The Thunder and the Wonders Around Yachats, Central Oregon Coast
(Yachats, Oregon) – A tiny town on the central Oregon coast may have more than its fair share of awe-inspiring marvels. It's strikingly different upon immediate first glance, comprised entirely of magnificent basalt platforms whose jagged and complex forms not only cause the waves to crash violently even on calm days, but they're sometimes puzzling to follow with the eye (above: Yachats at night).
Yachats sits about a half hour south of Newport, and another 25 minutes north of Florence, apparently an isolated village surrounded by unusually wild and rugged beaches and cliffs – even for this coast of Oregon that's already known for such qualities.
Within the town itself, these rocky shelves sometimes have odd little shapes and holes worn into them – a little reminiscent of something out of a Dr. Suess book or maybe an album cover by the band Yes. Such as in the photo above, where these holes provide places for the waves to wander in and either be seen from above or actually shoot outward.
Some of these spots are bigger than others. When they get big, they can get really big, and then they're called “spouting horns,” a kind of geyser made of ocean water. The northern end of what's called the 804 Trail – a walkway behind the black basalts of Yachats – features a few of these.
There's another one on the southern side of the Yachat River's mouth, one which hisses like a whale's blowhole.
Just south of town, you can find one of the most spectacular of blowholes – or spouting horns – on the entire Oregon coast. Cook's Chasm presents this jaw-dropping wonder: a spouting horn that fires off horizontally and makes quite a raucous when it does so. It becomes especially engaging if the sunset hits it just right.
Not to be outdone by any means, nearby Cape Perpetua not only features a towering viewpoint above the Oregon coast, where you can practically see forever, but it hosts the wild and wooly Devil's Churn. Here, wave energy gets funneled tightly into this long chasm in the rock and creates some spectacular oceanic dances. It's plenty dangerous here, too, as these folks above can attest to when they got too close to the edge and were chased by a massive wave.
However, check out this unusual view of the Devil's Churn, where a long exposure turns the raucous breakers into a surreal mist.
Even more surreal and spectacular is what the Churn looks like at night.
Turn your eyes skyward at night in this deeply forested area and you'll see this remarkable scene.
A few miles further south, you'll run into the Strawberry Hill beach access area. There, and in some other spots around Yachats, the Churn, Bob Creek Wayside and more, you'll find these curious structures. They look like natural steps embedded in the basalt. These oddities are called “cordwood joints” and are the result of multiple lava flows in the same area. A lava flow will wind up injecting itself into cracks in the basalt from a previous lava flow, and then flood the area inside, pushing so hard it opens up a space for itself in there. It creates a molding cast of sorts.
Eventually, the outer, older basalt is worn away, leaving these unusual shapes.
For more geologic fun, check out the curious cave at Neptune State Park.
Then at Bob Creek, head to the very southern end and find a giant sea cave, along with a massive boulder leaning up against the cliff that creates an arch. This view is from inside the cave, looking out.
More About Yachats Lodging .....
More About Waldport, Yachats Restaurants, Dining.....
LATEST OREGON COAST NEWS STORIES
Back to Oregon Coast
Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net