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What Will Disappear from Oregon Coast After the Weekend

Published 10/17/2016 at 6:21 AM PDT - Published 10/17/2016 at 6:51 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Uncovering Wreck of the Peter Iredale

(Oregon Coast) – This has been a perfect summer along the Oregon coast, with its constantly calm, even warm conditions, and lots of whales all over the place. It was even a perfect “Second Summer – that much-loved facet of the beaches when September and early October present the best weather of the whole year.

It all came to a crash with the fury of mighty waves and wind earlier this week. These left their mark on the coastline in other ways that will surprise, abruptly changing your favorite beaches. Summer's lovely conditions also gave rise to some very high sand levels, which in turn created a host of eye-popping aspects to Oregon coast beaches.

But now they will be gone. Here's some of summer's remarkable beach sights that were around just a week ago. .

Uncovering Wreck of the Peter Iredale. (Above). During the summer - even early on – lots of sand was covering the shipwreck, located in Fort Stevens State Park at Warrenton. Giant pools of sea water had gathered there because sand had grown around parts of its structure as well.

It was farther from the tide as well. Look for more of it visible now, and it will likely be inaccessible much of the time because the tide will be washing over it.

Seaside's Cove Much Longer. During the winter and much of the fall, there's usually only a slice of sand visible beyond those small boulders and cobblestones, unlike the summer when you can see a really long stretch of beach.

Manzanita: Here, the tide line is often quite a ways from the sandy emabankment, probably about 100 feet or more. During summer it was three or four times farther out, and sand had created these large rises and dip that made for enormous pools. This will all be gone now.

This is what officials were talking about earlier this summer when they were warned of the deep sand holes that can hide in the surf. These can cause dangerous drop-off's that can drown you if you can't see them while wading. Look for flatter surfaces now and a shorter tide line.

Cannon Beach: Rivulets in the Sand. Cannon Beach never seemed to get the same rises and dips as some other beaches (like Seaside and Manzanita). But these unique rivulet shapes don't happen in such large stretches unless there are really high piles of sand. The large sections will all be flattened out.

Oceanside: Going around Maxwell Point. Even in June, sand levels were approaching high enough that you could probably get around the point at low tides. That will not be the case now. If you do go through the tunnel to the famed, secretive “Star Trek Beach,” watch the tides from here on out. The beach here will be much shorter.

Lincoln City: Generally Lower Sand. There were some pretty high blobs of sand this summer at Lincoln City, often resulting in what is a normally steeply sloped beach to smooth out in elevation a bit. Now, the slopes will quickly get more pronounced again. Many areas here are great for agate hunting.

Depoe Bay: Remarkable Sights. At Boiler Bay, it was easier access to the boiler as the tide was shoved quite a ways out.

At Devil's Punchbowl, the last few years have seen levels so high it created sand bars that kept the tide from coming in and allowed access to the Punchbowl.

Not so this summer, according to state parks ranger Luke Parsons.

“That did happen a little bit at the beginning of the summer when we had some extreme low tides,” Parsons said. “And that happens a handful of times of a year. But that was about it. And that's something we certainly don't encourage people to do.”

Newport's Yaquina Head: Cobble Beach. This blackened rock beach below Yaquina Head is always unique, and it makes that weird rattling noise when the waves touch those cobblestones. This summer produced an unusual sight you won't see anymore: the tide was pushed so far back you could see massive grooves – the shapes of the basalt under which that beach lies.

Seal Rock: Somewhat Longer Beach. This area was a little larger than it is during winter, but not a lot.

Yachats: New Sights Gone. Those little pocket beaches at the big access downtown were larger during summer, and some of those odd holes in the rocks allowed you to look down into them. These are usually mini versions of the Devil's Punchbowl or even spouting horns themselves.

These days, the tide will be too wild there to take a close look.

South of Yachats: At Neptune State Park, sand levels were so high here they covered up the small cave across the creek. At Ocean Beach Picnic Ground, most tide pools were covered up at the small headland to its south. But others had grown up above the sand line. There was also sizable space to get around that point.

These days, that will be gone. If not completely yet, it will be soon. Where to stay in these areas - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

Coastal Spotlight

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