Video: Secret Side of Oceanside, Oregon Coast
(Oceanside, Oregon) - Through the mysterious cave in the headland known as Maxwell Point, you emerge to one of the Oregon coast's most glorious secret spots. (Video tour of this secret spot at the end of this article)
It all begins at Oceanside with the southern entrance: a concrete bunker-like structure that seems to keep open this hole in the cliff. It does periodically become the victim of landslides, and falling rocks can become a problem, so it’s best not to enter that tunnel during inclement weather. The soggy ground above can cause this tunnel to be cut off, thus trapping you.
It goes from a bunker to a cave, and soon you’ve got to amble down some slightly testy boulders. The beach becomes a blend of sand and cobblestones polished and rounded by the tides.
Continue northward and you’ll encounter structures built by visitors, like little shelters made of driftwood, lying around in various states of disrepair.
If sand levels are low enough, lots of cobblestones will be embedded in the sand, some rather loosely, and at serious low tide events a huge array of marine gardens are present.
Given the right conditions, these cobblestones, when touched by the tide, make interesting rattling noises, which are sometimes nicknamed “magic rocks.”
You’ll notice a nice collection rocky slabs and basalt shapes to wander around on, some on the cliff itself and some at the tide line. One area, with a kind of basalt ramp, looks a little like the setting in the old Star Trek episode that featured the Gorn (that famous lizard man fighting Kirk).
Another dose of early Star Trek used to exist just a ways down, where a basalt arch once stood (it looked a little like that time travel structure Kirk and gang dropped into to get to the 1930’s). Some winter in the mid 2000’s, the arch came down, leaving two stacks amidst the grouping that already sit on the northern edge of this secret beach.
Numerous little mini-caves lurk here, including a sizable one at the very end of the beach.
These sea stacks reveal remarkable colonies of starfish at low tide events. It’s spectacular.
The large rock structure that creates a kind of dead-end here is called Hatbox Rock. At the very beginning of the century, when Oceanside was an almost bustling tourist resort, there was a walkway constructed on this structure – called an Angel Walk – which wrapped around it and allowed folks to wander to the other side. It was fairly elevated above the ground, but no doubt it didn’t last long in these gnarly oceanic conditions.
On the other side is a hidden cove called Lost Boy Beach, which really is not accessible anymore. There is apparently another tunnel here, which once connected the hidden beach to Short Beach, which can be found via a couple miles’ drive to the north, close to Cape Meares.
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