 and is home to the iconic Natural Bridges, among other spectacular sights like Arch Rock, Whaleshead Beach, House Rock Viewpoint and of course, Secret Beach.
From Oregon’s major cities, you can reach the trailhead for Secret Beach in:
- 5 hours 45 minutes from Portland
- 5 hours from Salem
- 4 hours from Eugene
- 2 hours 45 minutes from Redmond.
Where to stay near Secret Beach
The most convenient place to stay for hiking to Secret Beach is in the towns of either Gold Beach or Brookings. Below are a few recommendations for great places to stay in these two towns.
where to stay in brookings
As the name suggests, this lovely hotel provides ocean views and easy beach access with spacious, well-appointed rooms
A spacious, clean townhome that sleeps up to 8 with a full kitchen and ocean views in the heart of Brookings
One of our favorite campgrounds on the Oregon Coast, with spacious sites nestled among the trees (some even have ocean views!)
where to stay in gold beach
A locally-owned modern boutique hotel with beautifully decorated rooms, inspired by the beauty of the Oregon Coast
Beautiful spacious home that sleeps 10 with epic Oregon coast views and walking distance to the beach
A cute little cottage near Nesika Beach just outside of Gold Beach with easy access to the beach and trails
Camping near Secret Beach
If sleeping under the stars is more your style, there are also a few campgrounds close by:
- Harris Beach State Park Campground | Our personal recommendation, this campground is beautiful. Tucked away among a forest of massive Sitka Spruces, the campsites here are (mostly) spacious and private and some even have ocean views!
- Alfred Loeb State Park Campground | This campground is located inland about 25 minutes from the trailhead, making it less convenient than Harris Beach, but it’s a good backup option.
- Indian Creek RV | Located about 20 minutes from Secret Beach Trailhead in Gold Beach, this RV park offers both RV and tent sites.
How to get to Secret Beach in oregon
Secret Beach is accessible only via a short hike. There are two different trails that you can take to get there:
- Direct Route | The quickest way to reach Secret Beach is via a short half-mile round-trip hike. The trailhead is located here on Highway 101.
- Longer “scenic” route | We’re calling this trail the “scenic route” because even though it’s slightly longer to reach Secret Beach, it includes some really nice viewpoints along the way. The scenic route totals 1.5 miles roundtrip and about 350 feet of elevation gain.
Secret Beach Hike (longer route)
- Distance | 1.5 miles
- Elevation gain | 350 feet
- Difficulty | Easy
- Epic-ness rating | 6
Find this hike on AllTrails: Secret Beach Trail
We visited Secret Beach via the longer route, so this is the hike that we will focus on throughout the rest of the article. We’d highly recommend the extra 1-mile of hike for some great views. Plus, you can easily tack on the iconic Natural Bridges from the same trailhead parking area.
If you’re really pressed for time, you can opt to take the more direct route.
How difficult is the hike to Secret Beach?
The trail to Secret Beach is short, but fairly steep in sections. Nonetheless, it should be quite manageable for hikers of all skill levels. That being said, we’d definitely recommend a pair of sturdy hiking boots or sandals with good traction.
It’s also worth noting that in order to reach the beach, you have to scramble a short distance down a somewhat slick slab of rock. It’s not too steep nor too high off the ground, so most people likely won’t have any trouble with it.
We mention it because we did see a few people who seemed a little unnerved by it. If you’re hiking with children, they’ll likely need a little extra help making it down to the beach.
When to hike to Secret Beach
As is typical with the Oregon Coast, Secret Beach is prone to frequent rain, fog and wind which can make it quite chilly. Temperatures on the Oregon Coast remain fairly mild year round with highs in the 50s and 60s, but the wind and rain can easily make a 60-degree day feel much colder.
For the best weather conditions, plan your visit during the summer months, from June through September. During the summer, temperatures are slightly higher with average highs in the upper 60s and average daily rainfall is at its lowest of the year.
We were lucky enough to visit on a beautiful sunny day in late May, but we wouldn’t plan on being able to lay out in your bathing suit.
What to pack for hiking to Secret Beach
- Packable Towel | Since you’ll be hiking to reach Secret Beach, this little towel packs down tiny and is perfect to bring to sit out on the beach.
- Rain jacket | Even if it’s sunny when you start, it’s always a good idea to pack a rain jacket when hiking on the Oregon Coast because the weather can be crazy unpredictable! My Patagonia Torrentshell is my all-time favorite rain jacket for hiking.
- Hiking boots | The trail down to Secret Beach is steep in sections, so you’ll want to wear shoes with good traction. I love my Danner Mountain 400s because they’re comfortable, waterproof, and even a bit stylish!
- Hiking Sandals | If you prefer to hike in sandals rather than boots (after all you are headed to the beach), a pair of comfortable sandals with good traction like Chacos are a good idea.
