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Oregon Coast Surprises: Weird, Hidden Aspects of Cape Perpetua Near Yachats

Published 12/29/2017 at 5:15 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon Coast Surprises: Weird, Hidden Aspects of Cape Perpetua Near Yachats

(Yachats, Oregon) – What you don't know about Cape Perpetua will surprise you. There's more lurking beneath your feet and around you than you realize at this central Oregon coast attraction, which sits a few miles south of the ever-engaging Yachats.

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There's a lot to see here: the cape itself, the top of it and its outstanding views, the little stone shelter, the visitors center, and then so much more is happening at the base of it (such as the Devil's Churn).

To quote the infomercial guys: But wait! There's more!

Did you know Cape Perpetua itself is an extinct volcano? Did you know that only some of the basalt in the area comes from that? Did you know there's a beach here that only exists some of the time? And just where else did all that other basalt come from? And why does one major attraction sometimes change colors?

There's a lot more to the journey of visiting Cape Perpetua – a lot more. In fact, exploring it is a journey and not a simple visitation. Find out the answers to these questions and other surprises below: these are previews of larger articles, so make sure you click on the links for the full information. Where to stay in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours


Cape Cove: Magnificent Oregon Coast Spot Exists Only Half the Time. It may be the coolest little Oregon coast beach you've never heard of. It's called Cape Cove Beach, and it's technically part of Cape Perpetua and the Devil's Churn. But you may never get to wander there as it really only exists about half the time – the rest it's covered over by rough waters and dangerous tides.

If you've ever been to the southern face of Cape Perpetua and the Devil’s Churn near Yachats, rounded that bend and looked out on the waves crashing over rocky structures up against a cliff, you've seen it. There are benches facing this part of the Churn’s sort of base-like area. If you look carefully, you’ll see the beach continues back a ways into a tiny cove, where a concrete construction allows water to come through. ....MORE....


Yachats Geology: Wonders and Frights of Central Oregon Coast. These days, Cape Perpetua and the dozens of stunning beach spots in this area and around Yachats are one awe-inspiring wonder after another. All this, however, came about because of one kind of massive lava flow or another, sometimes underwater and sometimes from a towering volcano.

According to the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, about 50 million years ago there was (and still is) a kind of soft spot in the Earth’s crust that allowed all sorts of enormous lava flows to erupt. At the same time, the tectonic plate that contained this area of the coast was far inland – it has since drifted 100’s of miles to its current location.....MORE....


A Natural Maker of Monsters on Central Oregon Coast. Like a pale version of the famed “Black Smoke Monster” from the show LOST, you see a sudden and thunderous gush of sea of water erupt from the black basalt in a white plume. It fires off at an interesting diagonal, but it’s always noisy and abrupt – and just a bit frightening. Like that mythical smoke monster from that – well, let’s face it, a show that turned out to be goofy in the end – you half expect it to keep billowing its way out of the rockface and towards you and the rest of the crowd gathered to watch the spectacle.

A few miles south of Yachats, right at the border between Lane County and Lincoln County, there is a structure called Cook’s Chasm, part of the basalt that typifies this always dramatic and yet somewhat secretive chunk of the Oregon coast. About 20 miles or so down the road is Florence. Towering above you is the 800-foot point of Cape Perpetua. And down below, sitting on the left hand side of the Chasm, is what is called the “spouting horn,” some kind of fissure that manages to catch the waves just right, compress them, and send them shooting up in the air in a magnificent display of watery pyrotechnics.....MORE....


Cook's Chasm Handicap Accessible Trail, Spouting Horns. At Cook’s Chasm, there are a couple of places to park along this winding stretch of 101, both of which are day-use fee spots.

But it’s worth it. Cook’s Chasm is a small wonderland of spouting horns, wave-whacked rocky spots and tons of tide pools. Not to mention, it’s one of the few really spectacular viewpoints on the coast that’s wheelchair accessible.....MORE....

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