Matt & Megan
Nude Beach Map. Visited 2023
We headed out to Rooster Rock Nude Beach on a scorching summer day and the experience was absolutely fantastic. Being the first ever legal nude beach in the US, it was no surprise why this spot was chosen – the view of the neighboring canyons is simply breathtaking. With numerous nude beaches scattered across the Pacific Northwest, we can confidently say that Rooster Rock stands out as one of the best.
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Despite our early 9 am arrival, the place was already bustling. It was interesting to see families strolling down the trail to the nude beach – at first, we thought they might be lost. But that’s the vibe here – all are welcome. Rooster Rock attracts a diverse crowd, spanning from young to old. It’s a genuine atmosphere, offering ample space to find your perfect spot along the river or on the island. Unlike nearby Collins Beach, there’s a certain exclusivity to this place, and the restrooms and showers are kept impeccably clean, making the $5 entry fee for Oregon State Parks a reasonable deal.
Navigating the trail network to the nude beach can be a bit perplexing. The main trail branches off into smaller trails without clear signage. We took the left trail, which led straight to the river shoreline. It had a family-friendly ambiance and was the most accessible point to reach the beach. Although it had a somewhat swampy feel, the beauty was undeniable. Many continued to the right, crossing the sandbar to the aptly named Sand Island. This sandy stretch stole the show, drawing the majority of visitors. Regrettably, time didn’t permit us to make it to the island. Keep in mind, reaching the island involves wading through water, which adds about 10 extra minutes to the journey.
We were told that things could get a bit livelier as you move further to the right on the beach. However, during our visit, everything remained calm and well-mannered. Perhaps the vibe shifts in the late afternoon? We noticed some folks setting up picnics in the midst of the mangrove trees, but it all seemed to be in good spirit. Rooster Rock definitely ranks as one of the most laid-back beaches we’ve ever encountered. The friendliness was palpable, and the atmosphere never felt overcrowded.
Due to the gorges, the river can sometimes flood, causing issues. During our visit, it was incredibly serene, and the freshwater was clear as day, offering a warmer alternative to the ocean. Plus, there’s hardly any seagrass, which means no need for water shoes or trudging through muddy patches – a definite plus. The shoreline caters perfectly to dogs, even though the rule says they should be leashed. Plenty of canines roamed freely, including ours, who enjoyed chasing the ball without bothering anyone. The only downside is that the water can be shallow in parts, requiring a decent walk into the river to reach the deeper spots.
Overall, our time at Rooster Rock Nude Beach was a delight, and we’re already looking forward to returning – maybe to finally hike over to the alluring Sand Island. If you find yourself in Oregon, a visit here is highly recommended. Just remember to pack your own snacks, food, and drinks since there aren’t any nearby options. Also, unlike Collins Beach, booze is permitted here, making for a more relaxed experience.
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When you arrive, aim for the right-side parking – that's where you want to be. To hit the nude beach scene, follow the trail past the restrooms and you’ll find yourself in a web of trails. It might seem like a puzzle, but here’s the scoop – on this side of the beach, it’s all about the au naturel vibes. So, feel free to shed those layers wherever you feel. Hang a left on the trail, and you’ll hit the riverside. Stroll along the shoreline to the right from there.
Now, most folks usually trace the river, hop the sandbar, and land on Sand Island. That’s where the beach action amps up with soft sands and a secluded feel. The river’s edge might be a tad marshy, but it’s accessible and offers some stunning scenery. Rumor has it that the LGBTQ+ crew often hangs on the far-right riverside, but hey, all are welcome no matter where you decide to kick back. And the island jaunt takes roughly 15 minutes.
If the trail tangle has you baffled, just tag along with the locals and ask for pointers. Keep in mind, though, river water levels can be unpredictable, and the current’s no joke. So, if things are a bit wild with water or flooding, certain parts might not be the best call – including the island adventure. It’s always better to play it safe and stick to the mainland. Safety’s key!
By Car: Rooster Rock Nude Beach is east on I-84 about 30-50 minutes from downtown Portland depending on the traffic. Entry is $5 per day or you can purchase an Oregon State Park pass for multi visits. There are no public transportation options to get here apart from a very expensive Uber ride.