Oregon is one of the most beautiful states I have had the pleasure of traveling to. From its picturesque mountains to the gorgeous beaches along the Pacific coast, Oregon has something to offer everyone. Oregon’s history is extensive, from Native Americans to early European settlers to gold, this region has a rich past and many opportunities for metal detectorists.
Oregon is known for the fabled Phoenix Buttons. These are small brass buttons produced in Europe for use on army uniforms of King Christophe of Haiti. They never made it to Haiti and ended up around the Puget Sound and Columbia River. These buttons are smaller than a quarter and were used to trade with the Native population of Oregon for furs and other necessary items. Oregon is full of amazing treasures just like this waiting to be found by metal detectorists!
1. Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach was named one of the 100 most beautiful places by National Geographic. The sandy beach is topped by Haystack Rock, an iconic Oregon image. The coastline is breathtaking and natural beauty blends seamlessly with the seaside village giving you the best the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Cannon Beach is just a 90-minute drive from Portland.
Cannon Beach is almost four miles of picturesque sand along the Pacific Ocean, extending from Chapman Point in the north to Silver Point in the south. The beach has plenty of access points, a flourishing ecosystem, and bird watching, and is close to several other beach areas and Ecola State Park.
Where to Metal Detect on Cannon Beach
The wet and dry sandy areas are the perfect places to metal detect on Cannon Beach. Sand is a great holder of treasure. When something hits the sand, it tends to sink relatively quickly. This beach is a popular area, and anywhere people congregate you have a good chance of finding lost items with your metal detector.
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2. Neahkahnie Beach
Neahkahnie Beach holds something special along the Oregon Coast. Twice a day, during low tide, the rocks of the beach are revealed right on the edge of the forested, lush mountainside of Neahkahnie Mountain. This is a small unincorporated community in Tillamook County, near the city of Manzanita.
Metal Detecting Tip: Some metal detectors will struggle when detecting on saltwater beaches. Consider investing in a detector that is built for use on saltwater beaches if you plan to detect along the Oregon Coast regularly. Salt is naturally conductive, and most detectors will give false readings in wet salt environments. Pulse induction metal detectors or metal detectors with specific beach settings on them will give you a better chance of finding treasure on saltwater beaches. Learn more here 👉 https://undercoil.com/beach-detectors/
Legend holds that during the mid-1800s, Spanish sailors lost treasure in this area. While you may not find a burgeoning treasure chest lying on the beach, you may find relics washed ashore from shipwrecks!
Where to Metal Detect on Neahkahnie Beach
The best place to metal detect on this beach is during low tide. The rocks do present some problems, so ensure you have the proper search coil cover to protect your coil from damage. The area is known for shipwreck relics and the potential for lost and dropped treasure. Comb the area of sandy areas above the rocks, and the sands between the rocks for the best chances to find loot!
3. Manhattan Beach State Recreation Site
Manhattan Beach State Recreation Site is open for day use year-round. It is located just off Highway 101 north of Rockaway. The site features picnic areas, restrooms, and beach access. The property was once the site of Publisher’s Paper Company until it was obtained by the State of Oregon in 1970 and turned into a recreation site.
Manhattan Beach is one of the quieter State Recreation Sites in Oregon, so you can take in the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and Oregon’s picturesque beauty in peace. You can see Cape Falcon to the north and Three Arch Rocks to the south.
Where to Metal Detect in Manhattan Beach State Recreation Site
In Oregon State Parks, you can metal detect in certain areas. In this case, you can detect on the beach from the vegetation line seaward. So, stick to the sandy areas, as you would with any beach. This is where most people recreate and where you are most likely to find lost items like coins and jewelry.
4. Agate Beach State Recreation Site
Agate Beach Recreation Site is near Newport and open year-round. This area is perfect for razor clamming and surfing. The Oregon Coast Aquarium and Hatfield Marine Science Center are nearby so you can make the most of your Oregon Coast trip.
Agate Beach is between the new and old Highway 101 and is accessible via a tunnel under old Highway 101. This takes you to a large sandy beach perfect for metal detecting. This beach is famous for agates, hence the name, but it is populated so do not discount it!
Where to Metal Detect in Agate Beach State Recreation Site
As with most Oregon Recreation Sites, you will be restricted to the sandy portions of the Recreation Site. Which is perfect for metal detecting anyway! These areas are popular with tourists and locals digging for agates and razor clams, so you have a fantastic chance to find some dropped items like jewelry and coins.
