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The Bridge Beneath the Bridge: Unknown Viewpoint 'Beneath' Depoe Bay, Oregon Coast

Published 06/06/23 at 5:50 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

The Bridge Beneath the Bridge: Unknown Viewpoint 'Beneath' Depoe Bay, Oregon Coast

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(Depoe Bay, Oregon) – Meandering aimlessly along the Oregon coast has its serious rewards. You never know what you'll find if you simply drive around or stroll a bit – just keep your eyes open.

(Photo above: the seaward side of the bridge stairway / viewpoint. All photos Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Wander a bit on Depoe Bay's waterfront, on either side of the highway, and you may bump into a little viewpoint underneath. There's one on the western side and one on the eastern side of the historic Depoe Bay Bridge. Both are part of stairways downward.

More on the Depoe Bay Bridge and its history here

On the inner side of the bay, you'll find yourself amid the hustle and bustle of the various attractions as well as the businesses and boats making their living here. Seals and gulls often take up residence in the bay, and if you're lucky, you might spot a wild seal doing tricks for scraps of food provided by someone cutting up bits of fish they just caught.

On the seaward side of the highway, it's like a little hidden viewpoint. You're still above the Oregon coast waters but you're also right above the minuscule channel this tiny town is known for. Watching ships run in and out is kind of a kick, easing carefully through such a tight, geographic squeeze. Hearing the echo of gulls is another interesting highlight, with the sound bouncing back and forth as they zip on through.

As dusk falls and blue hour takes over, the lights of the town become a bit magical, especially if those layers of sunset are reflected in any of the windows.

From there, a walkway wanders beneath the bridge to the bay and the landward side of 101. This is a better option for crossing the street since Highway 101 is usually a madhouse of car traffic, but it's also a pleasant walk which can yield its own surprises. It's also not a bad spot to watch those gnarly Oregon coast storms, as you're somewhat shielded from the elements, although the winds from the west definitely can find their way in and hit with full force a lot. But not always.

This area is lighted at night and can really come to life in its own way then. On still, calm nights, it's positively ethereal. Stormy nights are especially interesting, as the lights on the baymouth illuminate the madness, and you're almost always the only living human being in the area after dark. It's exhilarating.

Sounds are a big part of the attraction here. Harder waves and any explosion sound that may occur echo and reverberate through this walkway. The sea is actually amplified.

The bridge beneath the Depoe Bay Bridge is probably not a place you want to let young children wander unfettered, but for all other situations the place is something different along the Oregon coast.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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