Floras Lake Beach – An Sand Beach with English Cliffs

Floras Lake Beach Arch, Oregon

Floras Lake Beach Arch

The Southern Oregon Coastline isn’t all rocks and sea stacks.  In fact, Floras Lake Beach is very much as sandy as the east coast.  It’s also nearly empty of people, unlike the more northerly sand beaches.  Still, it offers sights not usually seen in the eastern US – sheer, almost chalk-like cliffs, headlands, and an incredible sea arch (natural bridge, really) that make a beach well worth visiting!

Cliffs along the southern end of Floras Lake Beach, Oregon

Cliffs along the southern end of Floras Lake Beach

Actually, Floras Lake Beach is quite well-known, locally – a great number of people come there to wind surf on Floras Lake.  And an over-grown stretch of the Coastal Trail traverses the nearby dunes.  But few come down to the beach, itself, especially as far as the headlands that separate Floras Lake Beach from Blackrock Point, which are impossible to walk around except at low tide (and even then you may get your feet wet).

Looking toward Blackrock Point from the southern end of Floras Lake Beach, Oregon

Looking toward Blackrock Point

The trail begins from an unassuming parking area in Boice-Cope Park by crossing the bridge over the Floras Lake outlet.  It then wanders through a low scrub forest and onto the grassy dunes for a tenth of a mile.  Turn right at the sign indicating the way to the beach.  From here, the trail crosses the dunes and drops to the very sandy beach at mile 0.3.

The beach north of Floras Lake Beach, Oregon

The beach north of Floras Lake Beach

When we visited in late July, the beach to the right (north) was closed because of nesting birds.  No fear – we wanted to go left, anyway.

Looking south from where we accessed Floras Lake Beach, Oregon

Looking south from where we accessed the beach

So we dropped down near the ocean (the sand is easier to walk in down there!) and began our trek to the south, with low, grassy sandhills on our left and the cold, green ocean on our right.  The wind was intense – we were very thankful for our double-jackets – but the waves weren’t too bad and we were in no danger of the rising tide (not always the case during stormy weather and higher tides!)

The sandhills rise into sandstone cliffs along Floras Lake Beach, Oregon

The sandhills rise into sandstone cliffs

After a bit, the sandhills began to rise, eventually becoming imposing sandstone cliffs.  This is what really sets Floras Lake Beach apart from other Oregon beaches – these sheer, 80 to 100 foot cliffs that remind me of the chalk cliffs of the English coast.  Atop the cliffs, pines and coastal scrubbery are a nice touch.

Footprints of those who have gone before... along Floras Lake Beach, Oregon

Footprints of those who have gone before…

At 2 miles from the parking area, we came to a place where the cliffs gave way to a narrow valley heading inland.  We had seen on a sign that there should be a trail in this general area up the headland, then to the trail that would take us to Blackrock Point and its black beach with sea stacks.

Approaching the area where the trail was supposed to be - the cliffs get even better after this. Floras Lake Beach, Oregon

Approaching the area where the trail was supposed to be – the cliffs get even better after this

We ended up scrambling around for more than 30 minutes, but we never found the trail, and what we did find was that it’s nearly impossible to get through the scrubby bushes – they look to be no more than knee-height, but they’re really chest-high in places.  Not fun to try and push through.  So we ended up just continuing down the beach.  (Looking at a map more recently, we were totally the wrong place – the trail / road comes in much further south.)

Multi-colored cliffs along Floras Lake Beach, Oregon

Multi-colored cliffs along the way

It ended up being a great thing to do.  The cliffs become higher after this and more striking.  At 2.3 miles, we spotted a most magnificent sea arch on our left.  It’s hard to get a good picture of, and it’s easy to miss because it doesn’t stand too far away from the cliffs, but it’s really impressive.

The front side of Floras Lake Beach Arch, Oregon

The front side of the arch

At 3.0 miles, a headland stands across the beach, barring further exploration south (unless it’s close enough to low tide that you can scramble over the rocks and around the point – even so, you might get your feet wet.  A couple of us tried and found some interesting rocks (as well as a lot of sea junk, like ropes and things).  A waterfall cascades down the cliff face just to the left of the headland, which is a nice touch.

The southern end of Floras Lake Beach, Oregon

The end of Floras Lake Beach (the waterfall is in shadow, but you can still see it about a quarter of the way from the left side)

We ate lunch in the shade of the headland, then headed back.  We decided to strike inland sooner, and take the Coastal Trail back to the parking area.  So once the cliffs leveled off, we headed up through the sandhills, following a trail.  From there, we followed trails as best we could to get to what looked like a main trail – I’d guess it was the Coastal Trail, but even so, it was pretty grown in – turned left, and headed back toward the trail to the parking area.

