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Video: N. Oregon Coast's Manzanita and Its Deeper Layers, Varied Colors

Published 06/04/2020 at 5:54 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Video: N. Oregon Coast's Manzanita and Its Deeper Layers, Varied Colors

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(Manzanita, Oregon) – One little place, such larger-than-life character.

Manzanita, at the very northern tip of Tillamook County, is one of those special little stops that was for so long somewhat unknown yet had its definite following. Paradoxically, it was a popular secret. Now, it’s leaning towards more trend-setting but it remains full of truly deeper layers.

The beaches here are one long stretch of calming real estate: miles of mildly-lapping waves that run several miles from Neahkahnie Mountain all the way down to the tip of the Nehalem Spit. Except of course when they’re not calm. This is a broad beach, so major storm wave situations aren’t always as critical as they are in other parts of the Oregon coast, but it definitely has its danger zones if storms are large enough.

In the videos, you see calmer conditions and the place in a much more pleasant mood. You know storms are verifiably insane if they reach up to the vegetation line. It’s impressive. Still, Manzanita is always a place you have to keep an eye out for when it comes to the tides in any weather.

When summer comes around, massive sand blobs get built at the tideline, creating entrancing patterns – especially at dusk when the pools of sea water collected in them reflect the last, colorful rays.

Farther down inside Manzanita, it’s known for a lot of shipwreck lore, including one going back all the way to the 1700s. One shipwreck, called the Glenesslin, caused a stir here about 100 years ago. From the Neahkahnie vantage points, if you look down at the rocks from the right spot, you can supposedly see part of the Glenesslin. Manzanita's Wreck of the Glenesslin: Historical Oregon Coast Controversy

Actual documentation of this is rare, however. But some locals swear they’ve seen the crusty chunks of the old ship.

The centuries-old ship purportedly left a treasure chest somewhere in these forest hills. There’s no decent evidence of this, just lore. Yet adventurers have tried looking for it on and off over the last few decades.See Manzanita Freaky Facts, Weird Science on N. Oregon Coast

Head up the steep hill leading out of town and you’ll enter the realm of Neahkahnie Mountain. Its viewpoints are – quite literally – the pinnacle of this north Oregon coast village. On a clear day you can see south some 40 miles to Oceanside, and the sunsets can’t be matched. See Hiking Neahkahnie Mountain: Manzanita's Marvel, Oregon Coast's Landmark

A Little Insider’s Tip: this place at night is magical. It’s also not implausible that you’ll see shooting stars up here most any time of year. Just wait awhile.


For more rugged adventures, head north and pull over on one of the gravel parking spots off the side of the road, and there's the one-mile-plus hiking trail heading down to Short Sand. Walk down this trail a bit, veer to the left - instead of going down to Short Sand - and you'll encounter a totally different set of inclines and cliffs. Giant basalt structures form the various headlands here, with craggy shapes jutting up from the ocean and bundling together.

In one area, the sea boils and tumbles against a hidden cove, with black, jagged spires forming something akin to a creepy, post-apocalyptic cathedral (sort of reminiscent of the "Planet of the Apes" films). Another spot visible from these dangerous cliffs showcases more of the jagged shapes, this time with enormous holes and arches in them. Through these, you can see other headlands to the north. See Forbidden Cliffs, Boiling Surf 

Another section features a gigantic hole in the cliffs – called Devil’s Cauldron.

Be extremely careful here, however. The drop-offs here are sudden and deadly. Hotels in Manzanita, Wheeler - Where to eat - Manzanita, Wheeler Maps and Virtual Tours

 

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