North of Portland lies the woodsy beaches of Sauvie Island, where no one will judge you for blushing after stumbling upon an uninhibited section of Collins Beach, the island's nude beach. Rest assured the occurrence is common, but not necessary, if you know what to expect. With varying degrees of accessibility, Sauvie Island's five beaches offer visitors a chance to embrace warm, sunny days on the Columbia River.
Only one, two-lane bridge provides access to the island's beaches. To get there from Portland, take Highway 30 to Sauvie Island Bridge. Once on the island, head to the Cracker Barrel Store on NW Sauvie Island Road. At the store, purchase a parking permit to park legally at the beaches. Continue down NW Sauvie Island Road for approximately 1.7 miles; you'll pass old farms with U-pick fruit fields along the way. Take a right onto Reeder Road and stay on it for approximately 4.7 miles. The first beach, Reeder Beach, is open to RV park tenants only. Next is Walton Beach, a clothed beach. Once the pavement ends you've crossed county lines and entered the parking area for Sauvie's nude beaches.
Sauvie Island's gritty, river beaches are used primarily for sunbathing and swimming. There are no lifeguards, equipment rentals or shops on Sauvie's beaches. Beach-goers usually bring their own chairs, fishing poles and sporting equipment. The clothing-optional section of Collins Beach attracts beach-goers interested in nude sunbathing. For swimming, the sometimes abrupt drop-offs make flotation devices necessary for children and novice swimmers.
Few restaurants can be found on the island, let alone near any of the beaches. Pack a cooler with snacks or plan a picnic. The same holds true concerning restrooms availability; there are only a few private bathrooms on the island and no available restroom facilities on any of the beaches.
State law strictly prohibits the consumption of any alcohol on Sauvie Island beaches. Bonfires and overnight camping are illegal as well. Because of this, beach-goers thin out by dusk. Also, littering is against the rules. Bring your own garbage bag and take your trash with you when you leave the island. Dogs are welcome to join your trip to the beach, but only permitted on leashes.