As you can guess by the name, Secret Beach in Brookings, Oregon is one of the most secluded beaches on the Oregon Coast! Located in Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, Secret Beach is a hidden gem that’s just a short hike away from Highway 101.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about hiking the Secret Beach trail – including how to get there and where to find it!
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About the Secret Beach Trail in Brookings
Here’s what you need to know before you hit the trail!
Secret Beach Hike Stats
Distance: 1.6 miles (round trip)
Elevation Gain: 374 feet
Difficulty: easy – moderate (it’s short, but steep on the way back)
Leave No Trace on the Secret Beach Trail
Anytime you’re outdoors, whether you’re a beginner hiker or an experienced adventurer, it’s essential that you practice Leave No Trace (LNT). LNT is a set of seven principles that help us understand our impact on the outdoors – because while we usually have good intentions, the environment is more fragile than we think, and one snap-second decision can cause damage to the environment that will take the earth years, even decades to repair.
As of now, Secret Beach is a secret – and while I firmly believe everyone deserves to enjoy these amazing spots, do your part to make sure it stays clean and beautiful!
Leave No Trace means enjoying the outdoors without disrupting nature, as much as it’s possible to do so. Here are the 7 principles of LNT, and how they apply when you hike the Secret Beach trail!
- Plan ahead and prepare – read this guide, make sure you know have the right gear, and be prepared for mud and rain.
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces – stay on the trail to avoid trampling grasses and plants! Sections of it are muddy, but walk through the mud, not around it to preserve the plant life.
- Dispose of waste properly – don’t leave trash, or anything else, behind. Pack it out!
- Leave what you find – I know it can be tempting to take a cool rock or leaf, but leave these things where they belong! Animals often use these, and if everyone takes one, the trail won’t be as pretty.
- Minimize campfire impacts – no campfires are allowed on the trail.
- Respect wildlife – avoid feeding or approaching birds or any other animals you might see.
- Be considerate of other visitors – yield to uphill hikers, and be respectful – no speakers or loud music.
The Best Time to Hike the Secret Beach Trail
The most popular time to hike this trail is in the summer, but I think the best time to hike it is spring, or fall! Secret Beach is a pretty secluded spot, but in the off season, there will be fewer people around, so while you’ll definitely need to be prepared for rain and it might be a little chillier, having the views to yourself is worth it! Be aware that this hike is really muddy – good traction is a must.
No matter what time of year you go, it’s best to plan your hike around low tide! When the tide is low, you’ll be able to walk down to the beach to explore.
What to Bring to Hike the Secret Beach Trail
When you hike the Secret Beach trail, here’s what you’ll need to bring!
Waterproof shoes are a must for this one – the trail gets really muddy. Good traction, and being prepared for a rainy hike, is essential!
Rain boots are another great option for muddy or wet conditions, and are definitely the easiest to clean.
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PNW weather is known for being unpredictable, and it’s always best to wear layers when hiking. It rains often on the Oregon Coast, and once you get to Secret Beach, it can get really windy!
The Marmot Minimalist Jacket is a great lightweight, waterproof option. The RVCA Meyer Packable Anorack Jacket is a cute windbreaker , and folds up nice and small! For added warmth and layering, a Patagonia fleece is always a good addition.
When I’m bringing my camera gear, my favorite backpack is the Alex Strohl Mountain Light. It’s definitely the best camera bag out there for hiking with photo gear. If you don’t need storage for camera stuff, I recommend an Osprey Hikelite. If you aren’t bringing very much and just want a day bag, I love my Topo Designs Y-Pack for carrying everyday essentials!
Especially when you’re hiking or exploring outdoors, it’s important to stay hydrated! Single use water bottles are, of course, terrible for the environment, so avoid that and bring a reusable one!
For hiking, the CamelBak water reservoirs are convenient and easy – they can fit in your hiking backpack for water on the go. Nalgene water bottles are great for day to day, and if you want an insulated water bottle to keep your water cold and refreshing, Hydro Flasks are the best!
Secret Beach Trailhead
Secret Beach is located in Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor in Brookings, Oregon. The trailhead for this hike is a little pull off on the side of Highway 101, so it can be easy to miss!
Secret Beach Trailhead Coordinates: 42.19197,-124.36699
How to Get to Secret Beach
This is one of the best hikes on the Oregon Coast if you want a low effort trail with great views! When you’re ready to start hiking, here’s what you can expect, and how to get to Secret Beach.
After you park, go to the trail that begins in the parking lot (to your right if you’re facing the ocean). There’s a little wooden bridge and a sign that says “Thunder Rock Cove” – if you see it, you’re going the right way! Secret Beach is a little hard to get to if you don’t know where you’re going, but if you have a map, it’s easy. Soon, you’ll see a fork in the road, and a little sign that points you to “Beach.” Go that way!
You’ll hike through a beautiful, peaceful forest. There’s another fork soon after this one, and you’ll need to go right.
The trail goes downhill on your way to the beach, so you’ll be going uphill on the way back! Parts of the hike are muddy, so waterproof hiking boots are definitely good for this one.
Soon, you’ll see the ocean through the trees, and you’ll come up to an overlook!
Take a moment to enjoy the view, and continue on to get down to Secret Beach! The trail gets narrow, and you’ll see a really pretty waterfall. A wooden bridge crosses the creek, and then you’ll be at Secret Beach!
There’s another waterfall coming down, and you can climb down the rocks and explore the beach (as long as the tide is low enough).
Where to Stay Near Secret Beach in Brookings
You can turn your hike into a little getaway, and stay somewhere close by! Here are my favorite options for places to stay close to Secret Beach in Brookings.
Glamping, Cabins, & Yurts
You can even get $10 off your first booking here!
A Camper van
With a camper van, you get a vehicle and a place to sleep, all in one! This is my favorite way to travel, and you can rent a fully decked out van with Escape Campervans. Another option is to use Outdoorsy, which is more like Airbnb – you can rent vans, RVs, and trailers from people who live nearby!
Find a Campsite
Whether you car camp, tent camp, or rent a tiny home on wheels, The Dyrt is the best way to find campsites! There are some options for campsites close by. Just a short drive from the Secret Beach trailhead, you’ll find national forest land – which means you can camp for free!
There are lots options for free camping near the trail – for tips on finding the best ones, check out this guide.
An Oceanfront Home
If you’re on the Oregon Coast, stay somewhere with a view of the ocean! Brookings, Oregon has lots of places to stay, so here are a few ideas.
For more places to stay near Secret Beach in Brookings, look around this map:
More Adventures Near Secret Beach
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