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Depoe Bay's Otter Crest Loop in Video, Images: Startlingly Cool Oregon Coast

Published 05/20/2020 at 5:44 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Depoe Bay's Otter Crest Loop in Video, Images: Startlingly Cool Oregon Coast

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(Depoe Bay, Oregon) – In that wild, almost dizzying stretch of forestland, soaring ocean vistas and twisting, turning roadway between Depoe Bay and Newport sits a bit of a secret. This part of the central Oregon coast gets especially fast-paced, as you’re forced to zip along Highway 101 at fairly high speeds and pay attention to the ambling road, so loads of sights go by unnoticed. (Above: the secret cliffs found along Otter Crest Loop Road's lane cut-off point).

One of these is likely Otter Crest Loop Road, a truly singular stretch of Oregon coastline that is part secret and all eye-popping along just about every inch. It’s also an oddity because it’s approximately a mile or two that is one-way only: you can’t go anywhere but south along this tiny stretch of road. That’s because about 20 years ago chunks of it fell apart, and the only means to make it truly usable again was to make it one way. They had to get rid of the other lane.

Now, it’s part of the Oregon Coast Trail as well, with a decently-sized lane set aside for bikers and walkers trekking between Depoe Bay and Newport.

It all starts at Rodea Point, which is where Otter Crest Loop Road meets up with Highway 101. This is a stunning spot all its own and quite under appreciated. In anything but extremely calm weather the waves do some funky stunts.

You also shortly arrive at the Ben Jones Bridge area, a unique viewpoint that overlooks a tiny cove.

Head south and it’s still two lanes for about a quarter mile, until you come to a bend that narrows the road considerably and it all squeezes into one lane. From here, the twisty roadway gives way to soaring trees that provide glimpses into plunging cliffs and dramatic shapes. It’s lush and green here, almost mystically so.

A little secret: at that initial bend there’s a gravel pullout. Below the guardrails lies a hidden hiking path that ducks into deep, dark forest rather abruptly and then brings you out onto an awe-inspiring set of cliffs. There’s almost never anyone here, and whales are known to sometimes come quite close. Thanks to the silence of this spot, you can easily hear them fire off their blowholes.

It’s a quick plunge, however, so don’t take kids.

Wander along the roadway, gawk at the rolling hills and cliffs covered in greens, and pull over every once in awhile to take it all in.

Within a few minutes you come to Cape Foulweather, where you’re some 500 feet above it all. From here, you can gaze down at the Devil’s Punchbowl and Otter Rock from an aerial point of view, or check out the jagged basalt rock formations that you couldn’t see from the road before. That includes some startling, enormous sea caves. Hotels in Depoe Bay - Where to eat - Depoe Bay Maps and Virtual Tours

There’s a few insanely awesome places to stay near here, all within a few minutes drive of this tiny Oregon coast wonder.

Surfrider Resort. A combo of restaurant, luxury resort and oceanfront boutique, the Surfrider sits in that gloriously, slightly hidden section between Depoe Bay and Lincoln City. Overlooking Fogarty Beach, whales are often abundant here. Amenities include decks or balconies in some rooms, some pet friendly, kitchens available, handicapped parking, and plenty of entertainment devices. Free Wi-fi. 3115 NW Highway 101, Depoe Bay, Oregon. (541) 764-2311. Surfrider website here.

Moolack Shores InnJust off Highway 101 and a tad bit north of Newport, you not only have a private access to all the wonders of Moolack Beach but your room overlooks the ocean vistas. Each room smoke-free, whale watching reigns. Spacious decks for lounging. Amenities: coffee in the lobby, free Wi-Fi, DVDs; microwave, refrigerator, flat screen TV, hair dryer, alarm clock, fireplaces in some rooms. Each unit is individually decorated with whimsical to rustic. 8835 North Coast Highway, Newport, Oregon. (541) 265-2326. Moolack Shores Website here.

An Ocean Paradise Whales Rendezvous, Depoe Bay. Two oceanfront suites for a romantic getaway: Vacation Rental package or a Bed and Breakfast Package, you get to choose. Private deck, private outdoor entrance. Large outdoor deck / garden area, wood fire pit, Adirondack chairs. Suites come with elegant antiques, gas fireplace, fridge, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, WiFi, cozy robes, satellite TV, DVD, and binoculars to watch the whales. 147 N. Highway 101. Depoe Bay (10 mins from Lincoln City, Oregon). 541-765-3455. Website here.

A1 Beach Rentals, Depoe Bay. A breathtaking collection of craftsman or traditional beachfront homes, or oceanview houses from one to seven bedrooms. In various areas of Lincoln City and overlooking the beach, with some in Depoe Bay. All kinds of amenities are available, like hot tubs, decks, BBQ, rock fireplaces, beamed ceilings and more. Some are new, some are historic charmers. Lincoln City, Oregon. 1 (503)-232-5984.

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