Unusual Views Cram Tiny Stretch of Oregon Coast
(Florence, Oregon) – A tiny stretch of Oregon coast is filled with a myriad of unusual views and things to see that are tucked away from the general, well beaten path. The area just north of Florence, right around Sea Lion Caves and Heceta Head, is jam-packed with a host of wonders in the watery realm that never cease to surprise.
Great soaring cliffs plunge quickly into the raging waters of the Pacific here. You're several hundred feet above the waves, and from one of the famed stone pullout viewpoints near the Sea Lion Caves and you can stop and photograph the Heceta Head Lighthouse, just a ways to the north. But between you and this area is a secret beach which no one can get to. There is no beach access here. Just a rough cove that threatens to shipwreck any small boat that would try to gain entry.
Consequently, the only visitors you'll see are sea lions – and lots of them. They live down there much of the year.
In fact, just below you, as you're looking out directly west from these viewpoints, is another hotspot for sea lions and seals. But since you're several hundred feet up in the air, you won't see them. Many don't even notice they're down there. In order to see them clearly you need a really smokin' zoom lens, which is what is utilized in the photo above.
Hang out just a tad south of the Sea Lion Caves and a few more viewpoints present themselves, including this particularly dramatic scene looking southward. These massive basalt cliffs, millions and millions of years old, are slowly being eroded away. You can see this happening with that lone chunk of rock sitting a just a tad away from its parent cliff. Clearly this was eaten away at some point over the epochs.
Keep traveling south and you'll round a bend or two on this high part of Highway 101, and unless you know what you're looking for, you'll pass two incredible, jaw-dropping viewpoints. They are a secret, so we won't spoil it for those Oregon coast regulars in the know.
Keep walking out on these headlands and you'll find something curious and striking – if you look very closely. You can see the gigantic cave that is the entrance to the Sea Lion Caves. This is how this landmark looks from the outside. It's towering and imposing all its own, though at a distance it appears quite small. The cave is a few stories high, the size of a fairly tall building. You can get a sense of the scale by looking at the sea lions perched outside of it.
Also impressive are the massive waves that batter this spot.
Still more scenic eye candy awaits on the southernmost clifftop, where incredible views of Florence, its dunes and some of its lakes come into view. Below is the gargantuan entrance to Baker Beach.
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