Literally a Front Row Seat to the Oregon Coast: Depoe Bay's Rocky Creek
(Depoe Bay, Oregon) – A tad south of Depoe Bay, as you're winding those crazed, tight corners between Whale Cove and the southern face of Cape Foulweather, a rather magnificent view explodes out in front of you. It's the first of many, and it's called Rocky Creek State Wayside. If you're not careful you'll miss the turnoff, however, and thus – very literally – a front row seat to Oregon coast scenes of a multitude of moods and attitudes.
If you're looking for calming, tranquil sea vistas, this place has it, except maybe on the more powerful of stormy days. Then if you're looking for jaw-dropping wave action, this place has it as well.
Rocky Creek Wayside is essentially a set of cliffs that zig-zag along this part of the central Oregon coast between Newport and Depoe Bay, with basalt bluffs that cause the waves to batter on a consistent basis. Yet the viewpoints here are high enough that if you look out over the near-shore breakers, it's a fairly calm, placid place.
There are restroom facilities here that make it a nice stop along your travels, but there are also a huge array of tremendous views to be had as the cliffs meander back and forth between viewing north, directly west and south. A lengthy, sturdy fence along the sides of the cliffs keep you, your kids and pets from falling off the edges in most spots.
The various cracks and crevices along here can put on quite a show, especially on the more violent wave days. It's also known for spraying up large amounts of sea mist, so watch that action with your camera and its delicate, not-so-weather friendly mechanisms.
Parking is aplenty here. Numerous picnic benches lodged next to the views make for outstanding culinary moments outdoors.
A huge favorite in this park is the bench situated near one of the tips of the headland. Astounding views can be had here, especially if the sun is shining bright, which turns the ocean into a deep blue.
Just beyond the restroom areas – which sit about 60 feet away from the parking lot – is a somewhat untouched and slightly secretive area to Rocky Creek Wayside that stretches to the north and allows access to more tide pool areas and fascinating views of Whale Cove (where some historians believe Sir Frances Drake hung out in the summer of 1579 – and not in California as is generally accepted).
You'll find loads of engaging sights here, including rocky shelves filled with all manner of sea life as well as the destructive, deadly power of the ocean – so don't tread to far from the vegetation line viewpoints. You'll just be asking for a visit by the Grim Reaper.
Rocky Creek Wayside is known for its whale watching possibilities as whales do often cavort around Whale Cove, and there is some seals and sea lion viewing as well. It is part of the state park system and is sometimes referred to as Rocky Creek State Park.
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