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Summer Sands Aglow on Central Oregon Coast: Photo Essay

Published 11/11/21 at 3:48 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Summer Sands Aglow on Central Oregon Coast: Photo Essay

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(Oregon Coast) - Sun, fun and sand – lots of sand – along with the surf are often on the menu along the central Oregon coast in summer. Sometimes, it all even glows a bit in the day's last light.

It's a time that the beaches look vastly different than in winter. For one, there's much more space between the vegetation line and the surf line, where the walk is much longer, sometimes by hundreds of feet. Cliffs are shorter, tufts of dunes are higher, and large tracts of loose sand sit piled on top of flatter layers, creating distinctive shapes.

One case in point: Yachats, pictured above. This spot is on the bay at the southern end of the central Oregon coast town. The blob of rock you see is normally under water or mostly surrounded by it, battered by the raucous waves that Yachats is known for.

At the time, with sand levels much higher in summer, it sits tens of feet from the tideline and surrounded by beach instead of the usual black basalt.

Seasons create different worlds out here. Thus, this little photo essay on the beach changes of summer. All shots were taken in the same day or three on a run between Pacific City and Florence.

What you'll often notice out there is the abundance of sand dunes in places you don't normally find them. Or at least they're much bigger at many favorite beaches. Like above, at Newport's Nye Beach, summer has brought much more sand than usual to this central Oregon coast hotspot. Nye Beach does have a tendency to get fluffy and soft this time of year, but the calm tidal conditions of the year have really outdone themselves.


Checking out Newport's Beverly Beach from above, if you find the right spot, you'll discover a mysterious chunk of concrete. Perhaps the central coast version of the Old Standing Stones found in England?


Higher sand levels are also present at Roosevelt Beach, between Yachats and Florence. The lighter colored sands often get picked up the wind, and in the right conditions they can sting as they smack your legs and uncovered skin.


These sand levels create some stunning dune sights just south of there, at Muriel Ponsler Wayside. Plenty of stunning sights abound here. .


Calm seas are aplenty during summer. At Otter Loop Road, near Depoe Bay, the vessel Whale's Tail was scoping out the miniature cove at the Ben Jones Bridge, probably in search of whales.


Down near the Devil's Punchbowl, this beautiful view presented itself – as seen from above on Cape Foulweather, using a high-powered zoom lens. It's interesting to note sand levels are not always high enough to get inside the Punchbowl as in some summers. It changes from year to year.


Down around Yachats, calm seas don't bring much in the way of spouting horn action. Yet the big one along the 804 managed to fire off a few small volleys and splash a handful of people who had wandered too close.


The end of the day almost always presents wondrous sights along the Oregon coast. Here, Pacific City became especially ethereal as the stars came out above Haystack Rock during the final – very final – rays of the day.

This was Cape Perpetua on another evening, as the sun dipped into the ocean and turned a funky shade of pink.


Yachats on yet another night was a striking, warm red as the sun started descending out of sight.


Perhaps some of the more stunning sights were presented a ways after dusk, however, perhaps as often as the sunset itself. This was Depoe Bay late one Friday night, about 10:10 p.m. Some hints of sunlight were still visible, but so was a sensational half-moon that cast this mesmerizing reflection onto the water.

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