China Beach is a long and open beach found within the otherwise rugged Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. It is also perhaps the least visited. Here large cliffs topped with trees tower over the wide beach for much of its length. Off shore a number of sea stacks jut out of ocean, many of them resembling razor sharp teeth made of rock. The length of the beach and the lack of visitors make this an awesome place to comb the beaches for driftwood, shells, and other items. To observe the beach from one of the nearby cliffs, take the short walk to North Island Viewpoint.
In order to enjoy the beauty and the solitude of this beach, adventurers will have to hike 1.2 miles round trip and gain a net elevation of 500 feet (mostly on the return). The trail begins at the sign for North Island Trail Viewpoint and first descends slightly through an eerie and bare forest. Soon the vegetation around the trail becomes more lush, with tall ferns overhanging the trail. Halfway there, the trail takes a turn left and descends. Very near the end the trail opens up from the overhanging trees and the ocean is in plain view. A few hundred more feet and you will be enjoying the soft sand of China Beach.
China Beach is also accessed from any other location which the Oregon Coast Trail passes through, since this trail lies along the beach. The shortest and easiest access point, however, is the North Island Trail Viewpoint. Access to China Beach in the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor is made possible due to efforts made during the 1930s when the Oregon Coast Highway was completed. Long before this, however, Native Americans carved trails along the coast in order to trade and hunt. Following them were settlers and fortune seekers who walked some of the same beaten paths. It wasn't until the 1980s that the official Oregon Coast Trail was completed, allowing modern adventurers to follow the entire Oregon coast on foot.