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Places with Same Names on Oregon Coast: Rocky, Agate, Haystacks, China, Otter

Published 1/30/24 at 4:55 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Oregon Coast) – Ever look at a map of the Oregon coast and get a dose of deja vu? Understandably so, as the same names keep popping up for various landmarks. Those who named places around here weren't paying complete attention, it seems. (Above: Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint Near Depoe Bay - Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

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The place repeats itself. The following list doesn't even include what spots lie inland that show up again.

There are three China Creeks on the Oregon coast, and even a beach called China Beach.

China Creek Near Florence. The northernmost of the China Creeks spills out at Muriel O. Ponsler Memorial State Scenic Viewpoint, a decidedly ethereal little spot if there ever was one. Soft, sandstone-like cliffs of bright yellows and large mounds of sand typify this comely place that's not too far from Sea Lion Caves. - Florence Virtual Tour

There's a trail called the China Creek Loop (which arguably makes a fifth place with that name), and this winds about three miles up into the hills and back around to include exit points at the trippy Hobbit Trail or above the Heceta Head Lighthouse. More at the article China Creeks of Oregon Coast

China Creek at Bandon. Photo courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

China Creek the Beach at Bandon. The access known as China Creek sits at the southern end of Bandon State Natural Area, found by roaming Beach Loop Road after the Devil's Kitchen viewpoint. It's rather remote, so much so it's getting closer to the seriously off-the-beaten-path Floras Lake beaches. Bandon Hotels, Lodgings, Vacation Rentals

Courtesy Peter Chesar / Oregon King Tides

China Creek at China Beach – Near Brookings. There is yet a third China Creek farther down the south Oregon coast in the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor, at – you guessed it – China Beach. That beach technically makes four spots on the coast with that name.

China Beach is not far from the famed Secret Beach (yes, that one is famous), but it takes a bit of a hike to get to. The viewpoints looking north of the beach are easier to achieve – then it gets a bit gnarly as you approach the sands. Once down there, you'll be privy to a whole gob of fantastical rocky shapes sticking up out of the ocean, almost like an alien landscape. Here, the beach is actually a bit of a secret.

Agate Beach from above - Oregon Coast Beach Connection

Agate Beach at Newport. Once upon a time, this famous beach had lots of agates, but sand levels changed not long after building the jetties and those are gone. Now, Newport's Agate Beach is a placid place, with what feels like endless sand beneath your toes and a hefty helping of surfer devotees. Newport's Agate Beach: Complete Accesses, History, Facts of Central Oregon Coast Hotspot

Hotels in Newport - Where to eat - Newport Maps and Virtual Tours

Port Orford's Agate Beach seen from Port Orford Heads - courtesy State Parks

Agate Beach, Port Orford. As part of Tseriadun State Recreation Site, you'll find a large blob at the tideline and lots of agates. Keep walking north and you'll suddenly become part of Paradise Point State Recreation Site, or view this stretch from atop a cliff at Port Orford Heads State Park. It's happily smooshed between the two.

Agate Beach Near Gold Beach. To get here, you need to head through a rather lengthy pathway from the northern edges of Otter Point State Recreational Site. Then, the last portion gets rather steep and dangerous, thus there's usually a big rope easing you down the slippery, broken path.

However, this beach doesn't always exist – or at least it should be ruled out at times. High tides and tidal events make this one a no-no. Do not go down here if the breakers are even occasionally wandering close to the cliffline. However, during calmer periods it's good for agate-hunting and reportedly quite soft and comfortable for sitting and lounging on. Three Agate Beach's on Oregon Coast

Places with Same Names on Oregon Coast: Rocky, Agate, Haystacks, China, Otter
Otter Rock below

Otter Rock near Depoe Bay. One of the more famous spots on the entire coast plays host to the Devil's Punchbowl (one of several spots on the coastline with Devil in the name). There is Otter Rock the headland, Otter Rock the community upon it and a small sea stack just offshore called Otter Rock. That plus the Otter Point down south could bring the count to four places here with that name – but that criteria is up to you. Then there's also Otter Crest Loop ---- Also see Devil of a Good Time on Oregon Coast: Heavenly Places with Hellish Names

Courtesy Oregon State Parks

Otter Point State Recreational Site. Just a few miles north Gold Beach is this wowing wonder that is rarely occupied by others. In fact, signage to this place is difficult to spot. Otter Point itself is a bit of an outcropping, while it lies within the greater state park that also features a funky beach. It's a mix of wild and calm. A Tale of Two Otter Rock / Points on Oregon Coast

Rocky Point, courtesy CoastWatch - Red Rocks Reserve Team

Rocky Point near Port Orford. On the south Oregon coast, as you leave Port Orford and get closer to Humbug Mountain, you'll bump into Rocky Point. Well, not literally: you'll pass it and the Port Orford Vista Point lookout. Rocky Point itself juts out about 200 feet beyond the shoreline at its westernmost tip, and immediately south of that there's a bit of a beach below.

You'll pass the Rocky Point Creek and Rocky Point Creek Bridge, and right beyond that is a long gravel pullout. There, a small access lets you down to this thin stretch (meaning it's dangerous under all but the lowest of tidal conditions). Fun, odd stuff winds up down there and it's likely you'll find yourself quite alone, so those kooky finds don't get whisked away much.

Rocky Creek area, Oregon Coast Beach Connection

Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint Near Depoe Bay. If you think it's just a viewpoint, you're wrong. It's bigger than it looks too – like the central coast version of Dr. Who's TARDIS. A few viewing spots and grassy sections overlook oft-dramatic wave action, and then there's a random trail behind the restrooms that shoots off to the north and features an even more insane viewpoint. Hotels in Depoe Bay - Where to eat - Depoe Bay Maps and Virtual Tours

Haystack Rock Cannon Beach. The most iconic of the three Haystacks, this is one of the most photographed landmarks in Oregon by far. It's home to puffins in spring / summer and it's got one wild geologic history. -- Hotels in Cannon Beach - Where to eat - Cannon Beach Maps and Virtual Tours

Haystack Rock Pacific City. Actually much taller than Cannon Beach's Haystack, Pacific City's icon stands in front of Cape Kiwanda, and geologists say it's actually helped keep Kiwanda from eroding fast. Hotels in Three Capes - Where to eat - Three Capes Maps and Virtual Tours

Haystack Rock Bandon. People are still surprised there's this third one, this time at Bandon. It's not even 100 feet high and really looks a bit more like an elephant at times than anything haystack-like.

See Three Different Rocks With One Name on Oregon Coast: Bandon, Pacific City, Cannon Beach.


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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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