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This Deserted Central Oregon Coast Spot is Full of Surreal, Ancient Wonders

Published 01/26/2018 at 6:45 PM PDT - Updated 01/26/2018 at 7:15 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

This Deserted Central Oregon Coast Spot is Full of Surreal Wonders

(Yachats, Oregon) – In an area of the Oregon coast that's already extremely unique – that dizzyingly beautiful and deserted stretch between Yachats and Florence – Strawberry Hill Wayside is a definite standout. A host of wild and weird finds abound here, although at first glance – after you step onto the stairway – it's a simple but comely little cove.

There's something almost dreamlike about this place. Never a dull moment awaits you, if you bother to look.

It all begins with a semi-circle driveway that acts as a parking lot, including some grassy spots for lounging around and picnicking, as well as restrooms facilities. From here, you find a nice walkway down to the basalt structures that typify this spot, allowing you tall views of this diverse beach.

Tidepools are abundant at Strawberry Hill Wayside, but sometimes you have to work to find the best of them. It's easy – and understandable – to simply settle for hanging out at this hill, watching the waves crash and soaking in the scenery. It's well worth the extra effort it takes to hop down off the basalt ledges into that sandy cove.

After all, it's down there where all the treasures and surprises lie.


Keep walking further into the cove and the wild and weird presents itself at every turn. Those rocky blobs start to reveal some things you've never seen before. Like the curious rock formation that's sort of a towering bulb-like shape, apparently made from the sandstone cliffs just behind it. It looks a bit like those odd towers of rock in China, or perhaps something out of a Roger Dean album cover for the Prog rock band Yes.


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The geology of Strawberry becomes apparent. This sort-of-spire structure is obviously a part of the cliffs and has eroded away to become separate. It then begs more questions.

Like what is that chunk of driftwood embedded in it? Stranger still, from the side facing the cliffs, you see a massive hole in the mushroom-shaped blob – and what appears to be a log piercing the inside of the structure. Was it a storm that placed this here? Or is it hundreds of years old and once buried in the top soil here?

Still more surreal sights abound. Further erosion has taken place here on the basalt and the cliffs, and some sections of the beach are becoming little sea caves.

At the northern edge, rocky ledges show off tons of starfish.


These ancient blobs begin to show their complexity the closer you get to them. They form a rocky labyrinth, where again sea life has planted itself in impressive colors.

Hit Strawberry Hill at the right time and you'll catch the sky reflected off the wet sand. It is positively ethereal and otherworldly in those moments.

Even crazier: the basalt here sometimes forms natural steps, as if some ancient race long before Man had carved their dwellings into the 40-million-year-old rock. See what these steps are.


There's even more beneath the surface. While the Oregon coast has some of the largest amount of fossils that are 15 to 30 million years old in all of North America, this spot is blessed with even more than usual. Here, you may find more shells of that age than most places on this shoreline.

It is illegal to cut them out of cliffs and rocks, however. Luckily, the low sand levels and heavy waves of winter can simply leave stuff lying around – it's then legal to take off the beach.

Safety Warning: do not enter this cove if the tide is wandering past the blobs of basalt you see huddled in the middle of it. Stay away in high tide events. Where to stay in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

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