Who was Carl G. Washburne? Strangely, although a state park bears his name, I could not find any information on Mr. Washburne himself. The Oregon State Parks information does not explain use of his name. Wikipedia has nothing. I even went as far as page 4 in the Google search results (when I rarely look beyond the first page), yet to no avail. I did find this post from a bike tourist, posing the same question. Is this the John Galt of the Oregon coast?

While not the easiest beach to reach on the Oregon coast, the day use area of Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park avails one of a gradual descent to an expanse of sand lacking the wide rocky swath typical of the region. If you’re looking for a walk-worthy beach north of Florence and south of Yachats, Washburne is the best choice I’ve discovered.

See Beach Roundup: Between Florence and Yachats for a summary of beaches in the area. This one is the top pick.


200+ Steps Wheels:

There are a few paths starting from the parking lot that head to the shore. The path that passes the restrooms is more gradual than other options, so that is the route covered here. All paths merge before a branch in the path, one leg heading to a picnic table, the other to the beach. The beach itself is a wide stretch of gently rolling sand. There are rocks to look out for, but they are individuals in the sand rather than a complete layer of stones. The water’s edge is quite a distance from the start of the beach, perhaps another 200 steps, depending on the tide. BYOS (bring your own seat) or rest in the sand, if splashing in the surf is your goal.

Walk Details for Beach
Terrain: Gradual descent on aged pavement, deteriorating as the path reaches the beach. The path ends in three wood stairs with no rails.
Seating: A picnic table is just off the path, about 175 steps from the start.
Fee: No fee
Restrooms: Yes, near the start of the path. A gradual descent from the parking lot is required to reach them, about 50 steps on aged pavement.
Directions: On Highway 101 north of Florence and south of Yachats, turn west at the sign for Carl G. Washburne Day Use Area. Follow the curve to parking. The path described heads toward the restrooms, which are visible from the lot, and then continues to the beach.