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Three Oregon Coast Viewpoints From Dazzling to Dizzying

Published 12/01/21 at 10:22 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Three Oregon Coast Viewpoints From Dazzling to Dizzying

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(Oregon Coast) – Frequently, there's more to those viewpoints of the Oregon coast than mere height. Then again, sometimes that is the point. (Photo courtesy Manuela Durson Fine Arts: Bandon's Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint)

Here's an example of three viewpoints that provide more than meets the eye, in a sense.

Anderson's Viewpoint, Oceanside

Between Oceanside and Pacific City you'll find the famous Anderson's Viewpoint, where an eyeful is an understatement.

At approximately MP 1, look for this favorite spot for hang gliders to launch themselves off of. Vast views of the ocean spread out here, and ample parking is provided by surrounding gravel areas and a somewhat new paved parking area.

Check out panoramic views of the ocean from almost 180 degrees. To the north, you can see Oceanside's Three Arch Rocks quite clearly. Immediately below, you can peer down on Cape Lookout State Park and see features and landmarks from quite the new perspective.

This area finally got some signage in the early 2000s, and a few years later one of the more gravelly and crude parking lots was paved over, making it a much more attractive and engaging viewpoint.

The pullouts of Anderson's Viewpoint are about a mile south of the entrance to Cape Lookout State.

There are a couple other unmarked viewpoints along the Three Capes Route that are perfect for big views, including one rather unstable spot that overlooks Tillamook Bay and the spit, just north of Cape Meares. Parking here isn't recommended, however. In fact, this landslide-prone area is the spot that caused the Three Capes Loop to stop being a loop: the road fell apart here. Hotels in Oceanside - Where to eat - Oceanside Maps and Virtual Tours

Rodea Point, Depoe Bay

Rodea Point, just south of Depoe Bay, is the lesser known cousin to the soaring, birds-eye views of Cape Foulweather. But sometimes higher in the air is not better.

Rodea allows you a high enough vantage point to check out the many wandering whales that meander past here. In fact, don't be surprised to have one cruise by close enough to hear it spouting. But this vantage point is also mega-spectacular in its wave action much of the time, where a rocky shelf jutting out into the ocean causes waves to crash here with wowing ferocity at times.


The sea bulges ominously in front of the viewpoint, giving way to the roar of a giant wall of surf turning into a rolling wave – a little like coveted pipelines that surfers love so much. These then smash against the rocks, making a variety of insane noises, from the usual splashes of massive waves to distant sonic booms as the waves trap and squash pockets of air.

Many times, the waves explode all over the basalt with awe-inspiring intensity, rocketing upwards sometimes forty feet in the air, then causing a soaking mist to bound towards you and your vehicle.

Another engaging viewpoint, albeit a quieter one, lurks a quarter mile south of here. There's a large park with more parking that sits just north of the point, and it too has its impressive wave action as well – although you can't get quite as close or get sprayed so much as at Rodea Point.

It all sits at the beginning of Otter Crest Loop, just below where Highway 101 rises up to head south towards Cape Foulweather and Newport – making it a bit of a hidden spot. Hotels in Depoe Bay - Where to eat - Depoe Bay Maps and Virtual Tours

Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint, Bandon


Courtesy Bandon Visitors

Right in the heart of the southern Oregon coast, Bandon's Face Rock is the most haunting of icons from the state. It outright resembles a massive head sitting in the water, face upturned and staring at the sky. Its ragged, crinkly features make it look like a giant mummy head, but to native, original residents of the place it was a holy site of sorts: a princess to be revered.

This and much more are found from Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint, with its long stretch of cliffline bordering the sea and rugged beach, and a wide display of oh-so-ancient rocky blobs and spires set out in front of it. Plenty of parking is available, and even if the beach isn't accessible during those stormier moments you're in for a hell of a ride just with the stormwatch views up top.

In front of Gravel Point and the westernmost viewpoint, you have a massive slab-like rock that hosts an arch at times (depending on tides). Just to the north sits Howling Dog / Wizard's Hat Rock – which one it is depends on your angle. Talk about shifty: the rock structure changes shape and features depending on your angle of it.

Just offshore from that sits Face Rock, and just to the north of her sit her Cats and Kittens: a jumble of mixed-material rock structures that started forming some 200 million years ago, not unlike Face Rock. She's older than she looks.

To the south sit more craggy and crinkly rock structures, one of which often resembles famed Wizard's Hat / Howling Dog, but it's not the same thing.

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