Covering 180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats & Florence.
Three Bizarre Beaches of the Oregon Coast
(Oregon Coast) – One cloisters Oregon's strangest and most clandestine tourist attraction: the year-round "ghost forest." The other two sit almost completely hidden from everyone except serious beachgoers: one with its wild, dangerous cliffs and strange fauna; the other barren of people almost all the time.
They all hover in and around Lincoln City, within 30 miles of it on either side. And they are spectacular and downright odd in many ways. Here, you'll find yourself alone to explore the unusual nooks and crannies each provides, as well as views of the coast you can’t find anywhere else.
Between Newport and Depoe Bay, around the roads traipsing through Cape Foulweather and Otter Rock, there are the wild and wondrous secret cliffs lying just off Otter Crest Loop (the entrance of which is a ways south of Depoe Bay). You'll have to enter at this southern end, because it's a one-way going south. Along the way, you'll catch sight of magnificent cliffs and steep, grassy slopes which dump right into the sea.
There are two main entrances to this set of cliffs, both of which are where the road turns into a one-way. The easier gateway, just beneath a gravel parking area, is still a fairly steep trail that meanders into a brief, dark forest - where occasionally you'll find large, freaky mushrooms growing, often in whimsical colors.
Soon, you emerge onto this whole expansive little world all its own, with incredible vistas of the ocean before you and basalt cliffs that sometimes form natural seats from which to watch the crazed oceanic show.
A trail allows you to walk along one grassy slope to the next cliff.
Be warned about this area, however: there are sometimes patches of poison oak lurking here, which will definitely put a damper on your coast trip memories. Also stay clear of the cliff edges, which are sheer and deadly without mercy.
Still, it is one of the more breathtaking and rugged spots on all of Oregon's coastline.
Two magical beaches lay within three miles of each other, both between Lincoln City and Pacific City.
North of Lincoln City, Neskowin is the quiet little resort that's constantly threatening to explode into something much bigger.
Hit the beach and you'll usually find loads of people milling about. But cross the creek, walk towards mysterious Proposal Rock, and the population density gets less. You can actually walk around on top of the rock and check out the views from the top (although be extremely cautious of the tide so as not to get stuck.)
Walk further beyond the rock and you'll definitely be more alone. Along the way, note the stumps at the tide line: 4000-or-so-year-old remnants of something rather extraordinary. Somewhere in the last few thousand years, an entire forest was slowly gulped up by sand and sediment, over perhaps a few decades. The result was the salt water preserved them instead of allowing them to decay in normal ways.
It’s called a “ghost forest” for its mysterious, eerie appearance, and the fact it is a ghost of itself. This particular ghost forest – and others do appear elsewhere on the coast during winter low sand events – is being slowly being uncovered by the sand that once preserved it. It’s actually in a bit of danger, as this section of beach doesn’t seem to replenish the sand levels as well as it used to after the winter storms finish scouring them. In winter of 2008, some of the odd stumps were getting torn out and cast further up north, in hundreds of sad, little, ancient pieces.
At Winema Beach, it's hard to get more hidden than this. Just a few miles north of Neskowin, a small unassuming sign declares Winema Road. Follow that to the bottom and a tract of sandy beach that nearly no one knows about. There's another blob of a rock structure that looks a bit like Neskowin's Proposal Rock, which features a flat stretch at the top that's perfect for lounging.
Other interesting shapes and crevices present themselves as you walk northward. Some spots in the cliffs seem to invite climbing and exploring. And there's more than one hole in the rocks to huddle from the wind and cuddle a bit.
The cliffs soar high and become a striking gold, with some awe-inspiring homes up top. After about a mile or so, the beach ends abruptly at the southern end of Nestucca Bay, allowing you an unusual glimpse of the area.
Day or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major opportunities
Oregon Coast Travel Site Goes Wireless Provides Lodging Reports - Oregon Coast Beach Connection now has mobile lodging and dining listings, along with weekly lodging availability reports