More Unusual Beach Access on Central Oregon Coast
(Yachats, Oregon) – First it was spots up around Cannon Beach and Oceanside showing extremely rare easy access to rocky landmarks over the summer. Now, the fun has been continuing on the central coast, where high sand levels are letting you see incredibly rare sights around Depoe Bay, Yachats and down closer to Florence. (Above: looking into a spouting horn at Yachats)
Every summer, sand levels rise because of the calmer actions of the waves. But lately, sand levels have gotten so high in some areas that nearly unprecedented access is granted to rocky spots that are normally way too dangerous to even go near. Among the more spectacular examples have included Arch Cape and Arcadia Beach near Cannon Beach, Oceanside's Maxwell Point – and even the Devil's Punchbowl near Depoe Bay has some fairly easy access to its wild and wooly insides at times.
Normally, these areas are only accessible during extremely low tide events. But if sand levels pile up enough, they act as a kind of sand bar. So again – like a year ago in 2011 – the Devil's Punchbowl will actually let you get inside it.
This is incredibly rare, like those beaches at Oceanside and near Cannon Beach. These conditions have also lasted an unusually large amount of time, with some having been this way since July. They are starting to return to normal rather quickly, and it is possible that by the time you read this most of these spots have succumbed to a more normal state.
Other beaches showing off incredible access lately include parts of Yachats, where the chasms and cracks that create those famed spouting horns along the 804 Trail are actually empty of ocean water. You can see clearly into them.
You cannot venture down there, however. It is still too dangerous for that.
Northern end of the 804 Trail, Yachats
At the very northern end of the 804 Trail, where the rocky landscape typical of Yachats meets the sandy stretches north of town, sandbar-like conditions have pushed the tide so far out it is easy to walk around the point – which is usually covered by water most of the year.
This area, however, gets opened a bit more frequently than those locales at Arch Cape, Cannon Beach or the Devil's Punchbowl. But it is still a treat for beachcombers.
Above: Neptune State Park
A bit more dramatic are the changes several miles south of Yachats at Neptune State Park, where the tide line has been pushed out considerably, sometimes as much as 100 feet farther out than normal.
It's important to remember beach safety when checking out these areas, as tides can make a difference and still hurt you. Also, sand conditions can and will change abruptly. Keith Chandler, manager of Seaside Aquarium, notes that he's seen sand levels rise or drop as much as ten feet in a few hours on some beaches, depending on conditions.
For places to stay and lodging on the Oregon coast, see farther down.
Inside a spouting horn at Yachats
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