Two Astounding Rarities in the Depoe Bay Area of Central Oregon Coast
Published 08/13/2016 at 5:41 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Depoe Bay, Oregon) – There are always bundles of beachy surprises around the Depoe Bay area of the central Oregon coast. Things you can't see anywhere else. To properly explore the many hidden spots and features of the two or three miles north or south of town would take you more than a couple of days. (Above: inside the Devil's Punchbowl).
It's full of rare sights in various ways as well. One sits at the northern edge of town and provides a boatload of intense wonders. The other lies a bit south of town and only happens under certain conditions.
A stunning secret spot that's hiding in plain sight, Depoe Bay's North Point area is an amazing array of finds and funky features.
Keep an eye out for Vista St. along the northern part of Depoe Bay, and follow that to this hidden entrance to that intriguing little headland you see while at the sea wall or while whale watching. Here, a long stretch of basalt cliffs are the attraction - some parts are smooth with odd patterns, while the rest is mostly craggy, pointy structures.
The northern end contains a strange, railroad-like shape, with incredible views of some wild coves. Other areas seem to form natural seats, perfect for sitting and viewing the crazed tide. There's a spot that's sunken and slightly flat, like the remnants of a basement - and a stairway-like structure formed naturally - rather ironic and miraculous.
Walk just a little bit and it won't take long to notice you can often feel the tide shake and rattle these rocks ever so slightly. Meander to the south and the rocks take on a smoother and more colorful texture, with a long arm-sort-of-rock structure stretching out into the sea. Often, fishermen can be seen on these rocky shelves so close to the ocean.
Be considerate while parking here as there are not many spots and it's a neighborhood full of private homes.
From here, you can glimpse a different view of Depoe Bay and see what it looks like from the front.
A few miles south of Depoe Bay, you'll encounter the tiny village of Otter Rock and the ever-intriguing Devil's Punchbowl, formed by an old sea cave where the top fell in. During stormier days, this wacked-out feature is filled with swirling oceanic madness. On calmer days, it's a big hole where the tide occasionally peeps into.
Did you know you can sometimes get inside the Devil's Punchbowl?
It's rare, but it's one of the more unforgettable experiences you can have on the entire Oregon coast. Sometimes the tide is low enough to actually walk inside the structure. In these resplendent moments, you can wander over the wave-polished boulders and examine the walls scoured and torn by the tide, and the weird colors that have been uncovered here.
This is not something you can even attempt unless you see the tide is completely clear of the Punchbowl, and luckily the water levels between the marine gardens entrance and the Punchbowl itself usually make that impossible in the first place.
The good news is that summer sand levels have a tendency to get higher in recent years along the Oregon coast, and thus keep the tide pushed back. It creates a kind of faux low tide event. This, given the right low tide conditions, can allow you entrance to the Punchbowl at times.
If you see any ocean waves wandering in that area near the Punchbowl's opening, stay clear of it. If you're inside the structure and the tide begins coming in, get out quickly. Where to stay in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours
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