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Above the Oregon Coast: Oceanside, On the Three Capes Loop
Three Capes Loop Virtual Tour, Oregon Coast: Oceanside, Netarts, Tierra Del Mar, Pacific City

Published 05/25/2011

(Oceanside, Oregon) – Some of the most astounding viewpoints you'll ever encounter along the Oregon coast come from a place you'll likely never see, except in pictures. It's extremely hard to find – even if you’ve been there before.

Above Oceanside sits a secretive bluff where hang gliders launch from, and periodically the stray visitor who somehow got lost while exploring gets mowed over by the visual whiz-bang of the whole scene.

From here, gargantuan Three Arch Rocks are not so large and looming as they were down below. Not to mention, they have suddenly appeared to shift configuration: you’re able to see them from above and at such an angle that their actual shape becomes more obvious. If you’re armed with the right equipment, you can zoom in on the features of the Three Arch Rocks, and you’ll notice interesting new facets of these landmarks, like there’s a massive lawn-like patch of green covering one section of one of the sea stacks.

You’re over 1,000 feet above the sea at this point and everything is seen from a new vantage point.

Stare down at the beach below, especially on a crowded day like this, and it’s like being in an airplane. People are tiny ants. Cars are slightly bigger ants in a diminutive parking lot. You’re on top of the world – almost literally.

A fairly large chunk of the Oregon coast is viewable in one gulp here.

You can see two of the Three Capes easily. Cape Lookout stands clear and proud to the south (somewhere beyond that is Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City). To the north, Cape Meares juts out with its lighthouse. At some spots from here, and given the right conditions, you may sometimes catch glimpses of Neahkahnie Mountain some 40 miles to the north, where Manzanita sits. Beyond that, Cannon Beach sits just out of sight, and beyond that Seaside, Gearhart and Astoria.

Then, as if all this wasn’t pleasant and engaging enough, someone planted this lovely little object at a spot facing the mysterious Short Beach between here and Cape Meares: a bench with the inscription “enjoy” on it.

Enjoy, indeed. How could you not do so?