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Treasures of Oregon Coast Hide in Plain Sight Near Yachats, Port Orford, Cannon Beach

Published 04/25/21 at 6:55 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Treasures of Oregon Coast Hide in Plain Sight Near Yachats, Port Orford, Cannon Beach

(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – The nooks and crannies of Oregon’s coastlines are multivarious and all over the place. Bizarre features and spots full of surprises lurk in corners just out of sight, but sometimes not quite out of the way. (Above: Bob Creek near Yachats).

Many of the best wonders are literally hiding in plain view, just under your nose. In the case of one Cannon Beach area, that is very true and not a metaphor. Another couple of coastal stunners happen just as you’re whizzing down the highway – one just south of Yachats and the other near Port Orford.


Photo courtesy Dan Nevill / Flickr

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Port Orford’s Sisters Rock State Park. Strangely not actually listed on the state park’s website but called Sister Rock State Park, the place is a somewhat tiny attraction yet crammed full of unique finds. All of it, however, is tucked away just off bustling Highway 101. It’s easy to zoom past this spot that’s full of character.

The telltale two giant blobs emerge pretty quickly into sight. A small parking lot gives way to huge views, and a semi-paved path or two up to the blobby rock and then down to either side of Sisters Rock State Park. To the south, you have the rubbly, more pebble-covered beach that’s rougher until it gives way to softer sands. On the northern edges it’s softer, gray sands – but those darker tints contain a secret. On this part of the southern Oregon coast darker strands often mean gold.

Trippy highlights of Sisters Rock’s beaches include a sea cave and the dramatic, intricate Frankport Beach next door, where rusting old components of a kind of makeshift shipping port lie, about 100 years old.

Crescent Beach at Cannon Beach. It’s like a cove or almost a bay, but technically just falls short. This off-the-beaten-path treasure sits in the middle of one of the Oregon coast's more popular hot spots: Cannon Beach, which is usually smothered with people.

Yet there are still some sections less traveled, far less populated, like the very northern end, near the southern face of the cliffs of Ecola State Park. It takes some walking, but that's why you'll find fewer folks and plenty to explore. Behind this headland hides Crescent Beach.

These basalt structures 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 Crescent Beach 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 a human being there. As if designed by Mother Nature to be a centerpiece, a sizable, monolithic sandstone sits practically in the middle.

You can look down on this clandestine beach from the overlooks at Ecola State Park.


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 creatures far, far outnumber the humans meandering about, looking for agates or exploring Bob Creek's myriad of crannies, nooks and notches.

At lower tides, a wildly-shaped mushroom-like blob emerges from the tidepools, which quickly draw your attention. Starfish and 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 tide pools.

The sands become much larger and coarser, unlike most any place along the Oregon coast. 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.

At the southern end of Bob Creek, there's also a small sea cave – one that rises and falls dramatically in height, depending on the sand levels. There's much less of it in summer when sands pile up, but winter – when it's as safe to enter – it's a tall, eerie natural feature that immediately makes you think 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. MORE PHOTOS BELOW

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Bob Creek


Crescent Beach seen from above

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