Whaleshead Beach is one of the most gorgeous locations along the Oregon Coast. Offshore there is a sea stack that looks like the head of a Whale. The sea stack is cut with a rock channel and when a wave hits it, it spurts a spray that actually looks like a whale spouting, hence the name Whaleshead Beach.
Whaleshead is located about 7 miles north of Brookings. First you will come to the Whaleshead Trail Viewpoint parking area on the ocean side of the road. It is a good place for a photo of the ocean over the salmonberry bushes, but the trail down to the beach is steep here. There’s a safer access about a half mile north at Whaleshead Beach Road.
You have two choices when you turn off Highway 101; you can drive down to the beach, a lovely crescent of sand cut by several creeks or park just off 101 and look for an undeveloped trail head on the right. The beach choice gives you an ocean walk. The trail choice gives you a forest walk. The trail to the top is only a quarter mile, but rises some 250 feet.
Along the shaded trail you will pass a lot of mushrooms and a low rock face that is covered with moss at least five hundred years old. Be careful of a few patches of poison oak growing close to the trail. When you get to the first sunny patch, stop breath deeply and look at the wild roses. A second rest gives you a view of the ocean. Looking south back toward Whaleshead Trail Viewpoint, you can see the beach parking area and an absolutely stunning curve of beach. Continue along the trails to a knoll with an amazing ocean view thick with wild strawberry and huckleberry bushes. You will hear the ocean before you see it. If you thought the world lacked wonders, think again.
If you decide to drive down to the beach, you will find picnic benches and toilet facilities. There is a bridge that crosses Whaleshead Creek just where it meets the beach. The beach is cut by several small ‘wet sneakers’ creeks. A nice feature along the beach is a small cave children will enjoy exploring.
Whether you are a hiker, a camera buff, a kid at heart, a nature lover or an artist you can’t go wrong at Whaleshead Beach.