Locals call this beach the “shape shifting beach” because it changes from day to day depending on the weather. Sometimes the creek is narrow or wide and sometimes it enters the ocean on the right side of the large rock formation or on the left. We got up early and headed over when this state park opened at 9:00 a.m.
We parked in the parking lot east of Highway 101. We enjoyed a lovely stroll through the forest with its wooden foot bridges under the Sitka spruces, western hemlocks, short pines and alder trees. We followed Fogarty Creek through a tunnel under the highway and came out the this gorgeous bay.
Hiking and Climbing on the Rock Formations
The kids had a lot of fun climbing on the rocks and watching the waves crashing over them.
Beachcombing and Putting Our Feet in the Ocean
They also loved putting their toes in the sand and running and jumping over the waves. We also saw a bald eagle fly over head and soar above the water. Locals say it is not uncommon to find eagles, cormorants, and black oyster-catchers at the beach.
General Information and Hours of Operation
Fogarty Creek is a state park and is available to explore between the hours of 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The area is used for picnicking, hiking, shell/agate hunting, swimming, and bird watching. It is only a day use area and camping is not allowed. The creek that flows into the ocean was named Salmon Creek by the early settlers, however it was changed one Sunday in the year 1903.
History of Fogarty Creek State Recreation Area
According to the Pioneer History of North Lincoln County, Volume 1 by Earl Nelson, Mr. Fogarty came to the area on a Sunday to look over a possible site for a bridge across the creek. He was still wearing his best suit and tie. He lost his footing and fell into the creek. When he came out dripping wet, the locals were shocked and some laughed at the county commissioner’s misfortune. The story spread like wildfire and soon everyone was calling the creek “Fogarty Creek” in honor of Mr. Fogarty’s unscheduled swim. (The photo and story are courtesy of the North Lincoln County Historical Museum‘s. Check out their Facebook page for more entertaining stories about the area.)