Tale of Two Haystack Rocks on Oregon Coast

Published 12/02/2012


(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – Yes, Virginia: there really are two Haystack Rocks on the Oregon coast. Visitors from out of state who tend to latch onto either Pacific City or Cannon Beach become a bit confused by this – and even a little angry by that confusion. But indeed there are two major landmarks, both regularly photographed, both by the name of Haystack Rock.

One is the gargantuan Haystack Rock at Pacific City, and the other is the Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach (which only looks larger because it's closer, but the Pacific City one is taller).

However, to throw another twist into this tale, there is yet a third Haystack Rock – this one in Coos County in Bandon.

Cannon Beach's Haystack Rock sits right up on the tide line of the famed north coast town, while the Haystack at Pacific City is almost a mile offshore from the landmark Cape Kiwanda. Pacific City's is a tad higher than the one at Cannon Beach, by more than 100 feet.

“The rock has an estimated height of 340.6 feet (103.8 m) as determined from Lidar data collected by our agency,” said Jonathan Allan, Coastal Geomorphologist and Coastal Section Team Leader with Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, in their Newport office.

Tom Horning, a geologist from Seaside, said the Haytack Rock in Cannon Beach is about 235 feet high.

Both Haystack Rocks are protected wildlife refuges. Although it's a moot point for the one at Pacific City, except that boaters are instructed to steer clear of the rock structure. At Cannon Beach, you're allowed to goof around the tide pool areas but not climb on its base because of the bird sanctuary there.

Both have been Oregon landmarks for – literally – millions of years. Both appear to have originated from volcano eruptions some 16 – 25 million years ago that took place in what is now Eastern Oregon. Back then, due to the way the continents have moved, there was a massive weak spot in the Earth's crust that created lava flows so enormous they slogged along for hundreds of miles, until they reached the ocean. These are known as the Columbia Basalts, since they created the Columbia Gorge as well as much of the landscape of the Oregon coast.

Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach is actually known as an “instrusive,” meaning the lava flow that it’s a part of shot its way back into the ground, probably in softer ground like mud or such, and then re-erupted again a ways away. This left blob structures that were eventually worn down into shapes we know today like the ones around Cannon Beach.


The origin of Haystack Rock in Pacific City isn't as certain, but scientists believe it's the result of a massive flow that once filled a canyon here, then eroded away into that shape in the distance. It's believed to be the same kind of basalt that comprises Cape Lookout about 15 miles to the north, though no serious testing has been done on this Haystack.



More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, saut�ed scallops.
Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss
Pacific City, Oregon

 


Breathtaking high panoramic beach views from oceanfront rooms, spacious family suites & fully equipped cottages.  Known for gracious hospitality, the sparkling clean Sea Horse features a heated indoor pool, dramatic oceanfront spa, great whale watching, free deluxe continental breakfast, conference room, free casino shuttle & HBO.  Fireplaces, private decks and spas are available in select rooms.  Close to shops, golf, fishing & restaurants.  Pets are welcome in select rooms.  Senior discounts.  Kids 18 and under stay free in their parent's room.  Very attractive rates.
Lincoln City’s only resort hotel built right on the beach with all oceanfront rooms - nestled against a rugged cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach. Dine in penthouse restaurant and bar, for casual meal or candlelight dinner. An array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other Northwest favorites, including decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range from bedrooms to studios to 1-bedroom suites with microwaves and refrigerators to full kitchens. Also, wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise room and year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love the game room and easy beach access. Full-service conference/meeting rooms for that inspirational retreat; extensive wedding possibilities.

 

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Spectacular Stormy Seas This Weekend on Oregon Coast; Surf Advisory
This, in turn, will bring some great finds along the beaches later
N. Oregon Coast Shipwrecks and Rivers Subjects of Nature Events
The history of shipwrecks on the north Oregon coast, a look at Clatsop forestland and how salmon are doing
More Ice, Floods, High Winds for Oregon, Coast Range, Portland, Beaches
The great thaw is delayed once again for the inland valley and the Oregon coast range
String of Stunning Animal Sightings, Salp Finds on Oregon Coast
A new kind of salp has been spotted, an old face has returned and sea lions are amazing everyone. Science, Seaside Aquarium
Central Oregon Coast Birding Fun and Crab Krack Dinner Extravaganza
Three adventure-filled events take place in the Newport area over the next month. Newport events
New Oregon Coast Gray Whale License Plates Need Commitments
They are working to get a new Oregon Gray Whale license plate up and running throughout the state
Heavy Ice / Snow for Oregon Coast Range, Valley, Even Beaches
Winter storm warnings are up for all of Oregon over the weekend, cautioning of snow and then freezing rain
A Multitude of Finds, Unusual Features at N. Oregon Coast's Hug Point
You would literally have to spend a year or more to see it all. Here's why. Cannon Beach, science, history

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted