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Cool Coves on Oregon Coast at Brookings, Seaside, Yachats, Coos Bay

Published 06/23/22 at 4:55 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Cool Coves on Oregon Coast at Brookings, Seaside, Yachats, Coos Bay

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(Oregon Coast) – Where the crescent formation meets the water's edge, and frothy waves soak the sands of some unique indentation along the shore; where surprises are crammed into cozy places. Cool and funky coves dot Oregon's ocean contours in various ways, creating new places to explore and adventures in scientific curiosity. Frequently, there's something different here, but you need to look a little closer. It's not just that these famous and not-so-famous spots can give you ultimate protection from these unruly coastal winds. (Photo of Lone Ranch Beach courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more.)

They're not just eye candy, though it's perfectly understandable you'd regard them as such. There's more beneath their surface and other layers to check out.

Lone Ranch Beach

Near Brookings, just as the southern Oregon coast begins its famed Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor, Lone Ranch Beach provides lots of space to play on the beach, and it boasts many of the head-scratching outlines of much of the rest of the 20-mile route. Lone Ranch is where bright colors meet drab but stark shapes of ancient rocks, making for a scenic “kick in the eye,” as they say.


Photo of Lone Ranch Beach and Cape Ferrelo courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more.

Even from just the picnic table area, Lone Ranch Beach is a jumbled mass of rocky blobs, ground-down spires, and boulders in a completely wacky disarray. In some places there's an impressive collection of grooves and gigantic cracks, signs of some major ancient wave action here and maybe even other forms of geologic distress. Various intensely powerful forces gouged out some of these huge crevices, while even more vigorous Earth mechanisms forged and formed the various kinds of rocks.

Lone Ranch Beach is a set of incredibly stark contrasts between alien world-like vibes and cajoling beach with vibrant colors. In some areas, large purple and yellow flora create bold bursts against those blackish slabs. Their colors frame the dark patterns from lush viewpoints.

Plenty of stuff to climb on resides here, surrounded by soft beach that's easy walking. Tidepools abound as well, making it good for the kiddies and fairly safe at normal tidal conditions.

Lone Ranch Beach is a complex cove, where Cape Ferrelo borders at the north with its grassy plains and gray rock faces. An unnamed promontory closes it off at the south – with mysterious and unobtainable Black Point almost a mile south. Southern Coast

Sunset Bay, Coos Bay


Most any jaunt to the south Oregon coast should include a run to Shore Acres near Coos Bay, where the wave action can't be beat. There are many times from fall through spring the place yields monsters over 100 feet high. Yet if it's on the mellow side, the place to be is next door at Sunset Bay.

A huge curved opening in the land lets in all kinds of waves – and thus some decent surfing. It's also a shoe-in for checking out a variety of wild shapes and crevices with a variety of bizarre textures, such as honey-combed objects or weird plaster-looking balls, All those details and curious shapes turn it into a photographer's dream, as well as a new kind of dreamscape. Holes that almost look like mini-craters seem to come from some ancient space bombardment, now forming funky little pools with intertidal lifeforms. Nubs with circular etchings around them seem carved by some fanciful being. Other spots look like elements from a Yes album cover in the '70s.

When winter sand levels get scoured out, new things pop up, like the Viking-age ghost forest stumps.

Then there's always sunset: if the great orb has a chance of cutting through the skies then you see why the place was named so. Southern Coast

Seaside's Cove Area

Affectionately known as simply “The Cove,” this north Oregon coast legend has a lot more to it than being a popular surfing spot.

Almost two miles of sand stretch from the southern edge of the Necanicum River to this chunk at the base of Tillamook Head in Seaside. Wander the rocky, cobblestone-strewn edges here and look for odd ocean finds. Stuff gets coughed up from the sea all the time. Stroll that sandy stretch nearby, head a bit north and you'll find yourself alone. Few people tread up this way.

Farther up there's a painted rock garden that is an elaborate, DIY delight.

Winter here can act more like a rocky area instead of a sandy beach, with waves causing quite a bit of drama at times along the cobblestones. When they hit the rocks they make a mighty rattling noise, and do so again as they retreat. Big winter storms create hazards in the parking lot, but these are fun to watch from far away.

Near the parking lot, there's a gravestone marker for the unknown sailor, maintained faithfully for almost 200 years now. An eerie bit of history: there's quite a few unnamed deceased people buried here, deep beneath the sands and maybe some of the homes. Many young shipmen met their demise along this part of the coast and washed up around the south end. Hotels in Seaside - Where to eat - Seaside Maps and Virtual Tours

Strawberry Hill

This spot just south of Yachats has a variety of stuff for everyone, from tidepools, bubble-like rock structures for climbing to sandy stretches and stunning high viewpoints.

Your initial view is as you step out on a rather stately bluff with breathtaking views all around you. Look to the south, there's a run of a cobblestone beach where cliffs tower behind, often painted vibrant shades by the sunset. To the west and north of you lie loads of tidepools, large and small rocky globules of varied shapes and cragginess, all making for an intricate path at times. Clinging to these rocks are the wowing colors of sea stars, mussels, and a vast array of colonies.

It's not fit for rather high tide exploration, so stick to calm conditions. However, large storms can kick up quite a sight, which you can view from the parking lot high above.

Hotels in Yachats - Where to eat - Upper Lane County Maps and Virtual Tours


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