Two Sizzling, Dazzling Sights on Oregon Coast Hiding in Front of You
Published 08/03/2016 at 10:11 PM PDT - Updated 08/04/2016 at 1:11 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Oregon Coast) – One sits on the central Oregon coast, practically on the very middle of that 368-mile-long stretch of the state. The other on the north coast, hiding in plain sight.
Two Oregon coast beaches offer some truly unique but incredibly divergent means of relaxation and repose, along with bundles of discovery. You probably don't even know about them.
Now, you do.
Bob Creek Wayside – between Yachats and Florence. South of Yachats, and just barely south of Strawberry Hill and Neptune State Park, you'll find this almost mystical spot. Tide pool creatures far, far outnumber the humans meandering about, looking for agates or exploring Bob Creek's myriad of crannies, nooks and notches.
At lower tides, a wildly-shaped mushroom-like blob emerges from the tide pools, which quickly draw your attention. Starfish and hordes of brightly colored critters reside here, seemingly as far as the eye can see. Given the right tidal conditions, there's a kind of a ramp going down to the sea, really just a break between basalt slabs that house all the tide pools.
The sands become much larger and coarser, unlike most any place along the Oregon coast. In fact most of this “ramp” is more covered in stones than sand. It's shockingly thick stuff: abrasive and rough, but somehow still pleasant.
At the southern end of Bob Creek, there's also a small sea cave – one that rises and falls dramatically in height, depending on the sand levels. There's much less of it in summer when sands pile up, but winter – when it's as safe to enter – it's a tall, eerie natural feature that immediately makes you think of pirate treasure.
Close by, you'll find a huge boulder that creates a sort of arch by leaning up against the cliffs. It's like a mini-sea cave here, but awfully close to the tides. So be careful.
At the north end, you'll find plenty of mussels - but you'll have to cross the creek to do so. During the winter that's difficult if not impossible, and often certainly unwise. During the summer months, it's much easier.
Crescent Beach at Cannon Beach. This almost-cove sits in the middle of one of the Oregon coast's more popular hotspots: Cannon Beach is usually smothered with people. But there are some sections less traveled, far less populated, like the very northern end, near the southern face of the cliffs of Ecola State Park. It takes some walking, but that's why you'll find fewer folks and plenty to explore.
These basalt headlands are perhaps half a mile from the nearest beach access, which lies at the end of a private neighborhood at the end of 5th St. But tides do not usually let you cross here. Only at extreme low tides is this possible – and then only for a time. You'd best hurry.
You can, however, reach it by a mile or so trail from the forested road en route to Ecola State Park. Parking here is sketchy at best: it's a private neighborhood and it's easy to intrude. You often have to walk a ways to the trailhead.
Crescent Beach, however, is a wonder and a half. There, you'll find a large half-moon of a beach, cut off from any access but that lengthy hike. Pristine sands surround you, with almost never a human being there. As if designed by Mother Nature to be a centerpiece, a sizable, monolithic sandstone sits practically in the middle.
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