- Pullovers (Hers: Smartwool Merino Quarter Zip, His: Smartwool Merino Quarter Zip) | Be prepared for heavy wind once you reach Secret Beach. Trust us, you’ll be happy you packed some extra warmer laters.
- Backpack with water bladder | Great for packing your towel, snacks, lunch and plenty of water.
Secret beach, Oregon | Hike Details
With the logistics out of the way, let’s get into details about the hike to Secret Beach in Oregon!
Secret Beach Trail Map
The map below displays both the direct hiking route and the longer route to reach Secret Beach, as well as the trailhead/parking areas for both. We’ll explain the pink dotted “connector trail” in the sections below.
how to get to the secret beach Trailhead
The parking area for the longer (“scenic”) trail to Secret Beach is a mid-sized gravel lot located here just off Highway 101. Parking typically should not be a problem. We visited on a Sunday afternoon on Memorial Day weekend and had no trouble snagging a spot.
For the more direct route to Secret Beach, you can park in the small lot here.
Hiking to Secret Beach
From the parking area, pick up the trail to Secret Beach to the north. In about a tenth of a mile, you will come upon an intersection.
If you have your sights set on getting to Secret Beach, you can take the most direct route there by continuing straight. However, if you’re up for a slight detour in exchange for some incredible views, we’d recommend taking the longer route by turning left here.
As you make your way downhill through the forest, there are a few little turnoffs that lead to beautiful views of sea stacks and jagged rock formations covered in trees off the coast of Samuel Boardman State Park. Continue until you reach an opening and the trail comes to an end at a little peninsula with beautiful views in both directions.
Once you’ve soaked in the views, backtrack slightly until you reach a trail that branches off to the left. Follow this trail and loop around until you reach the main trail again.
Note | This connector trail is not shown on AllTrails. We’ve drawn a rough trail route in pink on the map above. (It sounds a little confusing, but it’s actually reasonably easy to follow).
At the next trail intersection, take a left to head towards Secret Beach. From here, it’s all downhill for about a quarter-mile until your first glimpse of Secret Beach comes into view.
Getting down to Secret Beach
You’ll know you’ve arrived at Secret Beach when the forest opens up and you’re treated to a stunning view overlooking a secluded beach with jagged sea stacks off the coast. Follow the trail down to a huge boulder.
To reach Secret Beach, you’ll need to scramble down the boulder. Technically you can reach the beach by scrambling down to either the left or the right.
The path to the left is definitely a little easier as it’s less steep. We scrambled down to the left and then returned back up the right side.
This is the section that may feel a little precarious, but we promise it’s not too bad! Shoes will good traction will certainly come in handy here.
Exploring Secret Beach
Once you’ve made it down to Secret Beach, you can walk a little ways to both the left and the right. The beach itself is not huge, but there’s definitely room to spread out a little bit.
We found a really nice spot away from the crowds by walking to the right just a little ways. Find a nice boulder or lay out your towel on the beach and soak in the views for as long as your heart desires.
There’s even a small waterfall where Miner Creek leads down to the beach from the forest.
Keep an eye out for Pelicans! We saw a couple fishing in the cove just off the beach. If you look really closely, you can see one in the photo above (unfortunately my camera’s zoom isn’t quite far enough to capture them clearly!).
Once you’ve adequately enjoyed exploring and/or relaxing at Secret Beach, return back the way you came. This time, you can bypass the detour and take the more direct route back to the trailhead.
Extend your hike with the Natural Bridges
From the same parking area as the Secret Beach trailhead, you can also visit the Natural Bridges, a viewpoint we’d dare to say is one of the most iconic on the Oregon Coast.
The official parking area for Natural Bridges is 0.1 miles from the Secret Beach parking area. To get there you can walk along the shoulder of the road, or take the 0.2-mile section of the Oregon Coast Trail.
You could also just get back in your car and drive, but it’s such a short walk that its probably not worth the hassle of having to find a parking spot there.
From the parking area for Natural Bridges, the viewpoint is just a quick quarter-mile walk. Although some people will try to walk out on the Natural Bridges (and you may have even seen photos as such), we’d recommend enjoying the view from the safety of the viewpoint.
Safety Note | Just last year (2022), a photographer fell to his death while trying to walk out onto the Natural Bridges. Officially, the area is closed now and frankly it’s just not worth the risk. The view from Natural Bridges Viewpoint is stunning in and of itself.
Other Oregon Resources
Looking for more incredible hikes and things to do in Oregon? You may also be interested in the following:
- 24 Can’t Miss Things to do in Bandon, Oregon
- A Complete Guide to Shore Acres State Park, Oregon
- Why Oceanside is Worth a Visit: A Hidden Gem on the Oregon Coast
- Hobbit Trail in Florence, Oregon: A Magical Forest to Beach Hike
- 21 Amazing Things to Do in Coos Bay, Oregon
- How to Visit Thor’s Well: A Mysterious Ocean Cauldron
Questions about the hike to Secret Beach on the Oregon Coast? Let us know in the comments section below!