• Manzanita Beach is broad beach at the base of Neahkahnie Mountain
• The sandy shore is a great spot to enjoy beachcombing, fat-biking, surfing, kite surfing, and horse riding
Manzanita Beach, also known as Neahkahnie Beach, is located at the coastal town of Manzanita. The beach curves along the slope of Neahkahnie Mountain and extends to Nehalem Beach and the mouth of Nehalem River on the south. The northern part of the beach is sheltered by the 1,700-foot Neahkahnie Mountain - one of the highest on the Oregon Coast. The forested 300-foot Cape Falcon ridge is jutting out into the ocean and it is visible from the Manzanita shore on a clear day. Most of Neahkahnie Mountain and Cape Falcon are preserved in the most scenic coastal forest Oswald West State Park.
The five-mile-long broad beach of firm white sand with dunes is a popular destination for beach lovers but surprisingly it rarely seems to be crowded. The southern part of the beach at Nehalem Bay State Park offers more quiet solitude.
This destination is a great spot to enjoy a stunning panoramic view and practice your favorite activities including beachcombing, fat-tire biking, surfing, kite surfing, and horse riding. The small nearby communities of Manzanita and Nehalem have restaurants, bars, and shops that are worth a visit.
There are multiple access points to the beach including state parks and parking areas along the roads with trails to the shore. Ocean Road which runs along the beach for about half a mile has numerous pullouts. Nehalem Bay State Park charges a day-use fee for parking, while other places are free of charge. When using street parking, please be mindful of local residents and businesses and make sure not to block anyone's entry.
Neahkahnie Mountain on its own is a separate place worth a visit for an adventurer. This is a basalt monolith of volcanic origin created by Miocene lava flows. The mountain is considered sacred in Native American tradition and it is mostly known for its hidden treasure.
One of the legends tells about Spanish sailors hiding a chest of gold and gems in the late 16th century. It says that once the treasure was lowered into the hole in the mountain, one of the sailors killed an African slave who was with them and threw his body on top of the chest. It was done so Native Americans would not touch the treasure in a grave.
Neahkahnie Mountain is a great place for hiking and nature viewing. You can see a variety of coastal flora and fauna on your walk up. Once you are at the top, you can enjoy a beautiful vista of the ocean and nearby beaches.
Hiking and Biking
In addition to an extended beach stroll or a fat-tire bike ride, there is more hiking and biking to have at this scenic place. Nehalem Bay State Park has a network of trails including a 1.8-mile-long hiking/biking path which will take you to see stunning Pacific Northwest nature with a variety of flora and fauna.
Neahkahnie Beach, surrounding state parks and Neahkahnie Mountain is home to a lot of birds and animals. You can see a variety of sea birds including puffins, black oystercatchers, cormorants, and seagulls. Neahkahnie Mountain is a whole separate ecosystem with a wide diversity of animals, birds, lizards, and other creatures.
The calm ocean is great for kayaking and paddle boarding while stormy weather is better for surfers and kite surfers. You can either bring your own equipment or get a rental in town.
Beachcombing and Rockhounding
The extended stretches of Neahkahnie Beach provide a lot of area for beachcombing. You can find sand dollars, various types of sea shells, sea glass, weathered wood, and other gifts of the ocean. Since it is a sandy beach, rockhounding is not as productive here, but after winter storms you have a chance to find agates and other rocks for your collection.
Fishing, clamming, and crabbing
Nehalem Bay is a productive place for clamming, crabbing, and catching fish. While you can angle for redtail surfperch and search for clams right at the beach, you will have to venture into the ocean for other prized catches. There are boat rentals at the marinas on the inland side of the bay.
The northern edge of the beach is a part of Cape Falcon Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Area. Therefore, fishing and removing any invertebrates, seaweeds, or wildlife are prohibited. To find out more check Oregon Marine Reserves Harvest Restrictions.
Camping and Lodging
Manzanita and Neahkahnie have plenty of lodging options for visitors. Alternatively, you can go to Nehalem Bay State Park with a vast number of camping spots. There are 256 electrical sites with water, a hiker/biker camp, 18 yurts, a horse camp with 17 primitive sites, as well as an airstrip and airport camp with primitive sites. There are flush toilets, hot showers, and an RV dump station.
Manzanita Beach | General Description
Managed by: Oregon State Parks
Amenities: Restrooms and picnic tables
Activities: Beachcombing, fishing, clamming, surfing, biking, hiking, & nature viewing
Day-use fees: None except Nehalem Bay State Park
Accommodations: Camping at Nehalem Bay State Park
Neahkahnie Beach is located:
- 27 miles north of Tillamook
- 93 miles northwest of Portland.