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Oceanlake Beach Access, Lincoln City: Oregon Coast's NW 21st St and Crazy Stairway

Published 07/06/2019 at 4:53 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oceanlake Beach Access, Lincoln City: Oregon Coast's NW 21st St and Crazy Stairway

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(Lincoln City, Oregon) – By and large it's known as the NW 21st St. beach access in Lincoln City, but it's better known for its long, crazy stairway that descends onto a soft beach with no shortage of effort. It's a legendary leg cramp-inducer on the Oregon coast, to be sure.

Yet it has an official name though it's not well known: the Oceanlake Beach Access.

The Oceanlake Beach access lies at the end of NW 21st St., a neighborhood road that meanders downhill from Highway 101 until it stops here. The parking lot is a mere four or five spots, fitting snugly between two parts of the Sea Horse Lodging hotel complex. Didn't get a parking spot? Luckily the connecting streets have curbside parking available.

Stand at the top and you may not want nor need to continue farther. The view is stellar up here: a vast expanse of seascape on a pretty chunk of Oregon coastline. This is not a bad spot to watch for whales, either. High vantage points make good places to spot the telltale blowholes of the great beasties as they lumber past.

The top of the Oceanlake Beach access is a decent option for watching the sunset and stalking that coveted green flash sighting. High vantage points help in this regard as well, increasing your chances to some degree.


There are no restroom facilities here. The nearest bathrooms are just blocks away, however, at the NW 26th St. parking area and the NW 15th St. ramp.

Then there's that stairway. Indeed, it'll take the wind out of you going down, and even more so coming back up. In your favor, however, are three flat platforms, allowing you a few moments' – or minutes' – respite and a chance to catch your breath. This helps in those rare instances when there's somewhat heavy foot traffic in front of and behind you, so you don't block other people's progress much.

All this heavy breathing is worth it, however. The beach here is one pristine, beautiful spot, and usually wide enough to be safe when the tide gets a tad unruly. However, during stormier moments, you don't want to head down there. Like much of Lincoln City, there's only a steep cliff in back of you and no room to run if the sneaker waves take a disliking to you.


To the north, a small cluster of rock structures sit, which sometimes provide some minor tidepool life action. A bit further north of that is the NW 26th St. access, about five blocks away by civilization's measurements.

Southward, it's about 11 blocks to the rocky labyrinth sitting at the tideline at the NW 15th St. ramp, where tidepools are more copious. However, on the beach, it's not quite the same distance as if you were up on the clifftop road, as that road curves and bends a bit, making it longer up top than down below.

Between the two it's nothing but lovely central Oregon coast strand.

At night, this is also a good spot to go roaming as the beaches are partially lit and the atmosphere is exhilarating, making for a thoroughly ethereal experience. Head to the darkened stretches and you may get lucky and see the glowing sand phenomenon.

More photos of the Oceanlake / NW 21st access below. Hotels in Lincoln City - Where to eat - Lincoln City Maps and Virtual Tours









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