Metal Detecting Tip: When detecting on Oregon’s beaches, try using a sand scoop instead of a shovel. These are designed for use in beach environments. They are basically basket scoops with holes so you can scoop sand, which then filters out of one of the dozens of holes, leaving behind the treasures. It is frustrating to dig in the sand with regular digging tools, so consider a sand scoop! Learn more here 👉 Digging Tools Finding the Best
5. Lost Creek State Recreation Site
Lost Creek State Recreation Site is located near Newport. This area is perfect for picnics, fishing, whale watching, and of course, metal detecting! Enjoy enchanting views of the Oregon coast and the Pacific Ocean while you search for treasure.
Here’s a google map link to Lost Creek State Recreation 👉 Here’s a google map link to Wakonda Beach 👉 MAP HERE
Try metal detecting in the sandy areas between the surf and the vegetation line. Look for areas where people have walked, trails, and near the surf line. These areas are all wonderful places for lost loot to collect.
7. Lone Ranch Beach
Lone Ranch Beach is near Brookings. This area of the Oregon Coast has more offshore rock piles than most places on the Pacific Coast. They offer a beautiful contrast to the typical flatness of the ocean. There are areas for picnics with fire rings, paved trails, and handicap access. Tide pools are full of crabs, starfish, and anemones.
Here’s a google map link to Lone Ranch Beach 👉 MAP HERE
The sandy areas of Lone Ranch Beach are perfect for detecting. Grab your sand scoop and detector and scan the areas where people walk and sit for a chance to find lost coins and jewelry.
Metal Detecting Laws for Oregon
As with all states, Oregon metal detecting is regulated by the Archaeological Resources Protection Act. This is a federal level law built to preserve America’s heritage by preserving historical and cultural artifacts. Per this Act, no manmade item over 100-years old may be removed from public property.
City parks will have their own set of rules and regulations. It is especially important that you check with each city and county prior to metal detecting. The laws will vary from city to city and county to county. Some may require a permit; some may forbid metal detecting altogether.
Metal Detecting Tip: I love it when a State is open about the rules for metal detecting at a State Park. Visit Oregon State Parks website with this shortcut link to learn more 👉 Where to Metal Detect at Oregon State Parks
If you wish to metal detect on private property in Oregon, obtain written permission from the landowner prior to detecting. Written permission keeps you safer than oral permission. Ensure you decide along with the landowner what will happen to any items you find while detecting and include this in the written permission.
Many beaches in Oregon allow metal detecting in the sandy areas from the vegetation line seaward with no permit. Again, check with the specific city or county the beach lies in prior to metal detecting to ensure you stay within the law.
Metal detecting in Oregon State Parks is allowed in specific areas with no permit. Dozens of state parks allow metal detecting, most in designated areas. Check the out Oregon Ordinance OAR 736-010 about metal detecting HERE.
Metal Detecting Clubs in Oregon
- Coil & Diggers Club of Lane County is a great metal detecting club open to anyone interested in metal detecting. They hold monthly meetings and have members in several cities. Learn more here http://www.cdclc.org/
- Oregon Treasure Trail Society is a Portland-based detectorist club started in 1982. They hold regular meetings and have monthly activities. Read more about them here https://ottsclub.org/
- Eastern Oregon Miners & Prospectors is a gold metal detecting club that has regular meetings and activities. Learn more here https://eomp.org/wordpress/
Metal Detecting Treasures Found in Oregon
Richard Mulcahy, a Nehalem resident retired from teaching after 31 years at Neahkahinie High School. He got his first metal detector in 1997. He learned that after the winter storm he could find more items on Oregon’s beaches. Mulcahy not only reunites owners with their lost items now but has even found an 18-karat gold dental crown on the beach.
His wish list items include Spanish shipwreck coins or New England colonial coins from the 1600s, which are not normally found on the Oregon Coast. A guy can dream, though! Read more about Mulcahy’s adventures here http://exploremanzanita.com/nehalems-metal-man-shows-all-is-not-lost/
Metal Detecting Resources in Oregon
- MDHTALK is a great resource for information about metal detecting in Oregon. This site features laws, regulations, clubs, and more. Check them out here https://www.mdhtalk.org/cf/city-regulation.cfm?st=OR
Metal Detector Stores in Oregon for Expert Advice
- Belda’s Metal Detectors, Gold & Treasures Supplies https://www.yelp.com/biz/beldas-metal-detectors-gold-and-treasure-supplies-portland
- Oregon Metal Detector Sales https://oregonmds.com/
- Northwest Detector Sales https://nwdetectors.com/
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David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.