Two Stunning and Memorable Hidden Spots on the Oregon Coast
(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – It's not easy to find a place by yourself all the time along these beaches, to take in the sights and sounds of the sea and that fresh ocean air in a way that only solitude lets you focus. But on the north Oregon coast, there are two within a fairly quick walk or drive from the crazed masses, should the need arise in you. One is not far from Oceanside or Tillamook, and the other a hidden chunk of beach at Cannon Beach, and a quick trip from Manzanita or Seaside (above: Cape Meares).
Bayocean – Cape Meares. It's almost completely clandestine, thanks to the fact it's quite off the beaten track. If you get to the tiny village of Cape Meares (not the headland sporting the lighthouse), you either really know the coast's secrets or you arrived by accident. Indeed, if you take that immediate right at the fork that can take you to the lighthouse or Oceanside instead of going to the left, you're going to feel like you got lost.
First there's the Bayocean Spit, which runs along the length of Tillamook Bay for a few miles and is quite the delicious, long hike through beach and dunes with nary another soul around. But the village of Cape Meares, which is where the spit joins the rest of the north American continent, is also quite the awesome fortress of solitude, with a stone-covered beach giving way to softer sands and plenty of time away from the throngs.
If you're lucky, the furthest point to the south may be open a bit by low tides and you'll find a nice secret cove.
Silver Point, near Cannon Beach. Find the southern-most beach access at Cannon Beach – and it's not easy to find it – and you're halfway there. Just south of the Tolovana area lay a handful of streets that end with oceanfront views, most with a tiny access. From here, the walk south along this lovely beach is also usually quite bereft of people. After about a half mile, you'll come to the large sea stack that dominates the scene, and soaring cliffs that rise above you on the other side. If you look closely up there, you'll notice people milling around.
That is Silver Point, the famed turnout viewpoint that everyone stops at to ogle distant views of Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock. You're below all that, and you'll find some fascinating lines etched across the walls. This is a fun bit of geology – more or less a series of muddy water runoffs frozen in time from eons ago.
Sometimes you'll find bundles of rubble down here, as the cliff periodically crumbles a bit. Other times, you may find these curious rocks with seaweed covering them, looking a little like small, hairy gnomish creatures out of the old film “Labyrinth” - as if Jim Hensen's muppets had found a retirement spot here.
There's a big sea cave inside this sea stack, which is occasionally fun to peek through if the tide allows you to even see through the other side.
From here, it's about another mile walk along the beach to Arcadia Beach.
More Bayocean below:
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