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Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint: Actually Two Oregon Coast Parks in One

Published 05/31/2019 at 4:53 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint: Actually Two Oregon Coast Parks in One

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(Yachats, Oregon) – Just south of Yachats, and an even shorter distance south of the Lane County / Lincoln County line, one part of the Oregon coast gets intricate and engaging. Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint is one of those beaches, and it's one of those in the state park system that simply don’t get talked about much.

Sometimes called Neptune Beach, Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint is a puzzling and yet sprawling wonder. There’s much more to it than you realize.

There are technically two parts to Neptune: north and south. But the northern section is not very well marked, and because the wild wonder sits along that rugged and unpopulated part of the Oregon coast between Florence and Yachats, it winds up like a hidden spot within a hidden spot. The northern section has a sign designating it as part of Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint, but it’s puny and slightly tucked away. Only the southern part has obvious signage, and so most people know this as Neptune Beach. The other part simply seems like an unmarked and somewhat mysterious access.

Oh, what twin accesses they are, however. Each has their own distinctive aspects, with no similarities whatsoever.

The southern section contains the grassy lawn with the picnic tables, and then a stairway of some slight challenge leading to the bottom of a sandy beach cut through by rather strenuous Cummins Creek. In this way, it too is divided in half. Southward the beach ends quickly in rubbly, polished stones and giant blobs of basalt where the tide rages, and thus makes it impassable. Northward is the section with the small, mulit-colored cave and a stretch of cliff-hugging beach that eventually ends near the northern half of the state park.

Both form a kind of cove, although the northern half is definitely more of that configuration. This section is a trippy little place, with endless oddities of rock meandering around its rather complex layout. Part of it is the cove; part of it is a grassy hill with slabs of basalt at its feet. These slabs form miniature versions of the Devil’s Churn just a tad north, where giant slats coax the sea water in, only to cause them to bounce around in claustrophobic tidal madness. Sometimes you’ll get a little spouting horn action here as well.

On the cove section, boldly colored rocks of red and sometimes yellow dot the place, with one featuring a kind of natural stairway (called a cordwood joint in geology, an engaging Oregon coast sight). A small arch pokes out of the sand in another section. Agates can be plentiful at times.

At the southern, more well-known part, the grassy area gets a fine sea water mist fairly often at its southwest corner. Just below the painted, sandstone cliffs, basalts cause the ocean to smack them with regularity, and don’t be surprised to see water squirting in the air beyond the fence – or feel a slight drizzle over there.

Below, the creek, the stones and the bridge make particularly beautiful photographs. That little cave – which enlarges and shrinks in height depending on sand levels – has some freaky, ancient features. See Oregon Coast Cave Tells a Varied Geologic Story.

Find even more on Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint at the Upper Lane County Virtual Tour, including video of the park. Hotels in Yachats - Where to eat - See more photos below:


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