Short Beach, as its name suggests, a short stretch of the beach hidden in the cove one mile south of Cape Meares and 1.3 miles north of Oceanside - the beautiful seaside community in Tillamook County. To get to the beach you will have to do a 0.25-mile hike down and up the stairs. The staircase trail was constructed by local residents after a few people got injured trying to get to and from the beach via an undeveloped slippery incline path.
The beach stretches 900 yards along the coastal line, however, its believed that the name is not related to its length. Some of the residents think that both the Short Beach and the Short Creek which runs into the beach are named after one of the early residents who lived in the area.
You can enjoy surf fishing, short-distance hiking along the beach, or simply sightseeing. Two creeks - Larson and Short are entering the Pacific Ocean through the beach. Also, there are two waterfalls - Larson Creek Falls at the northern edge of the beach and a man-made waterfall near the trail's staircase. However, Short Beach is well-known and the most famous for the great rockhounding opportunities.
The best time for visiting to collect minerals is the winter and spring months. It is best to show up and start collecting as the surf heads out right after the high tide. Collecting the minerals is pretty simple, just like at most Oregon coastal locations. Most minerals are just laying around and getting them is as simple as picking them up.
You may bring a hammer, geology pick and a gem scoop along to make sure you can make your treasure collecting easier and more efficient. A gem scoop helps you pick up stones with less bending while hammer and geology pick will assist you in accessing minerals at hard to get areas.
The examples of minerals you can find at the Short Beach include, but are not limited to agate, jasper, calcite, petrified wood, quartz, and zeolite.
Most commonly you will run into agates and jaspers, which can be found along the entire beach. Most agates you will find have abraded surface and dull. Some of them are clear and small. Black, banded, carnelian and enhydro agates, a variety of zeolites such as mordenite, clinoptilolite and heulandite as well golden calcite rhombs can be found here too. Jaspers can mostly be found in yellow, red, green, grey and brown colors. Often larger specimens are attached to basalt volcanic rocks. So, you might have to use a geology pick or hammer to extract them.
The seaside cliffs contain marine fossils. The cliffs might be unstable and prone to collapse. So, do not dig and don't climb on those.
Remember to use eye protection while employing tools such as geology pick and hammer.
Cautions: Beware of changing tides, rip currents, driftwoods, sneaker waves and never turn your back to the ocean.
Short Beach | General Description
Activities: Rockhounding, hiking
Accommodations: Lodging in Oceanside and Tillamook
Distance from the parking: 0.25 miles
Elevation gain: 100 ft
Road access: Any vehicles
Day-use fees: None
Popularity: Low to Moderate
Short Beach is located:
- 1.3 miles north of Oceanside
- 10 miles west of Tillamook
- 83 miles west of Portland.