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What Are the Highest Elevation Viewpoints of Oregon Coast? From North to South

Published 08/08/23 at 6:11 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Oregon Coast) – Up for a good hike to a lofty spot? Or want to find the highest viewpoint on the Oregon coast where you can park your rig? (Above: Oceanside's Maxwell Mountain)

According lidar from various public agencies, including the US Geological Survey, these are the most towering of destinations above the beaches and waves.

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What are the highest spots on the coast? Number one is Humbug Mountain with a viewpoint at 1700 feet high – but it's a long, long hike.

Next is Neahkahnie Mountain at 1680 feet high. However, the famed viewpoints are at 600 feet high.

Third in the bunch is Cascade Head with the trails hitting 1,300 feet.

At fourth place is Tillamook Head with trails getting as high as 1,024 feet. However, the actual viewpoints are not that high.

Fifth is Cape Perpetua at 833 feet, while sixth place is Cape Sebastian at a bit over 600 feet.

Highest parking spots with a view are Neahkahnie and Cape Foulweather along with Maxwell Mountain.

Getting further into the numbers, here's some extra elevation data by north to south.

Tillamook Head – Seaside / Cannon Beach. The trail itself leads you up to some 1,024 feet, but the headland actually peaks at 1204 feet high in some areas, according to lidar. The whole trail from Seaside to Cannon Beach is almost seven miles long. Mysterious World War II Bunker Atop Oregon Coast's Tillamook Head

Neahkahnie Mountain, Manzanita. To the top of the peak gets you 1680 feet above sea level, where you can indeed see just about all of the north Oregon coast (as far south as Cape Meares). The Neahkahnie overlooks themselves are at 623 feet, give or take a few, depending on which spot you're at. Complete Guide to Neahkahnie Mountain: Hiking Neahkahnie Mountain

Cape Meares, near Oceanside. The last of the Three Capes actually soars as high as 220 feet in some areas just east of the main headland, according to lidar. However, more relevant is the parking lot that is 328 feet high and then there's a considerable dip to the Cape Meares Lighthouse at around 100 feet. Cape Meares Scary Geology

Oceanside. Nifty and fairly secret Maxwell Mountain tops out at 501 feet high, according to lidar. Three Arch Rocks, from Above, National Refuge

Cape Lookout, near Oceanside. Actual peaks around this headland are at 951 feet, but that's not a part of any trail. The trails through here are around 400 feet high, with a few elevation drops and gains here and there. Some of those are pretty close to the edge – so watch out. Misty Moments Above the Oregon Coast: Cape Lookout Trailhead

Cascade Head, Lincoln City. Actual peaks up here are at 1,447 feet, well enough to get hit by lower level snow events that usually just nab the Oregon Coast Range. The trails, however, max out at 1,300 feet.

Cape Foulweather, Depoe Bay. It is one stunning spot, and it clocks in at 501 feet at the gift shop house. However, the viewpoint where most people gather is at 341 feet high. Cape Foulweather and Cliffs

Cape Perpetua, near Yachats. Indeed, the fourth highest viewpoint on the Oregon coast takes you to 833 feet at the parking lot and lookout area. See geology of Perpetua Inside Heceta Head / Cliffs Near Florence: All Come from Oregon Coast Volcano

Heceta Head Lighthouse, near Florence. It's only about 75 feet high at its ground level. Some of the trails behind it go above the lighthouse as well, and some peaks – reachable or not – just northeast of here get to 475 feet high or so, according to lidar info.

Nearby, Cox Rock and the secret viewpoints there are at 328 feet high. The next really high place is far down the southern Oregon coast (less if you're counting Shore Acres near Coos Bay). Cox Rock, Near Florence, an Oregon Coast Puzzle in History, Geology, Sightseeing

Humbug Mountain, near Port Orford. The highest spot overlooking the coast is a whopping 1700 feet high, but lidar maps don't show the trails through the trees. It does show, however, that not far away there are peaks at 2,200 feet high or more. Humbug Mountain and State Park on South Oregon Coast: Varied, Intricate Attractions

Cape Sebastian Scenic Corridor. The highway itself here takes you about 220 to 240 feet high, but all that is behind treelines. The parking lot to the viewpoints is at 787 feet, but the viewpoints are a ways lower, with one at 629 feet high.

From here on out southward it's not particularly lofty west of Highway 101.

Near Crook Point by drone, courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

Crook Point Beach Trailhead. You're at 173 feet high, according to lidar. After that, viewpoints along the highway don't get much higher than 320 feet and most are substantially lower.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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