Winema, meaning “Woman Chief” in the Native American language of Modoc, is a lightly used beach access off of Highway 101 just north of Neskowin. There are no clues to its location from Highway 101. The access road is marked by name only, which helps to keep the area less known. Parking is somewhat limited, and there are no facilities.
The walk to the beach from the parking area is short and practically flat. The area near the access is a great place for families and relaxing. The beach is wide and sandy with few rocks or detritus, and the slope to the ocean is very mild.
To the north there is a large rock formation on the beach as well as a small cave and seasonal streams cascading down the cliffs. Views extend to Haystack Rock in Pacific City. An easy 1-mile stroll brings you to the mouth of the Nestucca River. Here you can take in the views and watch for harbor seals and bald eagles. The seals will often stretch out on the beach across the river in small groups. Don’t see any seals relaxing? Watch the river mouth. The curious seals will often approach the river bank and pop their heads out of the water to check on you. Keep an eye on the cliffs for bald eagles. They sometimes perch on the windblown trees to scan the river. Beware of the tide when heading north! A high tide can cover the beach up to the cliffs in some areas, especially in the winter.
To the south the beach is open and somewhat unremarkable all the way to Neskowin regardless of the tide. A seasonal stream exits from private Daley Lake and carves its way into the ocean about a half a mile from the access. Although the stream is quite shallow as it nears the ocean, it can be fairly wide. In the winter months you may get your feet wet if you decide to attempt a crossing.
Please do not park in the Wi-Ne-Ma Christian Camp or in the privately owned property to the north. Both are marked, and the public parking area is well defined. In case of emergency, Winema is at beach location #38.