Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Where the Pointy Things Are on Oregon Coast: Famous Spires

Published 05/09/22 at 4:25 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Where the Pointy Things Are on Oregon Coast: Famous Spires

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; some specials in winter
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Some specials for winter
In Lincoln City:
Some specials for winter
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Newport:
Look for some specials
In Waldport
Some specials for winter
In Yachats, Florence
Some specials for winter
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; winter deals

(Oregon Coast) – No one ever said it was smooth sailing around the shorelines of Oregon. Sure, the long expanses of sand are soft and easy to walk on, and they're perfect for watching sunsets. But little on the Oregon coast can replace the dramatic shapes of many of its rocky forms. Some of that scenery gets startling when it includes the pointed spires among those distinctive shapes. (Above: Howling Wolf Rock in Bandon. Courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more)

When things get spiky out here, that's when some of the most remarkable photographic moments can happen.

Bandon. Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint has a lot more going on than the legendary princess wading in the waters. The entire beach is chock full of rocky blobs and a few sharp spires.

Many of them have names: two that are popular are Howling Dog and Wizards Hat Rock, which look very similar but they're hundreds of yards apart.

The Basket of Kittens next to Face Rock. Courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

The really pointy objects go by titles like The Castle, Basket of Kittens and the Needles (or probably more correctly The Needle – singular). Names around this south Oregon coast hotspot get tossed around rather freely and it's sometimes hard to figure them out. It doesn't help that Bandon folks decades ago had completely different names for them.

Basket of Kittens is the jagged set of rocks that stretch out near Face Rock, and it's part of her origin story. Another acicular chunk lies near the tip of a promontory and looks much like Howling Dog and Wizards Hat.

The Castle. Courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

The Castle is aptly named, which definitely can look like some medieval structure's ruins from certain angles.

Most remarkable about all these rock structures here is that some are of entirely different compositions from other groupings, and all millions and millions of years old. As Eugene geologist Marli Miller told Oregon Coast Beach Connection:

“Just walk about the sea stacks at Bandon - a lot of them are sandstone,” Miller said. “But a lot of them are highly fractured and faulted. Go down the beach and another block is different altogether. It’s really wild to see all these different rock types kind of thrown together.”

Photo: Oregon Coast Beach Connection

Cannon Beach's Needles. The other famous Needles are on the north Oregon coast at Cannon Beach, part of Haystack Rock's little group. The Needles surround it to the south, making for spire-like points in some instances.

Haystack Rock and its companions are about 14 – 17 million years old and have a really odd geological origin. They are called “intrusives” because all of it was once part of a larger lava flow that was so powerful it dived underground when it reached softer material, then re-erupted here.

Photo: Oregon Coast Beach Connection

Pulpit Rock near Manzanita. Tucked away far behind and below chunks of Neahkahnie Mountain, Pulpit Rock can't be seen unless you hike a certain ways down the trail towards Short Sands Beach, or at least from the Devil's Cauldron area.

The spiky remnant of some larger structure that's been eroded away, Pulpit has had this name for a good 100 years.

Seal Rock. Just south of Newport on the central Oregon coast, Seal Rock is an intricate gathering of rocky shapes and blobs, but there's the occasional pointed bits of leftover lava amid these specimens. They punctuate an otherwise rounded-yet-jagged view, rising up from the others and standing out.

Oregon Coast Hotels in this area - South Coast Hotels - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours


More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

Coastal Spotlight

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Oregon Coast Fin Whale Update: Sick, Weathered Orca Attack, Fishing Gear
A rare find, attacked by orcas, fishing gear, and very sick. Marine sciences

UPDATED: A Rare Stranding on Oregon Coast, Fin Whale Washes Up Near Seaside
About 40 feet, it washed up at Gearhart

April 2024 Partial Solar Eclipse Coming to Oregon Coast, Washington Coast
On April 8, between 11:20 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., in and around 23 percent. Sciences

Valentine's Day Romance Packages Abound on Oregon Coast: from Food to Stays
Enticing freebies, discounts, swag, food to stunning scenery. Specials, hotel specials

Are the Kooky Little Pyrosomes Coming Back to Oregon Coast? New Sightings
There's still a sizable amount of scientific mystery behind them. Marine sciences

Seaside Celebrates 125 Years of Being N. Oregon Coast Hotspot
On February 17 the town turns 125, celebrationg at the museum. Seaside events

Increased Sneaker Wave Threat Along Oregon Coast, Washington Coast Today Thro...
A strong westerly swell will facilitate a high threat of sneaker waves

Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast Decommisioned in Ceremony at N. Oregon Coast's A...
One of the last remaining Reliance-class medium endurance cutters

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on Oregon Coast Beach Connection
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright Oregon Coast Beach Connection. Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted