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The Jagged, Blackened, Dramatic Chaos of Oregon Coast at Yachats

Published 11/08/21 at 8:04 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

The Jagged, Blackened, Dramatic Chaos of Oregon Coast at Yachats

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(Yachats, Oregon) - About halfway between Florence and Newport, on the central Oregon coast, one tiny town features dramatic views in endless abundance. Its beaches are primarily rocky slabs and shelves, jagged and pointy in many spots, with crevices and blowholes, all interspersed with tiny spots of sandy beaches comprised of rather large, coarse grains.

In back of "downtown" lies the large beach access, with an enormous parking lot and some concrete spots close to the surf - perfect for a picnic by the raging seas of this extraordinary area. This famous and even infamous Oregon coast spot is known for its dangers as much as for its wowing drama. As if to prove the point, there's a set of concrete steps here that are broken and jagged, a reminder of what the waves can do.

A second set of steps was constructed off to the side and with a slightly different approach, thus making it a tad more resilient to the worst the Oregon coast can dole out.

The street follows the shoreline for several blocks, with the occasional bench on a breathtaking perch or a hard-to-find beach access.

If you decide to walk about the town, shop the funky boutiques on 101, or check out attractions like the bay, or the Little Log Church, found on Third Street. On the bay itself, walk along the road going into the main access of Yachats State Recreation Area and you find a secret stairway that winds down rather gracefully, looking a tad like something out of Tolkien.

Farther north, you'll encounter Smelt Sands and the mile-long 804 Trail, where a spouting horn may greet you as well as the periodic gaping hole in the rocks, which yield watery surprises squirting up at you on occasion. Or they give you curious glimpses into the coarse sands beneath the rocks here, if the tide is low enough.

Keep on walking until the trail ends and you'll encounter a true sea change in Yachats: where this part of the Oregon coast shifts from sandy beach to crusty rock structure. At this northern end is a geologic curiosity: this area is made of a softer rock than the basalt most of Yachats is comprised of.

On the southern end of Yachats, on the other side of the bay, don't be surprised to be surprised. The road here circles around and you encounter yet another blowhole.

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