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Mysterious, Even Mystical at One N. Oregon Coast Spot Near Cannon Beach

Published 05/28/22 at 8:05 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Mysterious, Even Mystical at One N. Oregon Coast Spot Near Cannon Beach

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(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – You probably already know this spot, but you don't know you did. You've likely stopped at those overlooks just south of Cannon Beach: Silver Point is one of the most visited spots on the Oregon coast with its arresting views of Haystack Rock, glimpses of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse in the distance and other funky crevices and blobs below the viewpoint. (Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Look down some 200 feet below the cliff, and that's where a whole other world resides. It's a place that looks vastly different than much of the Oregon coast.

If you take the time to walk from one of the secret entrances at the very southern end of town, it’s not even a half mile before you encounter a strange little beach covered with boulders that are in turn covered in green sea goo. Besides that, this almost mystical spot hosts a mesmerizing sea cave and is capable of showing what lies underneath Cannon Beach.

Silver Point is the name of the viewpoint above, where a grand, well manicured stone wall and interpretive signs allow you to take in the sights. From here, a large sea stack and some smaller ones protrude from the ocean, and next to it a peculiar wave action is common place, the result of a small reef that causes the waves to splash in a south to north direction, looking a bit like a creature wandering back and forth.

Down on the beach, however, these slime-covered boulders look like mythical, hairy, whimsical creatures all their own: like super slow-moving goblins in the sand – or an army of Cousin It’s (from the Adams Family show) – plodding their way to the sea.

These can get awfully slippery, so try not to walk on them.

Courtesy Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium

The visual center here is a big sea cave in the middle of one of those stacks. You can't ever get inside, and only on the rarest of extreme low tides can you get near it. Tiffany Boothe of Seaside Aquarium has done just that and taken some absolutely striking photographs of the place. Inside are all sorts of colorful marine life that sits completely untouched by humans. It's thick with bright shades, like an explosion of hues; a sizable city of critters with an alien look. (Photo at bottom of page)

Jesse Jones / CoastWatch

Most spectacularly, when sand levels drop dramatically in winter along the Oregon coast, sometimes Silver Point's beach can blow your mind. You could see bedrock – the 18-million-year-old foundation of much of the north Oregon coast called the Astoria Formation. This is actually what runs underneath all of Cannon Beach.

Pictures here are from Jesse Jones of CoastWatch, showing that ancient foundation visible for a brief period one winter.

A stern word of warning about the area below Silver Point: it's an extremely narrow section of beach and therefore potentially quite dangerous. Don't go there except under the calmest of conditions. If there's sneaker waves at all nearby, stay out of the area. MORE BELOW

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Photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium's Tiffany Boothe

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