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Two Places to Find Real Alone Time on N. Oregon Coast, Tillamook County

Published 06/07/2020 at 6:24 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Two Places to Find Real Alone Time on N. Oregon Coast, Tillamook County

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(Neskowin, Oregon) – Oh, the crowded madness of some of those summer days on the Oregon coast, especially in places like Lincoln City or not-too-far Pacific City. Even just a day or two of lovely weather causes the masses to swell along the beaches. (Above: the northern edge of Neskowin)

And you came out to get away from it all. Yet it all came along for the ride as well.

On that forested borderline between Lincoln County and Tillamook County, just south of Pacific City, there are two spots you may want to think about, both a quick jump from the civilization of Tillamook, Depoe Bay, Lincoln City, Oceanside or bustling Pacific City.

Neskowin Deep

Just south of Pacific City, Neskowin is the quiet little resort that's constantly threatening to explode into something much bigger. Happily, it never does.

Hit the beach from the main access and you'll usually find loads of people milling about. But cross the creek, walk towards mysterious Proposal Rock, and the population density gets less. You can actually walk around on top of the rock and check out the views from the top (although be extremely cautious of the tide so as not to get stuck.)

Walk further beyond the rock and you'll definitely be more alone. Along the way, note the stumps at the tideline, 2000-or-so-year-old remnants of something rather ominous. They’re of course known as the ghost forest of Neskowin, the only one ever talked about for some reason, but they are the only such specimens visible year-round. Somewhere in those millennia, enormous geographic changes slowly submerged a forest into the surf. The result was the ground that covered them preserved them instead of allowing them to decay in normal ways.

Keep going south and the cliffs of Cascade Head create a whole new hidden spot, although the surf can get rougher here. It’s interesting to note you’re standing beneath the remnants of an ancient Oregon coast volcano, originally some 1,000 to 2,000 feet higher. Proposal Rock is an orphaned remnant of that basalt.

To really find yourself alone, head to the very northern edges of Neskowin, to about where it all ends. Follow the streets with Oregon city names, like Monmouth, etc. There, one long and unmarked beach access trudges through the beachgrass and brings you out onto curious sands where there’s almost never another soul.

The grains of sand are even larger here and much coarser, often a unique shade of black / dark gray. At the tideline, it’s a bit of a sudden slope, causing waves to come in hard and fast and then suddenly dissipate.

It’s often said this tiny stretch of Oregon coast has a calming, esoteric vibe – an extra dose of something so soothing it’s downright spiritual.

Strange and Serene Winema Beach

It's hard to get more hidden than this. Just a few miles north of Neskowin, an unassuming sign declares Winema Road. Follow that to the bottom and a tract of sandy beach that nearly no one knows about. There's another blob of a rock structure that looks a bit like Neskowin's Proposal Rock to the north, which features a flat stretch at the top that's perfect for lounging.

Other interesting shapes and crevices present themselves as you walk northward. Some spots in the cliffs seem to invite climbing and exploring. There's more than one kind of cubbyhole in the rocks to hide from the wind and cuddle a bit.

All of it comes in striking colors. The cliffs soar high and become a sometimes shimmering gold, with some awe-inspiring homes up top. After about a mile or so, the beach ends abruptly at the southern end of Nestucca Bay, allowing you a truly different glimpse of the area. Hotels in Pacific City - Where to eat -

Sandlake Country Inn. Close to Sand Lake beach and Winema. 8505 Galloway Rd. (Near Pacific City, Oregon). 877-726-3525. 503-965-6745.

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