Larson Creek falls directly onto Short Beach, which is named for a person, not its length, FYI. It’s a great beach and somewhat hidden, which means it’s not crowded. (Sweet!!!) A bunch of steps lead down from Bayshore Drive, creating a delightful little trail to the sand. (Delightful, that is, on the way down!)
Immediately upon reaching the beach, a spillway is viewed to the right, dropping Short Creek onto the rocks and sand. I am not counting this as a waterfall.
Walking north on the beach takes you past a sea stack that offers some opportunities for climbing; plenty of sand, rocks, and driftwood offering all kinds of beach opportunities; and of course, Larson Creek Falls. The 2-drop waterfall is not impressive, but it is tall, and you can go right up to the base. When we visited, someone had created a little “fort” out of driftwood just beyond the base. Another interesting feature is that the creek disappears beneath the rocks beyond the splash pool.
Walking even farther north takes you to some tide pools. We visited when the tide was coming in, and the tide pools did not contain much sea life. Perhaps if you visit when the tide is fully out, more pools would be exposed and be of more interest than when we explored them.
My rating: Highly Recommended (3 stars) (Waterfall – 2 stars, Trail – 3 stars, Experience – 3 stars)
Distance from Beaverton: 1.5 hours west
Nearest town: Oceanside
Nearest city: Equidistant from Portland and Salem
County: Tillamook County
Length of round-trip hike: 1.4 miles
Best season to visit: We visited in July. Any day that would be good for hanging out at the beach would be a good day to visit.
Consider combining this trip with: Munson Creek Falls or any of the waterfalls on Highway 6; we combined our trip with a visit to Stafford Falls. Short Beach is just 1.3 miles from Cape Meares, so definitely consider visiting the Cape Meares Lighthouse and/or some other stops on the Three Capes Scenic Route. And of course, any time you travel through Tillamook, a stop at the Cheese Factory is pretty much required by law.
Toilet / Amenities: None.
How to get there:
- Take Highway 6 into Tillamook.
- Continue straight onto 1st Street, which becomes Birch Ave.
- Turn right onto Highway 131 and follow this road for 8.4 miles.
- Turn right onto Cape Meares Loop.
- After 1.2 miles, park on the side of the road. On the west side of the road, you should see a sign for Radar Rd and just south of that, a sign for Short Beach and the top of the stairs leading down.