Perfect Places During a Packed Oregon Coast
(Oregon Coast) – The coast is indeed calling. But it’s calling to everyone else, too. So those who are getting away from it all will, ironically, be bringing "it all" with them. It's going to be impossible to find a beach not crammed with a million other vacationers. (Above: secret chunk of Cape Kiwanda provides insane oceanic drama)
Or is it?
While even the most out-of-the-way beaches will contain quite the cadre of other folks on a high-density holiday weekend, especially when the weather cooperates in the way it is now, there are some fairly deserted Oregon coast spots to be found.
Here are a few options:
Concealed at Cape Kiwanda. This one you have to walk a mile to, and even then this beach tends to be more populated these days because word has gotten out you can drive your vehicle here.
Once you get to the northern face of Cape Kiwanda, a whole wild new vista erupts. There’s a curious canyon here, where the sea water rages in between these brightly colored walls, bouncing back and forth and bashing things with the intense fervor of massive power crammed into confined spaces. These cliffs soar far above you and contain all sorts of visual surprises.
If you’re lucky, conditions may be calm enough for you to actually walk up to the canyon, but this is rare. Either way, the northern face of Kiwanda and its dune are a fascinating place, and a side of the popular landmark not often seen.
Southern End Cannon Beach. Between the southern tip of town and the Tolovana district are a series of streets jutting off towards the sea, and hardly anyone gets down here. Tidal conditions these days have been rather odd because of high sand levels, so undoubtedly this area – like just about everywhere on the coast – will look like it’s at low tide. (above: the surreal and serene delights below Silver Point)
If so, you may find a fascinating colony of starfish still clinging to the rock structure here, trying desperately to avoid the higher-than-usual sand.
Walk even further south and you’ll encounter fewer and fewer souls, and you’ll eventually come to the clandestine pleasures of Silver Point – a spot beneath those famed lookouts just south of town.
Bayocean and Cape Meares. Take Bayocean Road westward from Tillamook, and instead of going onto the Three Capes Loop, follow the signs to the village of Cape Meares (not to be confused with the headland by that name).
Here, a nearly endless stretch of sand (well, several miles of it along the spit) features few other souls. The beach access closest to the headland can be full of some of the best wonders, where crumbling cliffs and a variety of rocky structures offer fun contrast to the sandy expanse.
But mostly, this chunk of the Bayocean Spit is simply a calming, soothing place to chill out and take in the waves, either from the vantage points above with benches or by immersing your feet in the tide.
Northern Tip of Yachats. Where the 804 Trail ends and the landscape abruptly changes from the bulky basalt structures that comprise most of Yachats to the sandy strands that typify Waldport – it is a fascinating place.
You’ll find it at the northern end of Yachats, at the end of streets near Spindrift Lane.
On one side, a small cove is formed by the basalt structures, and the sand here is soft, calming and inviting.
On the other side, as the trail begins, you encounter these basalt behemoths that in themselves contain hidden coves. The waves then have something to smash against, causing a consistent raucous. More on Yachats
Between Yachats and Florence. 25 or so miles of hidden beaches populate the stretch between Yachats and Florence, where soaring cliffs prohibit access to tantalizingly secret spots and other parking lots yield a few dozen other souls to maybe none at all.
A mix of rocks jutting outward and sand create a bevy of labyrinth-like beaches that are untamed and mesmerizing. Some, like Strawberry Hill, have a little cove or two to explore among the blend of beach and basalt. Bob Creek and Neptune State Park contain caves. Ocean Beach Picnic Area and Roosevelt Beach share an interesting knob of a mini-headland, with curious indentations on both sides. The mystical, whimsical Hobbit Trail features a knobby path that looks like gnomes carved it out.
Your best chances for finding yourself away from the maddening crowds are on these beaches: you’ll simply have to keep exploring. But that is most of the fun, anyway. More on this part of Upper Lane County
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