• Seal Rock Beach features small islands, reefs, sea stacks, and the huge Elephant Rock
• This is a fantastic place for wildlife viewing
A scenic coastal area located 4 miles north of Waldport and 9 miles south of Newport, Seal Rock Beach features a dramatic rocky surf zone and a huge sea stack named Castle or Elephant Rock. The beach and the small town were named Seal Rock because a lot of seals once occupied rocks and small islands nearby.
Seal Rock Beach carries a plethora of ancient volcanic activity evidence. The basalt rock formations were created during the Miocene epoch about 15-16 million years ago by the Columbia River lava flow that traveled from Eastern Oregon. It went all the way to the mouth of the Columbia River and then over 100 miles south until it terminated at the Seal Rock area.
The Seal Rock coastline features a chain of small sea stacks and basalt reefs. Adjacent to the mainland, Elephant Rock divides the beach in half. The northern part is accessible from a small parking area at Curtis Street, one mile away from the Elephant Rock.
The crescent-shaped south beach is approximately 0.35 miles long and can be easily reached from the Seal Rock State Recreation Site. Short, paved trails from the parking lot lead to an ADA accessible viewpoint and then down to the beach at the base of the Elephant Rock.
During low tides, bedrock outcroppings are exposed allowing visitors to explore its intertidal zone with numerous amazing marine creatures in tidepools. Other popular activities at Seal Rock are hiking and fishing.
Perched on a wooded bluff, the day-use wayside has picnic tables near the parking area in the shade of spruce, salal, and pine trees.
Seal Rock Beach is a fantastic place for wildlife viewing. You can very often see black oystercatchers here as well as a variety of shorebirds, especially during winter and the migration period. You can see sandpipers, dunlin, harlequin ducks, loons, harbor seals, and sea lions.
Because small islands and sea stacks are home to marine mammals and nesting seabirds, wildlife can be easily disturbed. The area is a part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, which means there are some restrictions.
Attention Fellow Beachgoers
Unfortunately, our beautiful Pacific Northwest beaches are stained with trash, especially plastic. We, at Oregon Discovery, as well as other unaffiliated groups of nature lovers made a commitment to do our part in keeping our beaches clean, but we need your help too!
Every time you go out to enjoy nature at your favorite spot, please bring a garbage bag or two and help us pick up garbage. Even picking up a little bit here and there will make a huge difference long term.
Please, help us save our beautiful nature for generations to come!
Seal Rock | General Description
Open: Year-round for day-use
Managed: Oregon State Park
Amenities: ADA accessible viewpoint, picnic area, exhibit information, and restrooms
Activities: Hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing
Day-use fees: None
Dogs: Must be on a leash
Restrictions: No drones are allowed; small nesting islands, rocks, and cliffs are closed to the public
Usage: Moderate to high
Accommodations: Lodging in Newport
Seal Rock Beach is located:
- 10.5 miles south of Newport
- 92 miles west of Salem
- 142 miles southwest of Portland.