Oregon Coast Explorations: Nooks and Crannies of Yachats
(Yachats, Oregon) – Yachats is full of holes. It's full of blowholes, that is; as well as cracks, crevices, nooks, crannies and a myriad of details to get lost in (above: a spouting horn/blowhole at the southern end of Yachats)..
Sometimes, the best Oregon coast delights are in the details.
Take the Yachats State Recreation Area, for example. Dozens of little cracks lace the rocks here, where the tide wanders beneath and sometimes shoots upwards in a watery surprise for those peeking down there. Some of the shapes are downright graceful, with almost curved arches viewable beneath the rocks here, as if designed by architects.
Along the length of the town, it's one rocky shelf area after another, sometimes punctuated by little mini-coves. Rough, large, coarse sands often occupy these, not the softer sands of most broad beaches where hand-holding, sunset walks take place with regularity. Instead, these are intriguingly textured: a bit scratchy and just a tad awkward, but it all actually feels good once you get used to it. Always bigger than usual, these grains come in grays and shades of black, along with a few other colors a bit unusual for the sands we're all used to.
Sturdy basalt structures sit on either side of these cove beaches, often no more than ten feet wide or so. They lurk just below the main recreation area parking lot, with a larger one of silver sands sitting below the cliffs between the main access and some of the more obscure entrances.
Farther down, near the end of the basalt landscape, where the 804 trail starts - quite a ways north of Smelt Sands – this is where the beaches change from bulbous black rock to sandy stretches typical of Waldport or Seal Rock. Here, lots of intriguing cracks and crevices lurk in these strange shapes, often pockmarked with some ancient occurrence or another that changed the rockface.
A rather large cove beach sits here, surrounded by all these angular oddities. The configurations are endlessly engaging, with some in circular patterns – as if a flying saucer may be embedded beneath the rocks.
Bundles of tide pools can be found on the northern side of this basaltic behemoth.
At the southern end of town, on the other side of the bay, sit several other wonders. One is Agate Cove, where a bench with that name inscribed on it allows you to look over the constant wave drama. There are several crevices in this area as well, which seem to promise some sort of interesting wave sight or another.
Nearby sits the especially intriguing and very secretive blowhole of Yachats. True, there are bigger and more spectacular (and better known) spouting horns up by the Fireside Motel, along the 804 Trail. But this tiny hole in the rock, when it gets going, is a stunner and crowd pleaser under the right conditions.
It comes complete with quite the hissing noise.
For even more hidden fun, walk slowly around the north side of the bay and you'll spot a couple almost-spiral stairways wandering down to the edge of the bay (don't do so during harsh wave conditions, however). These take you to fascinating rocky platforms with concealed tide pools and even a tiny cove within a cove. But at times it's the walk down that's the real scenic pleasure, as these almost have a mystical vibe, or as if they're something from a castle in a fairy tale.
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