Neskowin Ghost Forest

• Neskowin Ghost Forest was revealed after heavy storms at the end of the 20th century
• The trees were likely destroyed by a natural disaster 2,000 years ago

Historical Landmarks OregonPhotographingHiking Oregon

Neskowin Ghost Forest is a fascinating and mysterious destination hidden under the cold waters of the Pacific most of the time. In rare moments, however, when the tides are low, the ghosts come to the surface.

The ancient forest sits at Neskowin Beach near the charming small town of Neskowin. The beach itself also features Proposal Rock, another local attraction.

Neskowin Ghost Forest Origins

The ghost forest is the remnants of an ancient Sitka spruce forest that resurfaced after heavy winter storms in 1997-1998. Some old-timers say that parts of the ghost woods were sometimes visible even before 1997 after especially powerful storms and king tides.

The approximate age of the forest is two thousand years. At the time of their destruction, the ancient trees are estimated to have been 150-200 feet tall and at least 200 years old. Scientists believe that it was an earthquake or a tsunami that obliterated the Sitka spruce trees. The landslides that followed buried the remains deep under the sand and mud. This helped preserve the stumps from oceanic erosion.

The remnants of the ancient forest are still sitting in the original soil covered by sand. The sea level today is similar to the one during the disaster that destroyed the forest.

The Neskowin stumps, when revealed, are covered with mussels, barnacles, and other sea life. The elements eroded the inside of some bigger stumps, creating small shallow pools where ocean life gets trapped during low tides. Sometimes you can see crabs and small fish stuck there until the tide rises again and releases them from their temporary prison.

Neskowin Beach Ghost Forest
Ancient Stump
Neskowin Beach - Proposal Rock
Proposal Rock
Neskowin Creek
Neskowin Creek
Neskowin Ghost Forest
Neskowin Ghost Forest

How to Get to the Neskowin Ghost Forest

The best way to get to the ghost forest is from the Neskowin Beach State Recreation Site parking area. The entrance to Neskowin Beach is right in front of Proposal Rock. You will have to cross the Neskowin Creek to get to the ghost forest.

That would be your best way of getting to the ghost forest without trespassing -- the area near the beach is almost entirely private property.

The best time to see this landmark is during the low tide. Although some parts of the ghost forest can still be visible even during higher tides.

Neskowin Beach: Camping, Lodging & Vacation Rentals

No camping is permitted at the beach. The nearest coastal towns, Neskowin, Lincoln City, and Pacific City offers plenty of accommodation options.

Lodging in Neskowin

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay at Neskowin

Neskowin Beach | Facts

Open: Year-round for day-use
Managed by: Oregon State Parks

Amenities: Restrooms, picnic tables
Activities: Beachcombing, hiking, & nature viewing
Day-use fees: None

  • 13 miles north of Lincoln City
  • 60 miles northwest of Salem.

Adventures Nearby

Directions to Neskowin Beach

From Highway 101,

  • Turn west at milepost 97 to Neskowin Beach State Recreation Site.

Get Google Maps Directions

1 Comment

  1. The ghost forest is no longer visible. The shifting sands have reclaimed it once again. 6/27/2023

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