Sunset Beach Oregon is located along the scenic Pacific coast—a part of Sunset State Recreation Area in Warrenton. This beach offers everything you’d expect for a stretch of beach, including sandy shores and sunny skies. But this beach also had a brush with history; it’s located at the trail head of the Fort-to-Sea route followed by Corps of Discovery, the western expedition led by Lewis and Clark. This six-mile hike winds to Fort Clatsop, following much of the same route the explorers when they visited the Oregon coast.
Like the rest of the Oregon beaches, Sunset Beach Warrenton OR is located just minutes off Highway 101, the north-south route that runs from San Diego to Washington State along the Pacific Coast. In this case, Sunset Beach Oregon is just off mile marker 13, south of Astoria. Both the recreation area and the beach are part of the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, a sprawling collection of land in both Oregon and Washington, covering more than 3,000 acres.
In season, a shuttle runs between Fort Clatsop and Sunset Beach in Warrenton OR. The fort, a re-creation of the Corps of Discovery’s winter headquarters from the end of 1805 into the beginning of the next year. The site includes a visitor center and interpretive exhibits. If you’d rather take the scenic route than catch the shuttle, you could follow the aptly named Fort-to-Sea Trail, a 6.5-mile hike down to the beach. The first part of the trail winds from the visitor center to Clatsop Ridge, the first place where you can spot the ocean—in this case, trough the trees. The trail also features a tunnel that takes you under Highway 101. Afterward, you’ll cross dunes and beach forests before arriving at Sunset Beach.
The shuttle runs in the summertime, and a local cab company can provide transportation to one of the best Oregon beaches any time of the year. You also can drive yourself and park in the lot adjacent to this Warrenton beach. The path to the beach and back is about one mile round trip—once you make it to the top of the dunes, you’ll be treated to views of the ocean, stretching from Tillamook Head to Cape Disappointment.
Back on the beach, you’ll have the chance to enjoy the typical seaside pursuits including swimming and beachcombing. Many younger visitors enjoy making sandcastles,while their parents may be there to catch a good nap or spend some relaxing time reading. A picnic on the beach is another fine way to pass the time along Sunset Beach Oregon.
A few weeks out of the year, the beach is open for the razor clam harvesting season. The exact date of the season depends on the year and the population at the time. The local bait shop can let you know if it’s allowed and provide you with all the gear you need, including clam shovels.
If you’d prefer to do some wildlife watching rather than harvesting, you’ll find some amazing creatures along the beach and the dunes. Elk have been seen galloping through the woods and flocks of belted kingfishers gather along the water. Many of the animals are active at sunset—a wonderful time to discover how this beach got its name.