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Striking Changes and Surprises of Lincoln City's D River Access, Central Oregon Coast

Published 12/22/20 at 4:55 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Striking Changes and Surprises of Lincoln City's D River Access, Central Oregon Coast

(Lincoln City, Oregon) – In the center of one central Oregon coast town, it often seems as if everyone and their dog is in love with the place. Lincoln City’s D River access is by far and away one of the most popular of beaches on the entire coastline, and for good reason.

Soft sands stretch in either direction, just about as far as the eye can see. Then there’s that massive parking lot invitingly piquing your interest from the highway, granting not just access to the (mostly) calm and endearing beach but allowing you a rest from your travels as you zoom either north or south of here.

Yet the central Oregon coast’s D River access has more than one face, and it’s not always a nice one. The seemingly placid place has a few surprises.


Sand levels play the largest role. They differ greatly from summer to winter, as summer piles on the sands and winter storms scour them away. So typically Lincoln City’s D River area is broader and fluffier during the summer. Yet not always.

Some summers strangely bring up the gravel beds here, which is a sure sign of plenty of agates. This is something that normally happens in winter, when the beach is much shorter and waves are closer to the fenced concrete above the beach. It’s an oddity for summer, but it happens on occasion.

Normally, summer sand levels extend that beach far out there, some 300 feet or more away from the viewing area. One extraordinary year, the D River had so much sand the little river drifting through had its course changed drastically. Usually, the stream heads fairly straight westward through the beach, but at least one year in the last decade it was forced to the south and then slowly meandered its way out to sea. It was rather striking.


If it hasn’t rained much for awhile, there are times the D River itself disappears. Oh, it’s a ways back there, east of the bridge. But every once in awhile the high sand levels and lack of rain create a situation where there’s just not enough D River to push through under the bridge, and the area around Kyllo’s Restaurant is devoid of water. Wild.


Photo courtesy OPRD: D River getting overrun in a storm

Even wilder is how this usually pleasant, calming beach can periodically become angry and dangerous. Some winters, the tides get so unruly and swollen they make it up to the seawall itself – and beyond. The D River access is then closed completely by state officials for safety reasons. Exactly that is pictured here in a photo from Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department.

Staying Right Here

D Sands Condominium Motel - Lincoln City lodging Every room is beachfront, and it's all right up against Lincoln City's most famous stretch of beach, next to the D River. Each room comes as a suite or mini-suite and has a kitchen and balcony or patio. Some have gas fireplaces, while all have DVD Players with plenty of movies available for renting. There's a heated indoor pool, a spa, and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms sleep anywhere from two, four to six - including a deluxe fireplace suite. Short drive to outlet mall, a few miles from casino; close to plenty of beaches and restaurants. 171 S.W. Highway 101, Lincoln City, Oregon. 800-527-3925. www.dsandsmotel.com.

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