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Two Wonders Hiding in Plain Sight on Oregon Coast: Cool Coves

Published 07/19/21 at 6:45 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Two Wonders Hiding in Plain Sight on Oregon Coast: Cool Coves

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(Oregon Coast) – The wonders never cease here, and sometimes they're sitting right in front of you but you don't always notice. One is found on the central Oregon coast, almost right in the middle of those inimitable 362 miles. The other is tucked away between two intense hot spots on the north coast.

Two Oregon coast beaches offer some truly unique but incredibly divergent means of relaxation and repose, along with bundles of discovery. You probably don't even know about them.

Now, you do.

Cannon Beach's Crescent Beach. Akin to a cove, but maybe not quite, it sits tucked between the bustling beaches of Cannon Beach and the crowds of the Ecola State Park's vaulted cliff viewpoints. Believe it or not, some parts are beaches less traveled here: namely the secretive and remote Crescent Beach. It takes some walking, but that's why you'll find fewer folks and plenty to explore.

These basalt headlands are perhaps half a mile from the nearest beach access, which lies at the end of a private neighborhood at the end of 5th St. But tides do not usually let you cross here. Only at extreme low tides is this possible – and then only for a time. You'd best hurry.

You can, however, reach it by a mile or so trail from the forested road en route to Ecola State Park. Parking here is sketchy at best: it's a private neighborhood and it's easy to intrude. You often have to walk a ways to the trailhead.

Crescent Beach, however, is a wonder and a half. There, you'll find a large half-moon of a beach, cut off from any access but that lengthy hike. Pristine sands surround you, with almost never another human being there. Tidepool life abounds in little corners of this world unto itself. Unique little blobs are found at the tideline.

You can look down on this clandestine beach from the overlooks at Ecola State Park. Hotels in Cannon Beach - Where to eat - Cannon Beach Maps and Virtual Tours

Bob Creek Wayside – between Yachats and Florence. South of Yachats, and just barely south of Strawberry Hill and Neptune State Park, you'll find this almost mystical spot. Tidepool life far outnumber the human beings, who are often searching for the plentiful agates amid Bob Creek's myriad crannies, nooks and notches.

When the tide lowers – or sand levels get so high in summer they block the tideline – insanely colorful sea stars emerge on top of oddball blobs, sometimes with whimsical mushroom shapes, as if ripped from the pages of Alice in Wonderland. These and other hordes of brightly colored critters reside here, seemingly as far as the eye can see. Given the right tidal conditions, there's a kind of a ramp going down to the sea, really just a break between basalt slabs that house all the tidepools. The place gets intriguing

Sands at Bob Creek Wayside are much larger and coarser than most places on the Oregon coast, making it sometimes a tad ouchy to walk on them. In fact most of this “ramp” is more covered in stones than sand. It's shockingly thick stuff: abrasive and rough, but somehow still pleasant.


The entirety of Bob Creek forms a bit of a cove, but within there's a cave hiding at the extreme southern end. The height of this falls and rises dramatically depending on sand levels: in winter, when sands are scoured out, it's much taller. Keep in mind, storm season makes this impossible to enter at times, but conditions do calm even in winter to let you enter, an experience which almost always makes one dream of pirate treasure.

Close by, you'll find a huge boulder that creates a sort of arch by leaning up against the cliffs. It's like a mini-sea cave here, but awfully close to the tides. So be careful.

At the north end, you'll find plenty of mussels - but you'll have to cross the creek to do so. During the winter that's difficult if not impossible, and often certainly unwise. During the summer months, it's much easier. Hotels in Yachats - Where to eat - Yachats Maps and Virtual Tours

Inn at Haystack Rock.  3 blocks from downtown, only a block from beach. Garden courtyard with a Spanish-style fountain. Private patios, barbecue area, free wi-fi, flatscreen TV with DVD player, large, complimentary DVD library. Some host sleep two or three, one hosts six. 487 S. Hemlock. Cannon Beach . 800-559-0893. Inn at Haystack Rock website here.


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