Oswald West State Park

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Oswald West State Park
Oswald west state park beach from cape falcon P2467.jpeg
The sand beach at Oswald West State Park's Smuggler Cove; more than 50 surfers are visible (at full image resolution)
Oswald West State Park is located in Oregon
Oswald West State Park
Type Public, state
Location Tillamook County, Oregon
Nearest city Manzanita
Coordinates 45°46′11″N 123°57′35″W / 45.7698288°N 123.9598595°W / 45.7698288; -123.9598595Coordinates: 45°46′11″N 123°57′35″W / 45.7698288°N 123.9598595°W / 45.7698288; -123.9598595[1]
Area 2,448 acres (9.91 km2)
Operated by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

Oswald West State Park is part of the state park system of the U.S. state of Oregon. It is located about 10 miles (16 km) south of the city of Cannon Beach, on the Pacific Ocean. Oswald West has unique walk-in access, with wheelbarrows provided by the parks system for transporting gear from the parking area to the 30 primitive camping sites, which are one third of a mile from the ocean. The campsites are situated in stands of old growth Sitka Spruce. The park covers 2,448 acres (9.91 km2), with many miles of hiking trails both inside the park grounds and linking to other parks and landmarks beyond.

The state park also contains Neahkahnie Mountain, Short Sand Beach, Short Sand Creek, Necarney Creek, Cape Falcon, Smugglers Cove and the Oregon Coast Trail. The cove is a popular surf destination and is known as "Short Sands".[2] Urban legend claims pirate treasure is buried near Smugglers Cove but has never been found.


The park was named after Oswald West, the 14th Governor of Oregon and the man who led preserving Oregon's beaches for public use. A memorial marker for Matt Kramer, a journalist whose articles helped shift public opinion to preserve the beaches, sits at the trail divide between Short Sands beach and Cape Falcon.


Oswald West is currently a day-use area only, though the park has 30 walk-in tent sites with picnic tables, fire rings, water, and flush toilets nearby, located 0.25 miles (0.40 km) from the parking lot between the Short Sand Creek and the Necarney Creek.[3] The campsite is surrounded by giant old-growth Sitka spruce, Douglas-fir, western hemlock and western red cedar,[4] as well as smaller brush including red huckleberry, salmonberry and salal bushes.[3]

During the Summer of 2008, a large Sitka Spruce fell with no warning in the campground. The state immediately conducted a survey of other trees in the park and determined there were several other trees that could fall at any moment. Subsequently, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department decided to close the campgrounds indefinitely citing public safety.[5] Although camping is currently not permitted, the park is still open with full access.[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Oswald West State Park". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Short Sands". wannaSurg. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Bannan, Jan Gumprecht (2002). Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide (2nd ed.). Seattle: Mountaineers Books. p. 105. ISBN 0-89886-794-0. 
  4. ^ "Oswald West State Park" (brochure). Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Archived from the original on March 22, 2007. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Camping or Trees?". Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Retrieved September 11, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Oswald West State Park". State Parks. Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Arpril 4, 2009. Retrieved September 11, 2009. 

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