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Unique Canyon Drive Park Tucked Away at Lincoln City's SW 11th - Central Oregon Coast

Published 08/21/22 at 4:58 AM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Unique Canyon Drive Park Tucked Away at Lincoln City's SW 11th - Central Oregon Coast

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(Lincoln City, Oregon) – A bit of a central Oregon coast hotspot that's paradoxically out-of-the-way, Lincoln City's Canyon Drive Park is a lovely irregularity when it comes to beaches in this seven-mile stretch of strands. It would seem that it's not super well known, and yet it can be bustling with folks.

In other ways, Canyon Drive Park has some unique aspects in the midst of Lincoln City's stellar roster of accesses. For one thing, it's cloistered in a rather odd spot between tall cliffs on either side that don't allow any entry. It's the only place for a mile or so in either direction where you can get to the beach. Thus, heading a bit south or north of the walkway will put you in somewhat hidden Oregon coast territory – chunks of sand that not many bother with.

Canyon Drive Park is a bit of a jaunt and a little hard to get to. From the main thoroughfare of Lincoln City's Highway 101, you have to take SW 11th. The route here, however, is a long, twisting, even white-knuckled drive on occasion, through comely neighborhoods and soaring trees. Those turns are wicked at times, even more so if you abruptly come upon some defenseless soul on that tight road, like a whole family or a dog walker. Other vehicles can be a grating experience. If you're going 15 miles per hour on this part you may still be going too fast.

Then, quite suddenly, you're out in the open and the beach access appears, along with a vast ocean view.

Interestingly enough Canyon Drive Park has nothing to do with any road called “Canyon:” it rests at the end of 11th and Coast Avenue.

Unique Canyon Drive Park Tucked Away at Lincoln City's SW 11th - Central Oregon Coast

The beach itself is typical of Lincoln City: plenty of soothing sands and a tideline than can dip rather steeply sometimes, causing the waves to crash just a little louder than a more steadily-sloped beach.

Become of the ramp, it's consequently wheelchair accessible.

To the north, it’s a about a mile to the next beach access: at the D River area. To the south: it’s also about a mile to the next one, in the Nelscott District, at around SW 32nd Street.

Here, it's a tiny spot, sporting a handful of parking spots at best and a restroom area. But there's a little more than initially meets the eye. It's one of the few Oregon coast rec areas that are also part lakeside.

Right behind the restrooms sits a small grassy and a wee bit of a pond behind that. On lazy summer days, it's an enchanting spot to lounge about and gaze at the reflections in the water, take in the calm and the atmosphere of those moss-covered remnants of old trees.

From there, a small stream meanders gracefully to the beach and then to the sea. The concrete ramp has a unique design that almost gives it an ancient Roman road flavor, further adding to the charm, certainly to the uniqueness of the place.

Unique Canyon Drive Park Tucked Away at Lincoln City's SW 11th - Central Oregon Coast

When winter comes, that stream can get a bit more frenzied. And so can the beach: there's not a lot to it in the stormy season, so it can get downright dangerous. Remember, this is the only way to high ground for a mile on either side, so those cliff walls behind you will make a deadly barrier should the tides turn on you. Watch it in winter.

On the flipside of this, if seas are really rough it's not a bad spot to watch those famous Oregon coast storms from a slightly elevated area.

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SW 11th / Canyon Drive Park in partial fog

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