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Views Taken to Dizzying Heights Along Oregon Coast

Published 03/10/22 at 4:45 AM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Views Taken to Dizzying Heights Along Oregon Coast

(Oregon Coast) – The beaches may reign supreme along the Oregon coast but it's the tall places that can really make an impression. Literally, the views are taken to dizzying heights at times along Highway 101. (Above: near Heceta Head)

Here's three examples:

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Miles of Breathtaking Views Near Florence. A few miles north of Florence, and just south of the glorious Heceta Head Lighthouse, the highway becomes a non-stop attention grabber. More of this road is winding and twisting after the Sea Lion Caves, sometimes dotted with various viewpoints and small waterfalls tumbling off the basalt rocks on the landward side of the highway. Careful as you zig zag along, however: it's easy to get taken in by the sights and start swerving where it's the worst thing you can possibly do. Thus, the pullovers come in handy.

The main viewpoints here are bordered by black rock walls which give them a slight Gothic castle vibe – especially if you stop by on a stormy night. Below them can be spotted various kinds of wildlife, from birds to sea lions. But mostly they provide eye-popping views of the Heceta Head Lighthouse, which help make it among the most photographed lighthouses in the world.

Plenty more viewpoints lurk along the side of the road farther south, allowing you dramatic views of the ocean – and eventually a great aerial shot of the expanse of Baker Beach (Look for MP 181).

Views Taken to Dizzying Heights Along Oregon Coast  - Humbug
Courtesy  Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

Humbug Mountain. To call it soaring would be an understatement. Humbug Mountain and Humbug Mountain State Park on the south Oregon coast skyrocket up to 1700 feet above the ocean, making it the tallest such promontory directly overlooking this shoreline.

To get to the top is no easy feat: some 5.5 miles of a hike. But you can be well satisfied with some of the pullouts nearby and higher vantage points a ways up, where stunning views are practically de rigueur on the mountain's part.

There's bundles of camping here, reserved through Oregon State Parks. The campground and other parts of this forested wonderland are cloistered from the winds, and when combined with the south Oregon coast's penchant for warmer weather you get some of the hottest temps around the region. See Humbug Mountain and State Park on South Oregon Coast: Varied, Intricate Attractions

Cape Foulweather's Soaring Delights. Between Depoe Bay and Newport sits Cape Foulweather. Here, you won't need to bring your binoculars - just bring a buck or two worth of quarters. They've got those coin-operated thing-a-ma-bobs up there, allowing you to zoom in on whales sailing by or some of the nearby cliffs from this 500-foot-high vantage point.

In the photo above, looking to the south, you can check out the ragged, rocky shoreline that zigzags around sea stacks and large cliffs, creating secret beaches with black sands that are shut off from human touch. Above them, lies the sprawling Inn at Otter Crest complex, and just south of that you can see the brilliant sandstone of the angry Devil's Punchbowl.

To the north, there's high cliffs covered by patches of grass and untouched forest which are perfect for the coin-op binoculars. They are nothing short of mesmerizing, especially as waves crash headlong into these.

There's also a gift shop on top of Cape Foulweather and plenty of parking.

This spot is not only wondrous during the day or during storms, but on a clear night with a full moon it's like entering some enchanted netherworld.

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