Five Oregon Coast Views You'll Likely Never See
(Oregon Coast) – Maybe it takes some high-powered optics. Maybe it takes being at the right place at the right time, or maybe it would require simply finding a certain spot at all. Perhaps it's a combination of all of the above. Either way, even for staunch regulars and some locals, there are sights on the Oregon coast that will never be seen by many. Yet, ironically, they're hiding in plain sight – most of the time.
First stop on this tour of the forbidden and hidden: the iconic Neahkahnie Mountain at Manzanita. Everyone who frequents this engaging place knows those curves of the looming mountain, around which an extremely scenic chunk of Highway 101 twists and turns, hugging the behemoth closely. But even those familiar with this shape don't always see its craggy, cracked and crinkly tip, which hides some interesting surprises if you look close enough. As the last slant of the structure dips into the ocean, in the far distance, a castle ruin-like arch caps its end. It beckons a bit, causing the imagination to fire off with musings about “what is that thing?” Maybe this includes visions of pirates and lost treasure surrounding it, or of some ancient civilization.
Use a zoom lens to look more closely and you'll see the intricate lines of the thing – as in the top photo. Above, get in even closer, and you see more stunning surprises – things that make you want to find a way out there and explore this rocky mystery.
A ways north, at Cannon Beach, everyone – literally everyone – knows the iconic shape of Haystack Rock. But what's wrong with this picture?
It's not just Haystack Rock here, but the basalt blobs of Silver Point as well (those scenic pullouts just south of town). There's about four miles of rocky landmarks crammed into one unusual view – including the top of the bluff at Hug Point in the foreground. Zoom lenses not only bring things closer but they also create an effect of more things crammed in close. So yes, this is a strikingly different view – a sort of overview, a sampling, of the lovely things you can see around Cannon Beach.
Just as importantly, however, is where this photo was taken from. It's not a spot you'll easily find. There are no other viewpoints along the Oregon coast that allow these landmarks to be seen together. And no, we're not going to tell you where it is.
Back to Manzanita, again the miracle of the zoom lens compacts the things you're looking at. Here are about four miles of Manzanita beach all stuffed into one photo. A beautiful spring day just last week found this place fairly full of people – but it looks heavily populated because of the effect of the zoom lens. In actuality, there were hundreds of feet between each small group in most instances.
This was taken near Neahkahnie Mountain and shows the beach all the way down into Nehalem Bay State Park.
For more stunning, scenic surprises, you'll never believe what can't be seen from the highway near Florence. Not far from the Sea Lion Caves, and probably about 20 miles south of Yachats, there are a dual set of rather secretive headlands. One will allow you distant views of that massive sea cave that houses the barking critters. While patrons of the cave descend some 11 floors beneath the ground to get down there, you might be able to see a hint of it from this viewpoint – at least its exterior.
Get some nice optics and you'll be able to see the great mass of the thing, as well as maybe spotting a few of the sea lions perched around the entrance to the cave.
Not to be outdone, cajoling Cape Kiwanda and its Haystack Rock – the second one on the Oregon coast to have that name – is another iconic, even comforting sight. But what happens when you take a long exposure of it at night?
Add to those wild and eccentric colors: at this moment a man and his son happen to be playing with making “light orbs” on the beach. It all creates an especially spectacular scene. It, too, is something you'll likely never see again, unless someone else returns again to mess around with the same project.
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