• Short Sand Beach is a secluded beach hidden in a cove
• The beach is a popular spot for surfers and beachcombers
Located 10 miles south of Cannon Beach in Oswald West State Park, Short Sand Beach is a gorgeous pocket beach hidden in Smugger Cove. As the name suggests, this is a short sandy shore that stretches 0.4 miles along the cove. Locals often call it "Short Sands" or "Shorty's."
Surrounded by the lush old-growth forest, volcanic cliffs, and prominent headlands, the cove is sheltered from extreme winds and currents. This beach is one of the North Coast’s most beloved locations for its beautiful landscapes and serene atmosphere. A waterfall drops from the mossy cliff directly to the ocean at the beach's northern edge. It is called Blumenthal Falls in honor of Danny Blumenthal, a ranger who worked at Oswald West State Park and was shot dead while on duty in 1999.
Fairly consistent surf breaks provide suitable conditions for surfing and bodyboarding. The Short Sand Beach is also great for boating, exploring tidepools, and agate hunting.
Gravel beds of Short Sand Beach are usually exposed during winter storms and king tides. So, the best time for agate hunting is the winter months during low tides. In summer, you can find interesting rocks and minerals in gravels of Short Sand and Necarney Creeks.
The intertidal area of the Short Sands 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.
An easy hike to Short Sands starts from the South Trailhead at the Oswald West south parking area. The trail branches into several routes; all the westbound trails lead to the Shorty’s. The shortest 0.3-mile trail runs along Necarney Creek and brings you to the picnic area with a stunning vista on the beach and the ocean. This is a well-maintained trail shaded by ancient western red cedar trees.
If the south parking lot is overcrowded, you can use the Oswald West north parking area with access to Short Sand Beach Trail running along Short Sand Creek. The 2,500 acres of the picturesque Oswald West State Park offer 15 miles of hiking trails, 13 miles of which are part of the Oregon Coast Trail.
Picnic tables and flush restrooms are available at the Oswald West State Park. The park has no camping grounds. Pets are allowed, but they must be on a leash. Please make sure you dispose of the pet waste properly.
Short Sand Beach is an extremely popular spot, especially on summer weekends. Unfortunately, the high number of visitors attracts thieves. Therefore, do not leave your possessions unattended anywhere in the park, beach, or vehicle.
Short Sand Beach | General Description
Open: Year-round for day use
Managed by: Oregon State Parks
Amenities: Restrooms, picnic tables
Activities: Hiking, surfing, nature viewing
Day-use fees: None
Usage: Moderate to heavy
Accommodations: Lodging in Manzanita
Short Sand Beach is located:
- 4 miles north of Manzanita
- 90 miles west of Portland
- 100 miles northwest of Salem.