Three Insanely Cool Oregon Coast Viewpoints You May Not Know
(Oregon Coast) – The stunning viewpoint and vast, panoramic line of sight are a big staple along the Oregon coast. Pullouts along towering cliffs are many in the region, and provide tons of eye-popping moments for visitors and locals alike throughout the year, whatever the season. They send cameras into overdrive and make for lots of memories (above: Anderson's Viewpoint near Oceanside).
There are bundles of them that are well known: the well-manicured viewpoints just south of Cannon Beach, the overlook above Manzanita, the tips of Cape Lookout or Cape Meares, or those near Yachats and Depoe Bay.
Some, however, verge on being forgotten.
Often, there's more to a dazzling viewpoint than mere height as well.
Between Oceanside and Pacific City, you’ll find the famous Anderson's Viewpoint. If this doesn't fit your definition of a Kodak moment, nothing will.
At approximately MP 1, look for this favorite spot for hang gliders to launch themselves off of. Vast views of the ocean spread out here, and ample parking is provided by surrounding gravel areas and a recently-added paved parking area.
Check out panoramic views of the ocean from almost 180 degrees. To the north, you can see Oceanside’s Three Arch Rocks quite clearly. Immediately below you can peer down on Cape Lookout State Park and see features and landmarks from quite the new perspective.
This area finally got some signage within the last 15 years, and about mid-2000’s one of the cruder parking lots was paved over, making it a much more attractive and engaging viewpoint.
The pullouts of Anderson’s Viewpoint are about a mile south of the entrance to Cape Lookout State.
Rodea Point, just south of Depoe Bay, is the lesser known cousin to the soaring, birds-eye views of Cape Foulweather. But sometimes higher in the air is not better.
Rodea allows you a high enough vantage point to check out the many wandering whales that meander past here. In fact, don’t be surprised to have one cruise by close enough to hear it spouting. But this vantage point is also mega-spectacular in its wave action much of the time, where a rocky shelf jutting out into the ocean causes waves to crash here with wowing ferocity at times.
The sea bulges ominously in front of the viewpoint, giving way to the roar of a giant wall of surf turning into a rolling wave – a little like the coveted pipelines that surfers love so much. These then smash against the rocks, making a variety of insane noises, from the usual splashes of massive waves to distant sonic booms as the waves trap and squash pockets of air.
Many times, the waves explode all over the basalt with awe-inspiring intensity, rocketing upwards sometimes forty feet in the air, then causing a soaking mist to come towards you and your vehicle.
Another engaging viewpoint, albeit a quieter one, lurks a quarter mile south of here. There’s a large park with more parking that sits just north of the point, and it too has its impressive wave action as well – although you can’t get quite as close or get sprayed so much as at Rodea Point.
It all sits at the beginning of Otter Crest Loop, just below where Highway 101 rises up to head south towards Cape Foulweather and Newport – making it a bit of a hidden spot.
The most well known viewpoint in the Yachats area is of course the top of Cape Perpetua, and there’s no doubt it has among the most incredible views along the entire Oregon coast, as you’re well above the 1,000-foot mark.
But don’t forget the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, a few hundred feet below the massive mountaintop. In fact, it’s just a tad more sheltered from the wind than the very tip.
The comfort of wooden walkways is part of the attraction, but you can gaze down on the southern face of the Devil’s Churn area and the secret beach known as Cape Cove with the striking clarity of being just a bit a closer than that mountaintop can provide. The layout of this intriguing landmark becomes a lot clearer – as if previewing all the cool stuff you could be reveling in if you ventured down there.
The viewing platforms that encircle the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center are also an excellent spot for looking for whales, which can really be plentiful in this section of Highway 101 between Yachats and Florence.
Another inviting aspect of the visitor center is the trailhead to some stunning trails, which wind up and down the mountain, bringing you down towards Cape Cove, Devil’s Churn or the mighty spouting horn at Cook’s Chasm and its many tide pools, as well as ending up at the top of Perpetua.
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