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Blink And You'll Miss It: A Different Central Oregon Coast

Published 08/17/2018 at 6:27 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Blink And You'll Miss It: A Different Central Oregon Coast

(Yachats, Oregon) – Time and tides change all things. Certainly that’s true along the central Oregon coast, where parts of the Yachats area and Depoe Bay area can be strikingly different during the summer.

You may not recognize your favorite spot if you head there right now, as summer’s sand levels can do some mightily strange things. Or certainly amazing things.

Higher sand levels mean a very different beach at times, or at least access to things you could never have imagined seeing up close. All kinds of rarities can abound. Here’s just a sampling.


Northern end of the 804 Trail, Yachats. At the very northern end of the 804 Trail, where the rocky landscape typical of Yachats meets the sandy stretches north of town, sandbar-like conditions can push the tide so far out it is easy to walk around the point – which is usually covered by water most of the year. (Above: Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint).

Other beaches here showing off incredible access in Yachats can include those chasms and cracks that create those famed spouting horns along the 804 Trail. All of a sudden, they are actually empty of ocean water. You can see clearly into them.

This area, however, gets opened a bit more frequently than those locales at Arch Cape, Cannon Beach or the Devil's Punchbowl. It is a serious treat for beachcombers.


Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint. A bit more dramatic can be the changes several miles south of Yachats at Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint, where the tide line is pushed out considerably, sometimes as much as 100 feet farther out than normal. Here, you can meander around the giant rocks that you normally can’t access during other times of the year. Even wilder still, you can wander a ways past them before the surf even occurs.

It's important to remember beach safety when checking out these areas as tides can make a difference and still hurt you. Also, sand conditions can and will change abruptly.


Devil's Punchbowl. Normally, these areas are only accessible during extremely low tide events. But if sand levels pile up enough, they act as a kind of sand bar. Periodically – such as in 2011 – the Devil's Punchbowl will actually let you get inside it.

This is incredibly rare, like those beaches at Oceanside and near Cannon Beach. These conditions can last an unusually large amount of time, with some having been this way since July of whatever year you're there. By September the Devil's Punchbowl will start to return to normal rather quickly, and it is possible it won't change much at all during any given summver.

You cannot venture down there, however. It is still too dangerous for that. Oregon Coast Lodgings in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

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