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From Here You Can See Just About Forever Along the Oregon Coast

Published 04/06/22 at 11:43 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

From Here You Just About See Forever Along the Oregon Coast

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(Yachats, Oregon) – High vantage points along the Oregon coast are just about aplenty, and some are a little more breathtaking than others. Neahkahnie Mountain near Manzanita is one of the most accessible, and on a clear day you can see all the way to Oceanside some 40 miles away. Humbug Mountain near Port Orford is one with non-stop jaw-dropping action, and there's a rather unknown spot just above Yachats – at a gravel turnout south of town – that is a constant source of awe.

Yet the best around this part of the central Oregon coast is also the most well known.

Near here, the top of Cape Perpetua really gets you high. There’s no doubt it has among the most incredible views along the entire Oregon coast as you’re well above the 800-foot mark, overlooking a seamless horizon and with a few surprises lurking around this sky-piercing, green-carpeted tuft.

One of the most famous surprises is that of the small, stony lookout, built here in the '30s by the Civilian Conservation Corps as part of the New Deal employment programs to help end the Depression. It sits hidden behind a bit of a trail, less than 100 feet from the parking lot. This spot is full of atmosphere, not unlike that of an old castle in moments.

During World War II it was used a lookout for enemy aircraft, but soon returned to civilian life.

From up here and from the main viewing point nearby, the sea and sky feel endless. Other recognizable landmarks take on a wild new look. The bridge next to the Lane / Lincoln County line looks tiny. The long, winding stairway to the Devil's Churn becomes clearer and more foreboding: you don't want to go down that one if you see it from above first. However, actually descending that central Oregon coast wonder is not a big deal. It just looks more of a handful when seen from far away.

Another wild, surprising fact: Cape Perpetua itself was a raging underwater volcano at one time.

Yet don’t forget the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, a few hundred feet below the massive mountaintop. In fact, it’s just a tad more sheltered from the wind than the very tip.

The comfort of wooden walkways is part of the attraction, but you can gaze down on the southern face of the Devil’s Churn area and the secret beach known as Cape Cove with the striking clarity of being just a bit a closer than that mountaintop can provide. The layout of this intriguing landmark becomes a lot clearer – as if previewing all the cool stuff you could be reveling in if you ventured down there.

The viewing platforms that encircle the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center are also an excellent spot for looking for whales, which can really be abundant in this section of Highway 101 between Yachats and Florence. Clearer days often result in more than a few sightings.

Another inviting aspect of the visitor center is the trailhead to some stunning trails, which wind up and down the mountain, bringing you down towards Cape Cove, Devil’s Churn or the mighty spouting horn at Cook’s Chasm and its many tidepools, as well as ending up at the top of Perpetua.

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