Central Oregon Coast Travel Ideas: Cloistered Beaches Between Yachats and Florence

Published 07/15/2014

(Yachats, Oregon) – If you're looking for a fantastic and unforgettable Oregon coast experience, and one that allows you to get away from the wild crowds of busier beaches, the stretch of Upper Lane County between Florence and Yachats is about as striking as it gets. An unbelievably unpopulated place, it's a little over 20 miles of soaring viewpoints, cloistered clusters of beaches and fascinating finds.

Also, there's a trippy little Hollywood connection here: some of the views of this area will be familiar to fans of the cable TV show Bates Motel. The coastal scenes – especially as young Norman Bates rides along the highway – are usually shots captured from just above Yachats, just above Florence or some of the winding stretches in between (such as the above shot).

Start at the northern end of this wilderness, around Cape Perpetua, and head to the top of this gargantuan mound (some 800 feet high). It's one of the most incredible views along the entire coastline. Just below it is Cook's Chasm – a geyser-like feature where sea water whooshes up in spectacular blasts.

Amble down the road a tad and the next couple of miles will be surrounded by Neptune State Park and its many facets – and it includes more than a couple of beach accesses too. One area is a delightful stretch of soft sands while the other a couple of captivating coves and basalt labyrinth structures.

Strawberry Hill is another wild wonder along the way, featuring a larger cove-like area and insane amounts of tide pool wonders. Just south of there sits Bob Creek Wayside which again features more starfish than humans. There's also an intriguing cave at Bob Creek, which sits directly below a stunning pullout along the highway where more memorable ocean vistas can be viewed.

Ten Mile Creek and somewhat enigmatic Stonefield Beach appear next, with the creek dividing the area between smooth granules and a stretch where seriously prehistoric-looking rock structures dot the landscape.

South of here, the road rises and falls dramatically, sometimes not allowing you any beach accesses. Just around the corner sits Roosevelt Beach, a curious knobby knoll for a mini-headland and the varied delights of Ocean Beach Picnic Ground.

The geology changes from basalt to purely sandy around here, as Muriel Ponsler Wayside, Washburne State Park and the cloistered, mystical Hobbit Trail feature all beach, all the time. Then, suddenly, at the Heceta Head area (which includes the lighthouse), soaring cliffs and dramatic views take over, eventually leading you to more chunks of nearly-aerial highway where Florence can be seen below (scenes often featured in Bates Motel).

More details and more on these beaches, including directions and 100's of photos, at the Upper Lane County Virtual Tour, Map.


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