Matt & Megan
Nude Beach Map. Visited 2023
We visited Collins Beach on a busy summer weekend during a heatwave, and it truly lived up to expectations. While some river or lake nude beaches can be hit or miss, this beach is a flawless embodiment of all that makes Portland great. Nestled along the Columbia River, it resembles more of a tropical island getaway than a mere one-mile stretch of sand. Without a doubt, Collins Beach stands as one of the finest nude destinations in the Pacific Northwest.
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The sandy shores wind gracefully along the Columbia River, and the designated nude section encompasses a picturesque one-mile stretch bordered by trees. We encountered a diverse crowd, including families, individuals, and large groups, most of whom embraced the clothing-optional ethos. Our canine companion joined us, and we found a perfect spot with partial shade to escape the scorching sun. Off-leash dogs are a common sight here, despite the leash requirement, but it’s wise to assess the situation and be respectful of both fellow beachgoers and their four-legged friends.
While parking is plentiful here you’ll need to purchase a $10 day permit before you arrive from a business on Sauvie Island. We saw all the signs indicating this but weren’t sure if it was meant for people heading to the beach – so we didn’t get a permit. Luckily we also didn’t get our car towed because you definitely need one and they are vicious enforcing the laws around here. There are also many signs informing you that Sauvie Island is alcohol free – a law which was introduced due to the uptick in DUIs and behavour related to alcohol not so long ago. We didn’t bring any booze but we did see people with discreet cans of mixed booze beverages. Remember, fines for violating this policy are substantial, and law enforcement regularly patrols the area. Read more about Sauvie Island here if you want.
Despite efforts to curb the party atmosphere, Collins Beach maintains its laid-back charm, welcoming everyone with open arms. Shy couples soon shed their inhibitions upon arrival, reflecting the beach’s calming and accepting ambiance. Additionally, the water’s warmth surpasses that of nearby ocean beaches, and there are minimal weeds obstructing entry—truly a paradise. Locals did mention that mosquitoes can be a pain during certain times of the year after heavy rain, so bring bug spray if need be.
According to the reddit subgroup online the general layout of the beach can be described as below. However we were inside from Gate 6 and the crowd was very mixed, including families.
Gate 1: The only clothed portion of the beach.
Gate 2: Large areas of sand (going further back from the water), often more families and younger people. Lots of space to spread out.
Gate 3-4: Less sand, but more trees with shade lining the back of the beach.
Gate 5: Boaters, regulars, often older crowd, tends to be more social.
Gate 6: Area with more trees/bushes breaking up the beach. Typically more gay guys/LGBTQ in general, but this may vary.
Collins Beach is highly recommended and a true nude beach destination. Unlike nearby Rooster Rock Nude Beach you won’t find bathrooms in immaculate condition here or a long stretch of isolated sandy shores. Both beaches are similar but also completely different. Rooster Rock offers more options to escape the crowds but at the expense of a much further walk. Wherever you decide to visit in Portland you’ll be welcomed and respected sans clothing. Enjoy!
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Collins Beach is about a 40 minute drive from downtown Portland. It might sound like a long journey but the scenic drive through Sauvie Island is worth it alone - you'll pass by lots of farms, pumpkin patches and local produce stalls (a great to pickup lunch if you need). The first section of the beach is reserved for textiles and depending on the wind you might see lots of paragliders.
By Car: The beach is barely a five minute walk from the car park. Make sure you have a parking permit to avoid the hefty fine or find that your car has been towed away. Ouch. You can pick this up from most businesses on Sauvie Island for $10 per day or $30 for the year. There is plenty of parking on the one mile stretch of the nude beach. The signs specifically state 'Collins Beach Clothing Optional', once you reach these signs you're in the right place. The section furthest away from the textile beach tends to attract the most people.
By Public Transportation: There aren't many options for this unfortunately. You could take an Uber here for around $80 return or alternatively catch the Route 16 bus from downtown Portland but this only gets you to the start of Sauvie Island - the beach is a long walk from here.