My husband and I have visited the Ocean Beach Picnic Area many times. It took several trips before it sunk in that “Ocean Beach” as written on the sign was the assigned appellative for this stretch of shoreline, rather than a listing of the features available. There certainly is ocean, and there’s plenty of beach, but I guess those responsible for name allocation at the Siuslaw National Forest were just plum worn out by the time they reached this bluff.

Unimaginative name notwithstanding, the view is fabulous. Miles upon miles of the long, slow, multi-layered rollers indicative of the central Oregon coast tickle the sand.   The beach itself is not for everyone. A long flight of stairs is followed by a broad swath of rocks before sand is reached.

See Beach Roundup: Between Florence and Yachats for a summary of beaches in the area.

Ocean view

75 Steps Wheels:

Both a picnic table and a bench provide superb vantage of sea, sand, and an immense dome rock to the south.   The step count above reaches the bench or table, but more grass must be negotiated if the table is your goal. During our most recent visit, a young couple unreeled a kite on the beach below. Its thin plastic sail and colorful streamers flapped and strained in the strong gusts of the day, yet it managed to hover for a short while above the cliff line. Although too windy for their small craft, they had a good go of it before returning hand-in-hand to the warmth of their vehicle.

Walk Details for Ocean view
Terrain: Good condition sidewalk with a gradual descent, followed by grass to reach seating.
Seating: Backless bench or picnic table
Fee: Day pass or recreation pass
Restrooms: Yes, at the north end of the parking lot, reached by rough pavement and sidewalk, all level. Less than 25 steps from nearest parking.
Directions: On Highway 101 north of Florence and south of Yachats, more specifically north of Heceta Head Lighthouse and south of Cape Perpetua, turn west at the sign for Ocean Beach Picnic Area. The turn is a bit daunting if heading north – almost a U-turn. The driveway is really only 1.5 cars wide, except on one curve, but it is not long. Path and seating are visible from the parking lot.

Beach

150 Steps Wheels:

The beach at Ocean Beach is not a great option if either stairs or stable footing is your challenge. I thought I’d cover the details anyway; it may be appropriate for some. The step count above is from the parking lot. The path is smooth and gradual, until you hit the stairs – 25 of them! Rocks ranging in size from golf ball to soccer ball loom at the foot of the stairway, a band perhaps 15- or 20-feet wide, poised to twist an ankle if care is not taken. If you can make the open sand, you are rewarded with an expanse containing little beach debris. Heading south toward the dome will often cut the ocean breeze, allowing lengthened enjoyment.

Walk Details for Beach
Terrain: Good condition sidewalk with a gradual descent, followed by 25 stairs with thick concrete sides. A wide band of rocks must be crossed before reaching the sand.
Seating: None
Fee: Day pass or recreation pass
Restrooms: Yes, at the north end of the parking lot, reached by rough pavement and sidewalk, all level. Less than 25 steps from nearest parking.
Directions: Continue on the path from the ocean-view seating.