Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Oregon Coast Landmark: the South Jetty at Rockaway Beach

Published 01/27/2012

(Rockaway, Oregon) - It's a chilly winter's day on the north Oregon coast, sunny and bright but paradoxically stormy as well. This is a glorious state of the confounding and confusing, as the blue skies and sweet rays make for quite the puzzling display with those diametrically opposed conditions of wild surf.

Here, at the southern side of the Nehalem Bay mouth, at Rockaway Beach, the south jetty juts out into the sea and dares it to attack. So, the ocean does just that – as evidenced by the massive objects strewn on top of it. Entire trees sit up there, standing as testament to how gnarly these tides are – and it serves as a bit of a warning to why you shouldn't go up there.

You can see further evidence of the power of these waves all around you. The entire beach here, quite a ways back from where the tide line usually loiters, is littered with humongous chunks of driftwood – all deposited here by unruly tides in the past: tides that tried hard to lash out towards the homes and community a few hundred feet back.

On this day in late January 2012, the sea is trying to be angry. It's not as angry as it had been the previous days, but it's looking pretty antsy. The bay mouth is swollen here, and an awe-inspiring rush of water constantly shoots outwards the sea, especially after a series of incoming waves pushes ocean water into the bay. It comes screaming back, a little ticked off. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to realize that current is insanely dangerous. To accidentally slip into that would mean certain death – if not by almost immediate drowning, then surely by getting smashed against a boulder at a brain-splattering speed.

The inside of the bay is a bit more lively than usual. Often, the outer edges of the jetties are the unruly parts of the sea, and the area inside is tamed by the presence of these structures. Today, the tide inside is just as frightening as the rest of the sea, but in a different way.

Periodically, a series of waves creates somewhat hefty splashes alongside the south jetty, not far from you. It too is a reminder of the power here, and to not get too complacent lingering around on top.

You are, in actuality, not supposed to go bouncing around on top of the jetty. It's not made for that, but one spot quite a ways back has a somewhat flat, sandy area that lets you loiter. It's not too dangerous, if you don't linger for long.

But how old is the south jetty? When was it constructed?

The jetties at Nehalem Bay are almost 100 years old.

This southern end was built in 1916 by the Army Corps of Engineers. The north jetty followed in 1918.

The southern side is 4,950 feet long, according to the Army Corps of Engineers, and the north jetty is 3,890 feet.

Both were part of a restoration project in 1981 and '82, with more than 347,000 tons of rock put into the tips of the jetties. Over the first few decades, the chunks of it were taken away periodically by underwater currents and big waves.

More About Manzanita, Rockaway, Wheeler Lodging.....

More About Pacific City, Oceanside, Netarts, Tierra Del Mar Restaurants.....


A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, saut�ed scallops.
Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss
Pacific City, Oregon



LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

180 Miles of Oregon Coast Spring Break: What You Don't Know Will Thrill You
There's a lot they won't tell you about Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, Garibaldi, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats
Oregon Coast Beach Cleanup in March Now Registering Volunteers
March 23 is the day. Seaside events, Manzanita events, Rockaway Beach events, Pacific City events, Lincoln City events, Newport events, Yachats events
Stranded Sea Turtle Dies In Spite of Rescue - N. Oregon Coast, Rockaway Beach
Strandings of these creatures become more regular this time of year
Oregon Coast Wave Drama: Excellent Places to Watch Storms in Tillamook County
An engaging roster of oceanfront hotels and vacation rentals in Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, Oceanside, Pacific City
First Day Hikes: New Year's Walks Beyond the Oregon Coast
Astoria events, Seaside events, Manzanita events, Rockaway Beach events, Pacific City events, Lincoln City events, Depoe Bay events, Newport events, Florence events
N. Oregon Coast's Tillamook County Twinkles with Train Rides, Light Festival
A bevy of coziness-inducing events and a countywide celebration of lights Manzanita events, Rockaway Beach events, Tillamook events, Pacific City events
Sign Up for the Oregon Coast Email Newsletter
Receive weather alerts / travel alerts, exclusive deals on lodging and other means of fun. Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, Tillamook, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Yachats
Three Charming, Atmospheric N. Oregon Coast Buildings You Have to See
You're walking all over history in the north Oregon coast region of Astoria and Warrenton, Rockaway Beach

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted

Oregon Coast Lodging


Events Calendar

Oregon Coast Weather

Travel News

Search for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles

Virtual Tours, Maps
Deep Details