The Coastal Trail south of Floras Lake, Oregon

The Coastal Trail

Going this way, we ended up walking around Floras Lake, which really is pretty (stay left on the trail that goes along the west (ocean) side of the lake).  We also had a marvelous time watching the many wind surfers perfecting their craft on the lake (the wind was crazy strong!)

Floras Lake, Oregon

Floras Lake

Overall, Floras Beach isn’t a difficult hike, but it is scenic – especially if you’ve always wanted to visit English cliffs 🙂

Heading north along Floras Lake Beach, Oregon

Heading back

Round Trip Trail Length: About 6 miles

Net Elevation Change: 31ft. (-2ft. to 29ft.)

Facilities: A couple picnic tables, a boat ramp, and portable primitive restroom at the trailhead

Fees: None

Trail Notes: Do not attempt this hike during storms, or at high tide!  There are virtually no escape routes when the tide comes up!

The waves meet the rocks at the southern end of Floras Lake Beach, Oregon

The waves meet the rocks at the southern end of the beach

Trail ★★☆☆☆

Road ★★★★☆

Signs ★★☆☆☆

Scenery ★★★★☆

Would I go 100 miles out of my way for this? ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Looking through Floras Lake Beach Arch, Oregon

Looking through the arch

Key GPS Coordinates for Floras Lake Beach

Floras Beach Parking (Boise-Cope State Park): 42.90276N / -124.50201W (42° 54′ 9.936″ / -124° 30′ 7.2354″)

Trail Beginning: 42.90309N / -124.50199W (42° 54′ 11.1234″ / -124° 30′ 7.164″) (17ft.) (ended 6.40)

Trail Split #1: 42.90354N / -124.50428W (42° 54′ 12.7434″ / -124° 30′ 15.4074″) (3ft.) (0.1; returned to split 6.26)

The waterfall at the southern end of Floras Lake Beach, Oregon

The waterfall at the southern end of Floras Lake Beach

Trail Meets Beach: 42.90536N / -124.50735W (42° 54′ 19.296″ / -124° 30′ 26.46″) (21ft.) (0.34)

Trail up (where we spent 30 minutes walking around in circles): 42.88931N / -124.51807W (42° 53′ 21.516″ / -124° 31′ 5.0514″) (13ft.) (2.01)

Sea Arch: 42.88706N / -124.51985W (42° 53′ 13.4154″ / -124° 31′ 11.46″) (10ft.) (2.3)

Looking back toward Floras Lake Beach from part way around the headland, Oregon

Looking back toward Floras Lake Beach from part way around the headland

Waterfall: 42.87960N / -124.52711W (42° 52′ 46.56″ / -124° 31′ 37.5954″) (-2ft.) (arrived 3.0; left 3.8)

Trail back: 42.89638N / -124.51343W (42° 53′ 46.968″ / -124° 30′ 48.3474″) (29ft.) (3.89)

Cliffs along Floras Lake Beach, Oregon

Cliffs along the beach

The gpx file for Floras Lake Beach can be downloaded – please note that this and the GPS Coordinates are for reference only and should not be used as a sole resource when hiking this trail.

Download GPX File size: 145.3 KB Downloaded 12 times

(Note: I do my best to ensure that all downloads, the webpage, etc. are virus-free and accurate; however, I cannot be held responsible for any damage that might result, including but not limited to loss of data, damages to hardware, harm to users, from use of files, information, etc. from this website.  Thanks!)

Odd rocks around the headland from the southern end of Floras Lake Beach, Oregon

Odd rocks around the headland from the southern end of Floras Lake Beach

Getting to Floras Lake Beach

From the South in Gold Beach, OR, head north on US-101N 39.0 miles.  Turn left onto Floras Lake Loop (OR-130) for 0.9 miles, then turn left onto Floras Lake Road (OR-136) for 1.4 miles.  Continue left to stay on Floras Lake Road 450ft., then take a quick right onto Boice Cope Lane for 0.3 miles.  Continue straight to descend to the parking area near the bridge and boat ramp.

A great picture of Floras Lake Beach Arch by one of my group members (Oregon)

A great picture of the arch by one of my group members

From the North in Coos Bay, OR, drive south on US-101S 37.8 miles.  Turn right onto Floras Lake Loop for 1.1 miles, then turn right onto Floras Lake Road.  After 1.4 miles, continue left to stay on Floras Lake Road 450ft., then take a quick right onto Boice Cope Lane for 0.3 miles.  Continue straight to descend to the parking area near the bridge and boat ramp.

Visual trail map of my trek down Floras Lake Beach, Oregon

Visual trail map of my trek down Floras Lake Beach

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Sat May 27

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